Video & free eBook | India’s first female comic book superhero challenges misleading information: “Masked Indian comic superhero fights Covid-19 fear”

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In Priya’s Mask, due to be launched on 2 December, the comic crusader joins hands with Jiya, the “Burka Avenger”, a popular character from a Pakistani cartoon show, as the two go about trying to tackle the pandemic – and also the “infodemic”, a major proliferation in fake news surrounding the coronavirus.

With more than 9.4 million infections and 137,000 deaths, India has the second highest caseload globally. A strict nationwide lockdown that was imposed on 21 March delayed the spread for a while, but infections grew rapidly – and continue to do so – since restrictions were relaxed.

A major challenge in India’s fight against Covid-19 has been the false and misleading information around the pandemic, which is often shared at lightning speed. […]

Source: “Masked Indian comic superhero fights Covid-19 fear” by Geeta Pandey
Date Visited: 2 December 2020

School in Odisha taking Corona (covid-19) precautions © Unicef India >>

[…] Released as an augmented reality comic book, the installment is paired with an animated short film featuring the voices of feminist leaders from the U.S. and India, including icon Vidya Balan, Rosanna Arquette, Mrunal Thakur, and Sairah Kabir.

Named a ‘gender equality champion’ by UN Women, the series was created by U.S.-based media house Rattapallax founder, documentary filmmaker, and technologist Ram Devineni. ‘Priya’s Mask’ is produced by Tanvi Gandhi, Indrani Ray, and Monika Samtani, written by Shubhra Prakash, with illustrations and animation by Syd Fini, Hamid Bahrami and Neda Kazemifar. The project was funded through a grant from the North India Office (NIO) of U.S. Embassy New Delhi, in coordination with the Regional English Language Office (RELO), as part of U.S.-India cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

The U.S. Embassy’s North India Office said, “This exciting book is both the newest chapter in the Priya series and the latest example of the United States and India working together to confront global health challenges, drawing on the deep talents of both of our peoples.”

The pathbreaking comic book series is available as a free download, and has been acknowledged by over 26 million people worldwide through multiple platforms, books, and exhibitions with over 500,000 downloads and 30,000 printed copies distributed.

Priya was introduced to audiences in 2014, two years after the terrible gang-rape on a bus in New Delhi. The augmented reality comic book has over the years brought to attention issues like rape, acid-attacks, and sex-trafficking. The first volume launched in 2014, ‘Priya’s Shakti’ shattered social stigmas surrounding rape survivors and was funded by the Tribeca Film Institute, Ms. Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. The success of the maiden edition led to the release of the second volume ‘Priya’s Mirror’ which premiered at New York Film Festival in 2016, inspired by the story of Laxmi Agarwal it centered around acid attack survivors and was funded by the World Bank. The ensuing third volume ‘Priya and The Lost Girls’ which premiered in 2019 shed light on the issue of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. […]

Source: “Vidya Balan, Mrunal Thakur and others come together as voices for India’s first female comic book superhero ‘Priya’s Mask’” by Pallabi Dey Purkayastha (Times of India, 23 November 2020)
Date Visited: 2 December 2020

When your neighbour is a tiger | People’s Archive of Rural India
People living near or within the forest in the Bandipur National Park and the Sundarbans revere as well as fear the tiger. Their proximity to tigers, leopards, crocodiles and other big animals often causes violent confrontations, but it has also inspired myths and conservation. Here are PARI’s tales from tiger territory >>

When children in cities were whiling the lockdown period away in electronic gadgets and on social media, close to 50 children in tribal settlements in Anamalai taluk had spent it in a useful manner – reading books. Thanks to the Centre for Justice and Peace, an NGO, that distributed more than 200 books to the children a couple of days before the Lockdown1.0 came into effect. – “Books best companions of kids in tribal settlements” – Times of India, 9 June 2020 | Learn more >>

“The smart boy or clever girl who is deprived of the opportunity of schooling, or who goes to a school with dismal facilities (not to mention the high incidence of absentee teachers), not only loses the opportunities he or she could have had, but also adds to the massive waste of talent that is a characteristic of the life of our country.” – Nobel Awardee Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian (Penguin Books, 2005), p. 344 | Find this and other books published in India >>

Related: Tribal Children’s Right to Education | Childhood | Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools | Childrens rights: UNICEF India >>

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Learn more: Bondage | Bonded labour | Childhood | Human trafficking | SlaveryZamindari >>
Human trafficking is a crime. To report in India, call Shakti Vahini
+91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or the national helpline Childline on 1098.

“As per a study on human trafficking, the state of Jharkhand has emerged as India’s trafficking hub with thousands of tribal women and girls being trafficked out of the state each year to Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and beyond [while] human traffickers are also involved in many cases of missing children.” – The Wire | Shakti Vahini | Tourism locations | Adivasi tribal bondage slavery trafficking (Safe search) >>

“Childline 1098 is a 24×7 emergency, free phone outreach for children in distress. It is one of the world’s biggest emergency helpline services dedicated to children, and is considered to be among the country’s largest emergency response systems” – The Hindu, 17 April 2022 >>

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Reports in the Indian press | List of periodicals included in this search >>

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