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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Court asks Centre, Delhi govt to ramp up publicity of Covid info

The court noted that various helpline numbers should have been broadcast on a daily basis. It also told the Centre that it has been playing the same message regarding vaccines as a caller tune for the last five months now.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 25, 2021 7:02:36 pm
Delhi High Court asked the Centre and Delhi government to undertake publication of all Covid-related information, especially helpline numbers. (File)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said there was a lack of continuous and adequate publicity of Covid-related information, and asked the Centre and Delhi government to undertake publication of all helpline numbers, including those pertaining to mental health issues, and other relevant information through all audio-visual and print mediums, preferably on a daily basis, to educate the people.

“As we grew up, the amount of advertisement and propaganda one used to see… let us say for family planning, ‘Hum Do Hamare Do’… it was there everywhere, every DTC bus, every TV channel and everywhere, and it worked. We need something like that. We have to keep bombarding people with the relevant information,” said the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh.

“It is like medicine. You have to do it every day. If we have to fight a war, even the war needs propaganda, no? You need to make your people aware and alive to the situation,” continued the court.

The court told the Centre that it has been playing the same message regarding vaccines as a caller tune for the last five months now.

“What is the point of again and again saying we have come out with a vaccine? Maybe for the first month it was relevant. Now everyone knows. People are crying for vaccines. There is no vaccine. You should now hit the nail on the head. These are the helpline numbers for Covid-related issues. That should be the foremost thing. Cut out the preface. Come to the main point,” added the court.

It said the various helpline numbers have not been broadcast as frequently and as effectively, and they should have been done on a daily basis.

“Mere publication for a few days in one or the other medium is not sufficient. We have earlier as well emphasised this aspect, and we are compelled to once again make this observation since there is not much ground covered on this aspect,” added the court.

The court also told the Delhi government that inserts carrying helpline numbers should come on a daily basis.

“Every day you should have either on the front page or page 3 somewhere… you please fix a place… so people know and get habituated. I may not need it today but at least I know it has been in the paper, and when I need it, I can say it is there on this page,” the bench said.

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