Gurgaon Traffic Police has been trying out fun ways to spread awareness among the citizens about the importance of the lockdown using their social media handle.
Taking to Twitter, they recently shared an illustration that showed a person’s foot venturing out of an establishment, only to be on the verge of stepping on an axe held by a creature that resembled coronavirus. As a caption to it, they used lines from a popular Arijit Singh number giving the lyrics a lockdown-twist. The tweet read: “Ghar ko chhod kar, Agar tum jaoge, Bada pachtaoge, Bada pachtaoge” (If you step out of home, you’ll repent big time)
— Gurugram Traffic Police (@TrafficGGM) April 16, 2020
Speaking to The Indian Express, DCP (Traffic) Chander Mohan said the aim of the tweet was to discourage people from stepping out of their homes, at the same time also to “change their mood”.
“For us, traffic is very relaxed, but we are still part of policing, and have a social responsibility. It is still our duty to help other police personnel and make their work easier. The messages are just aimed at that,” said the DCP.
“The other thing right now is that the level of mental stress among people is very high; nobody is used to this kind of a lockdown. So, our effort is to convey messages in a way that eases things out for people. If we can convey things in a humorous manner, it is a change for them as well,” he said.
— Gurugram Traffic Police (@TrafficGGM) January 26, 2020
This approach to the use social media is however not new to Gurgaon Traffic department. From using trending memes to playing around with the lyrics of popular Bollywood songs or movie scenes, their official Twitter handle Gurugram Traffic Police has been sending out important messages on traffic awareness that the officials intend to convey to public. A scroll down the Twitter page of the account hence provides a mix of updates on road closures and traffic congestion interspersed with memes propagating traffic rules and regulation using humour.
A ‘social media team’ of ‘two to three personnel’ is behind this strategy, said officials.
— Gurugram Traffic Police (@TrafficGGM) February 21, 2020
“If something is trending, they put it on a social media group that we have, and for one or two days we research a little and figure out a way in which we could use it to convey a message to people. Finally a meme is put out after a discussion,” said DCP Mohan. “The whole aim of this approach to social media is to have a better connect with people, which tends to make a difference on the ground as well, and to make out approach more positive,” he added.
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