After a cop in Chennai was seen wearing a coronavirus-inspired helmet to raise awareness about the infection, residents of Peapully Mandal in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district were greeted on Tuesday to an unusual sight of a policeman riding on a horse painted with coronavirus images.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted several police departments across the country to come up with innovative ways to spread awareness about the disease, the attempt by sub-inspector Maruthi Shanker has triggered a debate on animal cruelty.
In order to alert the people of Peapally Mandal about the virus and precautionary measures, Shanker sat on top of a horse that was painted with red dots resembling the structure of the virus. At present, there are 23 confirmed coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh.
— Express Trending (@ietrending) March 31, 2020
Andhra Pradesh: Sub Inspector Maruti Sankar, Peapally Mandal, Kurnool district rides a horse painted with images of #COVID19 virus, to create awareness among the public about the pandemic pic.twitter.com/xIFsktWahG
— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2020
Explaining the initiative and the reason behind using the horse, Shanker told the indianexpress.com, “People in the villages don’t have easy access to cellphones and television. Hence, the horse was used to visually represent the virus so that they know about it.”
“Moreover, the horse is also a symbolic representation to explain the speed at which the virus can spread,” the sub-inspector said.
Though the aim behind the initiative was to spread information, it was met with a mixed response online as many did not approve of the paint applied to the animal.
“If you are looking for novel methods of creating awareness wear a #COVID19 helmet. Leave the animals alone,” tweeted a user. “Awareness initiative is good but should have explored other innovative ideas!” another user wrote.
Reacting to the criticism, Maruthi Shanker said the horse was not harmed during the process. “We are using the horse for public awareness. It was not hurt or hit. It was just to help people understand and aware them of coronavirus,” he said.
Awareness initiative is good, but should have explored other innovative ideas! :( https://t.co/Y5XbrgQ9Xv
— Srinivas Kshirsagar (@srinivasksh_) March 31, 2020
is it correct to paint on animals ( see below tweet )?Paints are made with chemicals right?@peta @PetaIndia @PMOIndia @narendramodi @ysjagan @AndhraPradeshCM @bbcnewstelugu @republic @ndtv @umasudhir @NTVJustIn @TV9Telugu @amalaakkineni1 @bolisetti_satya https://t.co/JNiMUhPJBo
— Venkatesh 🇮🇳 (@venkatesh0529) March 31, 2020
— कड़ी निंदा™ (@aayushsaran) March 31, 2020
— Dr Gyan Mishra #StayHomeSaveLives (@DrGyanBharat) March 31, 2020
Police in Southern states is just killing it. So many inovative ways to create awareness. https://t.co/Q8uQgQA150
— Manisha Mondal (@manishamondal25) March 31, 2020
Animals don’t have rights
Neither can they protest
Where is @peta @PetaIndia ?
If you are looking for novel methods of creating awareness wear a a #COVID19 helmet
Leave the animals alone https://t.co/8NAL6SpNet
— Leena Mathew (@leenasind) March 31, 2020
Do you think this is animal cruelty? Tell us in the comments section below.