A social worker of Mumbai, dresses in a bright red-orange clown suit, with rainbow-wig and a completely painted face to spread awareness regarding Covid-19 and his vicious effects in a slum. The 37-year old manager also expends his weekend with slum children, dispensing face masks, sanitizers and disinfects the areas he visited.
The active volunteer and social worker is said to be Ashok Kurmi who is a knowledgeable and kind man, helping a division of young enthusiasts, especially children to fight against the novel coronavirus in Mumbai’s largest slums. He is a living inspiration and to attract kids towards his words, he noted a new method of utilizing an extraordinary accessory that was a clown costume. He put in attire or dressed in a glossy red clown dress, entirely painted his face with bright paint, and wore a huge-sized rainbow wig. Ashok Kurmi, 37-year-old manager expends his weekend sterilizing public areas, disseminating face masks, sanitizers, and dissipating understanding about the Covid-19 pandemic.
AFP was delighted to see him working for a noble cause and reach out to him. During this conversation, he told AFP that “The municipal workers wear PPE kits that scare slum dwellers, particularly children. With the help of different costumes, I can spread awareness without scaring people. I am able to help them a little.”
Around the preceding year, he has attired fictional characters from movies such as Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, Doraemon, and Marvel superhero Spiderman to hear him up in this journey of spreading awareness to unprivileged sections of society. He said even after trying several costumes his clown suit or costume has gained more popularity and children like him more this way.
He added, that he even visit India’s largest slum Dharavi in the outskirts of Mumbai, small teams of children pursued him, shouting in unison “joker, joker” and offering him to apply sanitizer to their hands, wanted them to be sanitized. Kurni, with the help of pictorial assistance and signboards and posters, patiently exhibited the slum dwellers on how to rinse their hands properly and wear face masks correctly, without leaving any part uncovered.
“I have worked at a pharmaceutical company for the last 15 years but social work is my passion,” he said. Kurmi said that he expends nearly 15,000 rupees ($205) which is one-third of his monthly salary on purchasing costumes, make-up allowances, and equipment for sanitation, customized based on children’s interests.
As Mumbai equips for battling the third coronavirus wave, his undertakings have become significant towards social contributions and spreading the message of protection to everyone. The Covid-19 outbreak has overwhelmed India, turing over 28 million people positive from the deadly virus and taking the lives of more than 300,000 innocent people.
Despite the dangers implicated in attending highly occupied or populous regions like Dharavi, Kurmi remains undervalued. He said that “Until this pandemic ends, I will continue to go and help people as a clown.” An inspiration of optimistic attitude for many.