Priya, a popular comic superhero in India, who usually fights rapists and traffickers, has got a new task at hand — to curb fear and misinformation on Covid-19.
Since the Priya’s Shakti series started in 2014, she has been spreading the message of gender equality by helping other women and girls get justice. Now, in the latest ‘Priya’s Mask’, series, the superhero teams up with Jiya, star of Pakistan’s Burka Avenger cartoon, to help the villain when he catches Covid-19, underlining the “need for compassion and humanity in such times,” said script writer Shubhra Prakash.
“She’s a freaking badass. She’s female, she’s brown. And brown to me is really important because I live in the United States and that representation is also what drew me to this because it’s about time,” she said.
Along with her tiger, Sahas, Priya explains the importance of wearing a mask and working together to help end the pandemic around the world.
The story, written by Shubhra Prakash, has been released both as a 15-page comic and a two-minute animated short, and is available in nine different languages.
The short animated film, Priya’s Mask, is an important testament to the courage of women healthcare workers and is expected to help educate people about the virus. An array of actors and leaders lend their voices to this film including Vidya Balan, Mrunal Thakur, Sairah Kabir and Rosanna Arquette.
The latest episode in the comic series created by Ram Devineni comes as India battles the second-highest number of Covid cases worldwide.
As of January 5, more than 10.3 million coronavirus cases have been logged in India and nearly 150,000 people across the country have died. While global authorities are working around the clock to suppress the spread of the virus, they face a challenge in convincing an exhausted public to remain vigilant and wear masks while maintaining physical distancing. The spread of misinformation on Covid -19 particularly via smartphones and social media – is making it even harder for doctors, nurses and health officials across India to arrest the spread of coronavirus and ensure public safety.