COVID-19: J&K artists step in, use social media for songs and awareness

SRINAGAR: For once forget Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, tune in to the heartwarming TikTok messages of the local Kashmiri artists to spread awareness about COVID 19.

From famous comedian Shabir Hakaak to noted Ladishah artist Ashraf Nagoo, from Mohammad Shafi Khan to Neha Lohotra, artists of different genres have uploaded their videos on social media to spread the message of love, care, precautions, and survival.

Nagoo has released a 2.38-minute video of Ladishah urging people to stay home to break the chain. Wearing waistcoat and turban, Nagoo sings:  “Aslam a Aliqum bozew paigam…Coronavirusan tul tufaan; Ghare rozun chue waen behtar….Bhai mane maene tche kath maan”.

Famous comedian Mohammad Shafi Khan, who has delivered some rib-tickling performances, sounded serious this time around cautioning people against any carelessness in tackling coronavirus pandemic. 

“There is an English saying, `prevention is better than cure’. I appeal to people to maintain hygiene, wash hands regularly and use masks and sanitizers. There is no treatment for this disease. But we should not lose heart. We should avoid crowded places and stay home”, he said in his 55-second video.

Not only are Kashmiri artists at the forefront, Jammu actors too have chipped-in to aware people of the disease. “We can fight together. We are spending time with our families. Some people with symptoms skip isolation. They are not only harming themselves but endangering people in the society”, said Neha Lohotra, a famous actress from Jammu.

Famous poet and satirist Zareef Ahmad Zareef has penned a poem urging people to stay home to break the chain. He has posted a video on social media reciting the poem and urging people to take precautions. “Khudawanda ye kaha hakemet ye toofaaan… karut abad dunya kaze wareen…,” read the opening lines of his poem.

This is perhaps for the first time when artists from both Kashmir and Jammu have kicked off a social media campaign urging people to stay at home in a bid to break the chain.  Earlier, people used to look up to Bollywood actors to do the honors.

“New generation actors have realized their social responsibility. They are playing their role to bring about change and create awareness”, said Zareef.

For Shabir Hakak, the artists have been always ready to discharge their social responsibility but business houses have always disappointed them. 

“We have never shied away from our social responsibility. Outside actors are sponsored by business houses for social campaigns. It is their livelihood. Here business houses do not care about local artists”, said Hakak.

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