Maharashtra: I&B Ministry’s Regional Outreach Bureau launches a campaign to create awareness on COVID-19

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  • Traveling auto rickshaws with PA system to make announcements regarding various government initiatives and precautionary measures to be taken to fight COVID-19
  • Regional fact checking committee formed to bust fake news and local rumours related to COVID-19

New Delhi, 10 Apr 2020 : In view of the on-going pandemic of COVID-19, the Regional Outreach Bureau, (Maharashtra and Goa region), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, has initiated a field based outreach and awareness programme through travelling audio announcement system, in the rural areas of Maharashtra,. Under this programme, the thematic three wheeler /Auto Rikshaw/tempo, are installed with pre-recorded audio announcements and messaging to create awareness about Corona issue.

20 vehicles have been deployed in different Covid-19 affected districts, which travel for 8-10 hours per day, covering a distance of about 50 kms each.

In order to make messaging more effective, the staff artistes from ROB Pune and Song & Drama Division have created audio messages and songs, in local languages. The audio messages shared through public announcement will focus on taking various precautionary measures to contain the spread of the infection such as maintaining personal hygiene, abiding strict lockdown by staying at home, maintaining adequate social distancing at the public places, complying with government orders and guidelines, avoiding rumour mongering, listing of essential services allowed under lockdown including agriculture and Prime Minister and Chief Minister’s message on COVID-19.

Manish Desai, Director General, Bureau of Outreach and Communication (West Zone), said that the travelling audio announcement system, will enable us to reach various parts of the state, and complement state government’s efforts by creating awareness about Covid-19 particularly in rural areas.

In addition to this, the ROB Pune has formed a field level fact checking committee under Santosh Ajmera, essentially looking after, fact checking of fake news and local rumours doing rounds in the region. After busting the fake news, the verified news is published and circulated on various social media platforms of ROB Pune and circulated through Whatsapp. The fact checking is done with the help of district administration and verified social media channels and websites of the state/ central Government.

The Regional Outreach Bureau is the media unit of the Ministry of information and Broadcasting, Government of India, with its headquarter in Pune, for Maharashtra and Goa region. It is mandated for various communication and outreach activities for Government of India, through its 10 field offices in the state.

Details about the Travelling audio announcement awareness campaign :

  • The thematic Three wheeler /Auto Rikshaw/Tempo, with audio loudspeaker system installed, covering rural areas.
  • The mobile announcement system to carry a message of Hon’ble PM, CM, pre-recorded Corona songs and messages (specially curated by ROB/S&DD artists) related to agriculture, social distancing, do’s and don’t’s etc.
  • The vehicles to cover max. 50 kms per day, to run for 8-10 hours a day. In total, nearly 20 vehicles to cover 5,600 kms across the state, running the programme for more than 87 campaign days in total, till 14th April 2020.
  • The vehicles deployed are GPS enabled to track the location.

The Details of campaign are as follows.

ROB (Maharashtra and Goa region)
Mobile Audio Announcement system on Corona
Sr.No. Name of Field office District of Campaign Number of Auto Rikshaw Campaign dates Number of campaign days Total  (Max.) distance to be covered
1 ROB, Pune Pune 3 10-14 April 2020 5 750
2 FOB, Nashik Nashik 1 07-14 April 2020 8 400
3 FOB, Nanded Nanded 1 08-14 April 2020 7 350
4 Latur 1 08-14 April 2020 7 350
5 FOB, Solapur Solapur 1 08-14 April 2020 7 350
Solapur (Rural) 4 10-14 April 2020 5 1000
Satara 1 10-14 April 2020 5 250
Oosmanabad 1 10-14 April 2020 5 250
6 FOB,Kolhapur Kolhapur 1 09-14 April 2020 6 300
7 FOB, Jalgaon Jalgaon 1 09-14 April 2020 6 300
8 FOB, Amravati Amravati 1 09-14 April 2020 6 300
9 FOB, Aurangabad Aurangabad 1 10-14 April 2020 5 250
Buldhana 1 10-14 April 2020 5 250
10 FOB, Ahmednagar Ahmednagar 1 09-14 April 2020 6 300
Beed 1 11-14 April 2020 4 200
TOTAL 20 87 5600

(Source: ROB, Maharashtra & Goa Region)