The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a series of graphic novels titled Kids, Vaayu and Corona for children to help spread awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic. The series focuses on providing information on vaccine development and how it will be safely delivered to the public. The series is aimed at children under the age of 12.
The comic named Kids, Vaayu and Corona: who wins the fight? was an initial edition which was launched last year. The comics have a Superhero named ‘Vaayu’ who works for better public health and environment and teaches children how they can fight Corona, the virus which spread rapidly across the globe and caused the pandemic. The cover page of the cartoon series showed a group of three children who seem to be scared of coronavirus, a black-coloured creature.
The comic in its intro takes cognisance of how kids might find it difficult to comprehend the current situation given parents are not always free to answer and explain the nuances to kids. While the first edition threw light on the entire pandemic situation and why parents should take time to explain about the virus in detail, the second edition, Kids, Vaayu and Corona: Can We Defeat Pandemic?, talked about taking appropriate precautions and ensuring their safety. It also encouraged them to be a part of the effort to prevent coronavirus and other infectious germs.
Talking about the comic, additional professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Ravindra Khaiwal said, “There are growing concerns and perceived threat about the Coronavirus among ordinary citizens. The parent should talk to the children and resolve their queries, so they do not panic. However, sometimes parents might be busy, and they might not be able to resolve their questions. Inspired by my own children’s queries, I wrote this comic.”
Fourth in the series of books, Kids, Vaayu & Corona: Covid Appropriate Behaviour was released on Wednesday by Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who is the Union Minister of Education (MHRD). The colourful and well-illustrated book aims to guide children to lead a normal and healthy life during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the recent addition titled Kids, Vaayu & Corona: Rise of Vaccine and Fall of Corona, Vaayu highlights that two vaccines have already been approved in India but informs that they will be given based on priority groups and repeatedly tells the children that Covid precautions need to continue at all points. The issue ranges from antibodies, types of vaccines, procedure of vaccine trial, safety of vaccines, getting registered for vaccination etc.
Vaayu informs children about coronavirus and its symptoms. He battles with his sword against coronavirus to demonstrate how personal and respiratory hygiene and social distancing will help defeat the virus.
Additional Professor and Chairperson, Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University, Dr.Suman Mor said, “We were working on comics for air pollution awareness, and the sudden outbreak of coronavirus inspired us to make use of the developed characters to fight the threat of coronavirus. The comic is designed to learn, along with fun, and motivate children to be a hero of prevention by defeating corona and other infectious germs.”
The comic is available on the Union Health Ministry website and can be downloaded from there. It has been conceptualised and written by Dr Ravindra Khaiwal and Dr Suman Mor.