Be it a door to door campaign or a movie theatre, Tamil Nadu health department is forever ready to spread awareness on the deadly dengue. Movie-goers at Vaniymabadi in Vellore were in for a surprise when a Deputy Collector entered the cinema hall along with a group of government staff in the middle of the Mersal screening on Thursday and proceeded to give the public ‘nilavembu kashayam’ (a herbal concoction) and spoke to them about ways to prevent the disease.
This came a day after the theatre was fined for failing to check mosquito breeding. On Wednesday S. Jayaprakash, Deputy Collector and District Backward Classes Welfare Officer imposed a fine of ₹5,000 each on two adjoining theatres in Vaniyambadi town – Vijay Theatre and Shivaji Theatre – for failing to check mosquito breeding.
On Thursday, he reportedly returned to Vijay Theatre to follow up on whether the theatre owner had removed the breeding sources. At about 11.30 am, a few minutes after the first show of Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s Diwali release 'Mersal' began, officials walked into the cinema hall to meet the audience. The screening was stopped for few minutes and the lights turned on before the Jayaprakash introduced himself. The audience sipped into cups of 'nilavembu kashayam' as the officials spoke to them about how the dengue-spreading mosquitoes breed in clean water.
“I took the opportunity to create awareness about dengue among the audience. Without any misgivings, they came forward to take the herbal drink and also thanked us. I spoke for a few minutes about the simple ways to prevent breeding of mosquitoes and to keep dengue fever at bay," Jayaprakash told Times of India.
Well, it definitely is a great idea but to stop the screening in the middle doesn’t sound that much fun. But then again, delay is better than dengue.