BHOPAL: ExtraChildhood, a group in the city, plans to spread happiness among corona patients and doctors through its online campaign, '#ExtraHappiness'.
Covid-19 patientsówhether isolated in their homes, or at Covid Care Centres, or admitted to hospitalsóhave to battle not only the disease, but also loneliness, negativity and gloom. Doctors battling the pandemic are also stressed.
"We want to inject happiness into their lives. We want to lighten their mood, to draw them away from negativity," says Sanjeev Dubey, founder of the group.
The plan is to bring patients and doctors onto a common platform digitally, where they can sing songs, laugh and enjoy themselves. The campaign has several musical components, such as Share a Song, Words & Song, Antakshari, Happy Performances, Music Recall and Happy Song of the Day.
"The doctors, or the patients can send their videos singing a song, they can make a request for a particular song, they can play Antakshari among themselves or simply chat," Dubey says.
The group has tied up with some artistes who will sing songs on specific requests. "The bottomline is that we want to create a cheerful atmosphere," he says. The group is already running different campaigns targeting families and childrenóall aimed at injecting fun and laughter into the lives of people.
For families, the group has been conducting Antaksharis. Members of extended families residing in different parts of the country, or the world, come onto a common platform and play Antakshari. One of the members of the family is chosen for coordinating the event, which is organised on Google Meet.
In one such event, 10 families of a clan got connected from Bhopal, New York, Dubai, Chhindwara and many other places. A daughter-in-law of the family was chosen to conduct the event, which lasted more than an hour. The members of the clan sang songs, laughed and cracked jokes. It was like a family gatheringóonly the members were separated by thousands of miles. The event was streamed on Google Live and anyone could watch it.
"We've chosen Antakshari as it's a game which anyone can play and there's hardly an Indian who doesnít remember the first lines of some songs," Dubey says.
Next, they are planning to hold an Antakshari among the 40 members of the Diwan clan of Jabalpur, many of whom have recovered from Covid-19. Besides several families, they have received requests from a group of ex-professors of PGBT, a government college of education, and teachers living in the Jahangirabad locality in the city for organising Antaksharis for them. ìWhat weíre doing is providing a platform to families to smile and unwind,î Dubey says.
Activity for children
Besides, the group has launched a different kind of activity for children. For kids, summer vacations mean trips to places of interest. But this year, no one is going anywhere. ìSince theyíre not going to tourist places, weíve decided to bring those places to them,î Dubey says.
With the cooperation of the MP Tourism Development Corporation, the group has roped in guides from 10 places of tourist interest in the state, including Sanchi, Bhedaghat and Maheshwar.
A guide will be talking about the place in an interesting way. They will basically be story-telling sessions. At the end of each episode, contests will be organised in which questions about the placeóthe answers to which were a part of the story will be asked to the children. The kid who gets the highest number of answers right will be declared 'junior guide'.
One Lakh Smiles
The idea of launching the campaign struck the members of the group on World Laughter Day (May 2). The 'One Lakh Smiles Campaign' for families was launched on May 15. Dubey says that they have, so far, spread happiness to about 50,000 people. They are also appointing prominent persons, including officers and doctors, as their ëHappiness Ambassadorsí. The 'Ambassadors' are recording their short video messages about how to remain positive and happy.