Coronavirus in Mumbai: Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation ban photo-ops during food distribution.

In a belated but much needed move, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally imposed a complete ban on photo opportunities including the recording of videos, clicking of selfies and any other sort of photography while people are distributing food items or any type of relief material to the poor and needy. This is in the context of the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

Keen to be in the limelight while helping others even during this distressing period, some individuals and organisations were found to flooding social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook with videos, photographs and selfies of the distribution programmes.

Realizing that the cheap publicity stunts were not only hurting the sentiments of the beneficiaries, but also defeating the main purpose of social distancing, municipal commissioner Chandrakant Dange promulgated an order regarding the same.

Apart from banning such photo-ops, the order also prohibits social organizations and political parties from installing banners or hoardings of the distribution programme as a publicity gimmick.

Violators will be liable for punishment under the relevant sections of the IPC and Epidemic Act, read the order.

With an emphasis on proper hygiene and quality control, the MBMC has teamed up with local social organizations and individuals to establish four community kitchens and 34 meal distribution centres at the ward level to ensure that the poor and needy do not remain hungry during the lockdown period.

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Free Press Journal