Govt. told to keep publicising helpline numbers and information to educate public
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said the Centre needs to relook at the COVID-19 ringtone saying it should “cut out the preface and come to the main point” which contains information about the helpline numbers.
“It is like starting a writ petition with ‘most respectfully” and nobody is reading it and even not interested. You need to be a little proactive in your approach. People are aware of COVID-19 protocol,” a Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said.
“It is high time that you updated them with COVID-19 helpline number, which is the most important part of the message. You have to be agile on your feet on this,” the Bench told the Central government’s counsel.
The court also noted that a corner or column on a page could be dedicated for these helplines in the newspapers. “In newspapers, one does not find these inserts on a daily basis. These things should be there in the papers every day. Fix a corner or column, may be on page 1 or page 3. Some column on a page should be dedicated to it daily so that people know where to go when they need it,” the court said.
On lines of campaign
The High Court’s observation came while hearing a bunch of petitions related to COVID-19 situation in the Capital. During the hearing, the court stressed on the need to spread awareness among public about the pandemic through advertisements more frequently on the lines of “hum do hamare do” campaign for family planning.
The court told the government to keep publicising all relevant helpline numbers and information through audio, video and print medium continuously to educate people. “Even if you are in war, war needs propaganda,” the high court added.
“We direct the Centre and Delhi government to undertake publication of all relevant helpline numbers and information through all audio, video and print medium on a continuous basis as frequently as possible so as to educate people on facilities created by the State for testing and treatment of COVID-19 as well as other issues like mental health and issues arising in the society on account of the pandemic,” the court ordered.
It also said that Doordarshan and All India Radio which are the mediums of Central government should give advertisements daily on the issue.
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