The actor, doctor though cautions that one shouldn’t lose sight of the sensitivity at hand and strike a right balance between humour and health awareness in any content
By Mayur Lookhar
Nothing spreads more faster than panic, especially in a country like India. May be that Is why it becomes imperative to have a sense of humour. However, it is common to see that in the garb of humour, many a times, we come across insensitive posts. Social media is flooded with insensitive posts pertaining to the deadly Coronavirus that has killed over 3300 globally, largely China – the epicenter of the epidemic. Not too long ago, Bangalore-based doctor and actor Dr.Jagdish Chaturvedi had come up with video on Coronavirus awareness.
Jokes in personal capacity is fine, but one must take into consideration how sensitive or incentive a content is perceived. Dr.Chaturvedi struck a right balance of humour and awareness in his YouTube post. In the video, Chaturvedi plays Coronavirus, punning on few words but also cautioning people how to stay away from the deadly virus.
Why resort to humour to spread a global health awareness message?
“As a person who wants to send information, you have to understand what is the market spreading. Today, there are largely two things shared – hate or jokes. You invent something but nobody is likely to know that. But if you say something through humour, then it is likely to appeal to them. Keeping in mind that behaviour, that sensitivity, I made that video,” Chaturvedi said at the launch of his web series Starting Troubles  a few weeks ago.
Chaturvedi reiterated that he kept the sensitivity of the grave issue at hand while conceiving such video.
“In that video, I am speaking from the point of view of the virus. I am the virus telling how you ]humans] can be safe from me. How you can keep your distance from me,” said Chaturvedi. He continues, “ I just made it entertaining for people are likely to watch an entertainment content for at least 10 seconds. If I were to speak in a serious like, ‘Good morning, I am COVID, people will skip it immediately.”
Chaturvedi is right in his assessment. Often Indian audiences don’t consume straight forward content. A little bit of humour, catchy tone can instantly hook an audience to a health awareness content.
Chaturvedi speaking in the Mumbai-lingo has its mass appeal. We didn’t find anything insensitive in the video.
“If people start sharing straight forward things then there is no reason to do something like this. It has to be effective. However, if I want to spread the message, then I ought to adopt humour. You have to strike the right balance. Thankfully , it didn’t get any negative comments,” asserts the good doctor.
Watch the video to draw your own conclusions. With Coronavirus now sadly spreading in India as well, we urge people to not panic and watch this awareness video.
It’s hard to find good doctors as actors, and especially one with a sense of humour. Usually, doctors are perceived as no-nonsense, serious, sometimes cold professionals. When things go wrong, unfortunately, the doctor-patient relationship is viewed through the stereotype of doctors exploiting patient, being negligent.
‘When I started doing comedy, a lot of people told me , why will any patient come to a joker? Now when I ask my patients, ‘why do you come to a a joker? They say, a joker is less threatening than a usual doctor,” Chaturvedi told BeyondBollywood.
The good thing is that Chaturvedi assured us that there are more ‘jokers’ like him who have started to follow their hobby too.
Starting Troubles , India’s first medical comedy on digital space, is currently streaming on Hiih.
Watch the trailer of Starting Troubles  below.