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New campaign on stories of India's courage amid COVID-19

Devarakonda,_India_(Unsplash)

With the message 'himmat hai toh jeet hai', a new campaign and its anthem bring out stories of fortitude from the ground

By Siddhi Jain

​September 14, 2020 (IANSlife) P​utting India's common citizens - tailors, kirana shop owners, autorickshaw drivers, teachers and more - at its centre, a new inspirational anthem titled ‘Himmat Hai Toh Jeet Hai’ ​launched on Monday, kickstarting with it a two-month-long campaign to celebrate 'himmat' or fortitude Indians are displaying in their fight against COVID-19.

This ​celebration of ​s​tories of ​c​ourage ​and​ ho​​pe​ amid COVID-19​, has been launched by ​Population Foundation of India​ (PFI). As the country tries to slowly recover some semblance of normalcy even in the face of rising COVID-19 cases and an economic downturn, ​the campaign and ​anthem ​spotlight ​​stories of everyday courage a​​nd hope displayed by ordinary people wh​​o rose to t​​he occasion.

With powerful lyrics that speak of jeet (victory) over challenges faced due to the pandemic, the ​newly-launched ​anthem features a cross-section of society impacted. It reinfo​​rces th​​e need for India to stay strong: To Win.​ ​The camp​​aign is guided by renowned film and ​​theatre director Feroz Abbas Khan​, who is is PFI’s Creative Advisor​.

​According to ​Feroz Abbas Khan​, i​n the worst of times the be​​st in us must shine.​ ​"Covid is the biggest challenge humanity has faced in almost 100 years,and we are still grappling with it.​ ​We can either let the enormity overwhelm us or we decide to counter it with determination and use hope as a powerful weapon​," he told IANSlife. ​​ 
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​"​Being a public health organisation that specialises in social and behaviour change communication, PFI​​ has been working with the government in its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic since the national lockdown began. PFI supported MyGov India, a citizen engagement platform of​ the​ Government of India and multiple sta​​te governments towards car​​rying out emergency risk prevention communication. PFI produced, created and curated educational material on masks, steps to stay safe, myth-busters on COVID-19 and physical distancing under #TogetherAgainstCOVID. As the country is reopening, we believe it is important to reinforce people’s sense of unity and solidarity to emerge stronger together out of this pandemic.​ ​Hence the Himmat Hai Toh Jeet Hai campaign will be highlighting stories of extraordinary courage and hope in the face of challenges​," Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of Population Foundation of India​ told IANSlife.​ 

She adds, the ​campaign has been envisaged to encourage everyone to look ahead with hope and fortitude as life resumes within the context of the pandemic and people have to embrace the ‘new normal’.  This campaign will feature true stories of everyday Indians who have overcome challenges caused by the pandemic with resilience. We will also release an anthem, with empowering lyrics and music that can become the mantra of victory – as India slowly but steadily emerges out of the pandemic.

Many of the stories featured in the campaign are from PFI’s own work​, and also come out from their collaborative work with People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), civil society organisations and development partners.

(This article is website exclusive and cannot be reproduced without the permission of IANSlife)

Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in