A Chennai-based artist has modelled an auto-rickshaw after vaccines in a bid to raise awareness about Covid-19 vaccination. Large replicas of syringes and vaccine vials have been attached to the vehicle modified using pipes, plywood, cardboard and painted in light blue colour.

Gowtham, the founder of ‘Art Kingdom’ who had earlier created a coronavirus-inspired helmet donned by a police inspector during the first wave of Covid, modified the auto-rickshaw in collaboration with the Greater Chennai Corporation.

“I was working on creating the awareness around vaccination and I approached Greater Chennai Corporation which was also planning to do something similar. So together we came up with ‘vaccine auto’. The project was supposed to be materialised two months ago but unfortunately it got delayed as I was infected with Covid-19,” Gowtham told indianexpress.com.

The auto is run by a person named Manikandan who covers each zone of the corporation on a day-to-day basis. Gowtham says the zonal medical officers would provide them with a list of areas where there is a lack of awareness about vaccination. GCC zone supervisors will also be present during the drive. Gowtham and other volunteers give out pamphlets related to vaccines and encourage people to ask their queries about vaccination.

“Despite so much effort put by GCC, many people in the city are still not aware of the vaccines. There is a fear factor as well. We explain to them how vaccines have eradicated diseases in the past. A woman came up to me and said she had no idea about vaccines. I told her to approach a nearby primary healthcare centre carrying the required documents to get vaccinated. Many people are unaware of the difference between Covishield and Covaxin and we were explaining them all these things in a simple language,” he said.

The auto is designed in such a way that there will be no damage to it even if there is rain and it can travel at a speed up to 80 kmph, said Gowtham.

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