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Coronavirus lockdown | Bouncer turns ‘God of death’ to keep people indoors, survive

Abhijit Sadukhan dressed up Yamraj in streets of Kolkata.

Abhijit Sadukhan dressed up Yamraj in streets of Kolkata.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

From keeping order in a bar, jobless youth now dresses up as Yamraj to help local clubs enforce lockdown

草草影院最新地址入口Over the past few days residents of north Kolkata’s Bonhooghly locality are seeing Yamraj (the Hindu God of Death) —once he catches up with the out of breath resident, the ‘Death God’ hands out a mask and some free advice to stay at home during the lockdown.

What looks like a voluntary social awareness campaign around COVID-19 turns out to be a story of loss of livelihood and distress for the man in his mid-20s, who is dressed up as Yamraj.

“I used to work as a bouncer in a local bar,” 23-year-old Abhijit Sadhukhan, who has been making a living by dressing up as Yamraj, told The Hindu. “Because of the lockdown the bar closed down on March 22 and I am out of work,” he added. Mr. Sadhukhan said he does not know whether the bar will open again and even if it does whether he will get the job — to escort unruly customers out — back. “So, at the request of a few local clubs I decided to dress as Yamraj and earn some money,” he explained. On days that he gets work, the new job fetches him about ₹500 a day.

“Though there has been no regular work, in the past one month I have been hired by four different clubs in the locality to spread awareness about the disease,” the youth, who hails from Khardah in North 24 Parganas, said.

Also read: Inter-Ministerial Central Team waits as Centre-West Bengal face off

草草影院最新地址入口Though it takes a while for Mr. Sadhukhan to apply the requisite make up and wear the costume, he said he was enjoying his role as Yamraj. “With this frightening make up and the mace some people actually get startled. The idea is to give the message that people are playing with death by going out,” he said. But even dressing up as the ‘God of Death’ has its limitations and he is only able to play the role for a few days in a particular neighbourhood. The organisers, who pay him, said that once people in an area got used to seeing Yamraj around, the messaging stopped working.

草草影院最新地址入口Earlier, the Kolkata Police had organised innovative awareness campaigns in the city, where officers of several police stations had altered the lyrics of popular Bengali songs to spread awareness.

Till Friday, Mr. Sadukhan was engaged by the Bonhooghly GCGS Yubak Sangh, a local club.

“Putting a person dressed as Yamraj was one aspect of several measures from our club,” said Sankar Rout, secretary of the local men’s club. “We were seeing that people were coming out of their home and the Yamraj going and frightening them was working,” he added. Mr. Rout also said that now the club’s focus had shifted to distributing rations and that “the services of Abhijit Sadhukhan are no longer required from Sunday”.

草草影院最新地址入口Mr. Sadhukhan, who has a septuagenarian mother to look after, is left with no alternative but to wait, till some other club or voluntary organisation wants to give him some work. And he is willing to play any role, provided he gets an opportunity.

Also read: No transparency in West Bengal

“I can dress up like Hanuman, Mahishasur or Chhota Bheem (a cartoon character), if the clubs want to spread the same message on COVID-19,” he said. For now, the Hindu God of Death has very little to look forward to.

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Printable version | Apr 27, 2020 2:37:33 AM | http://hwgcfsf.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-lockdown-bouncer-turns-god-of-death-to-keep-people-indoors-survive/article31435559.ece

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