Thursday, April 15

Beating lockdown blues: Kolkata cops sing ‘We shall overcome’ to people on balconies

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From “We shall overcome” to improvising a popular Bengali song, cops in Entally and Gariahat took to the streets to cheer people confined to their homes. The police efforts were lauded by netizens, some of whom even urged them to do it in their neighbourhoods, too.

A senior Gariahat officer said, “We have been trying to reach out to people, especially the elderly living alone.” The officer said they held a performance in Mandeville Gardens hoping to bring some cheer to people while stressing on the importance of the lockdown.

A 15-minute impromptu act by 10 cops from Entally police station also went viral on social media. The men in uniform used a microphone to sing ‘We Shall Overcome’ to more than 600 residents from three high-rises, who then joined in from their balconies and rooftops. Inspired by scenes in Italy, where musicians have performed from balconies to lift the spirit of people amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kolkata Police officers said it was their way of saying thank you to all those who are staying home and making the lockdown a success.

The man behind the idea in Entally, OC Debasis Dutta, said it was impromptu and the team did not rehearse or even plan to do it. “Entally police station has people from different strata of society. I knew that check-posts would help make the lockdown a success. But I felt we needed to reach out to people and explain that this action was necessary for their well-being. Ultimately, I sang the popular song that is so appropriate in these times,” he said.

The officers went around two of the biggest societies — Convent Corner and Convent Garden — and told residents to be at their respective balconies around 4.30pm on Wednesday.

“There was a speech in the beginning about the positives of the lockdown and I was ready to settle for the mundane. I got interested when I saw kids from the neighbourhood get ready to record something after cops spoke to them. I had no idea the officers would sing,” said Rajesh Khatri, a resident of one of the apartments.

“This is a step to ensure everyone keeps healthy. This is not imprisonment. This is the time to spread hope and we are doing that,” Dutta said.

 

Source: Times of India

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