A Kashmiri newspaper is being lauded on social media after it distributed free face masks with its newspaper on July 21.
‘Roshni’, one of the oldest newspapers in Kashmir, encouraged readers to wear a mask due to the Covid-19 pandemic and also attached a disposable mask on its front page.
The text on the page said: “Mask ka istemal zaroori hai (using a mask is necessary)”, with an arrow pointing to the attached mask.
“With this, not only you, but those around you can be protected from coronavirus,” it read.
Editor-in-Chief of the daily newspaper, Zahoor Ahmad Shora said they realized many were still not taking wearing masks seriously and many had been seen out in the streets without masks on. He said that they had to hire more people to pack the masks and get the edition ready.
The initiative was praised by many on social media who pointed out that the paper is priced at just Rs 2, which is lower than the cost of the mask.
One Twitter user said: “They have taken “social responsibility” to next level. Not only have they encouraged their readers to use a mask but also attached a mask for them in the paper! Superb effort Roshni!”
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, in a tweet said, “Such a great initiative by our Urdu newspaper Roshni to affix a mask on the front page of the paper. It drives home the message about mask usage & also takes away the excuse about a mask not being readily available. Well done to whoever came up with this idea.”
Another Twitter user said that the idea should be emulated by other media outlets in order to raise awareness and fight Covid-19.
“Wow, what a great idea! Let all the newspapers in the country follow it for a day, fully or partially as per their budget. Respective Govt can sponsor this and can take credit,” said another person on Twitter.
Following a sharp spike in July, Jammu and Kashmir have 6,100 active cases, over 4,900 of them in the Valley. On July 20, the Union Territory saw its highest single-day spike of 751 cases, which also led to the cancelling of Amarnath Yatra this year.