There are guitars and djembe, the African drum. As the eight-member band moves slowly along the lane in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri, the lead vocalist looks fairly familiar. Yes, it is indeed the area MLA, Rohit Mehraulia.
“इना मीका डीका, लगवाओ भैया टीका” 🎸AAP विधायक @KumarMehraulia ने Guitar बजाकर Vaccination जागरूकता अभियान चलाया!https://t.co/X2ZgQTjEas
— Aam Aadmi Party Delhi (@AAPDelhi) 1622711532000
A former music teacher at St Francis School in Ghaziabad, Mehraulia was elected to Delhi assembly from Trilokpuri in the 2020 polls.
“इना-मीना-डीका, लगाओ भाई टीका” That’s How AAP MLA @KumarMehraulia is sending the message across to get #vaccinatedhttps://t.co/m4FXJWGfq3
— Aarti (@aartic02) 1622718303000
He has been using his vocal talents to campaign against vaccine hesitancy in this constituency, where mostly economically vulnerable communities live. And the legislator says people respond heartily to the lyrics.
Mehraulia, who also used to perform in Ashok Hotel till 2013, said he was discussing routine matters with his team in his office a few days ago when a bulb lit in his head. Why not use music to teach people about the risks involved in shunning the Covid-19 vaccine? There was excitement all around.
Trying to use art to spread message on health: MLA
We wrote the song then and there and decided its tune would follow the rhythm scheme of Kishore Kumar’s hit song, Eena meena deeka, from the film Aasha,” smiled Mehraulia.
It helped that being musically minded, the MLA had singers and musicians working in his team. The project was quickly completed and the band descended on the streets. “People in my assembly constituency have been very receptive to the song,” said Mehraulia.
“Once the song gets over, curious residents approach us with questions. It gives us the opportunity to debunk myths about the Covid vaccine.” Mehraulia said that he and other workers from the MLA office, who are also artistes, have been making the rounds of the areas with poor vaccination rates. It is a full band ensemble that goes around with speakers, mics, percussion instruments and guitars.
“We are also trying to send the song’s message through social media,” he added. Before his election as a member of the legislative assembly in 2020, Mehraulia was the municipal councillor of Trilokpuri and leader of the opposition in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. “Before opting for public life in 2017, I used to teach music up to Class 10 at St Francis’ School in Indirapuram. After classes ended, I would perform in Ashok Hotel for three hours every evening,” he said.
Mehraulia entertained the hotel’s guests for over 15 years between 1998 and 2013. “Now I am trying to use my art to spread a good message on public health,” he added.