"We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday."
Pete Seeger's iconic song got new life recently when a few Kolkata Police officials took to the streets to sing along with residents in a bid to uplift their spirits during the lockdown.
With the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rapidly increasing in the country, Indians have been put under a lockdown across states till April 14 in order to contain the virus and encourage people to practice social distancing.
However, police officials, who fall under the "essential" category have been exempted from the lockdown. Cops around the country have been donning different avatars in order to make the public aware of the dangers of COVID-19 and how staying at home is the only way to keep the virus at bay. From helmets shaped like the virus to theatrics, cops really have stepped up their game.
In Kolkata, the men in white are now going around the city and using music to educate citizens and at the same time, entertain them during the lockdown.
"Police have been assigned the task of spreading awareness and have been given the freedom to do so in whatever way they please. The cops came up with the idea themselves," said Rupesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic department) in Kolkata.
Videos of officials singing "We shall overcome" have gone viral on social media. In the videos, one of the cops can be seen singing while the others soon join in. He even encourages the civilians to join the chorus:
Thank you #KolkataPolice @KolkataPolice ♥️We Shall Overcome We Shall Overcome We Shall Overcome Someday! ♥️ Kolkata Police personnel were seen motivating the people by singing world famous song 'We Shall Overcome'...#LockDown #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/R6joU5N7yY— Mohammad Feroz Khan (@sufekhan) April 3, 2020
Yes, we shall overcome... listen to this innovative way of spreading awareness by Kolkata Police officer... Please stay home and maintain social distancing... #Covid19India #StayHomeStaySafe #StayHomeSaveLives #Social_Distancing #BreakTheChain #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/gYVVMLsJtB— Neeloo Sherpa, IPS (@Neelsher) April 2, 2020
A Kolkata Police @KolkataPolice official singing "we shall overcome" to cheer up the people during lockdown. @DeccanHerald #IndiaFightsCorona #COVID19Pandemic pic.twitter.com/qIdIZUYBxK— Soumya Das (@Soumyareporting) April 3, 2020
In another video that has gone viral, some cops can be seen singing a revised version of singer Anjan Dutt's cult song, 'Bela Bose'. The song has been given a coronavirus twist and the lyrics have been tweaked to make the audience aware of social distancing and washing hands. They've also managed to include the helpline numbers in the lyrics!
"Look, people have been feeling depressed and gloomy because of the lockdown. We thought this would cheer them up and uplift their spirits. The cops enjoy it as well, that's why they're doing it voluntarily," said Anuj Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Kolkata.
The lockdown hasn't been easy for anyone, including the cops. But using music to convey the message can truly help lighten the mood, as Sharma said.