India’s first female comic superhero Priya, a gang-rape survivor who earlier campaigned against rape, acid attack and sex trafficking, is back to fight disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Priya’s Mask, due to be launched on 2 December, the comic crusader joins hands with Jiya, the “Burka Avenger”, a popular character from a Pakistani cartoon show, as the two go about trying to tackle the pandemic – and also the “infodemic”, a major proliferation in fake news surrounding the coronavirus.
With more than 9.4 million infections and 137,000 deaths, India has the second highest caseload globally. A strict nationwide lockdown that was imposed on 21 March delayed the spread for a while, but infections grew rapidly – and continue to do so – since restrictions were relaxed.
A major challenge in India’s fight against COVID-19 has been the false and misleading information around the pandemic, which is often shared quickly. Through this campaign, the creators wanted to challenge misinformation, dispel fear, and support the health workers and others at the forefront of the fight against the virus.