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‘Abhimaan Punyacha’: Celebrating Pune’s Covid warriors

Wave after wave, Covid19 has wreaked havoc across the world, with frontline warriors and volunteers and common citizens joining hands to battle it and defeat it. Pune’s own army of warriors has relentlessly held fort - saving lives, sharing hope. Seasoned and new, old and young, rich and poor, professional and passionate, the city has seen them come as one to overcome the challenges, and in the process developed what is today known as the Pune Model.

So, what is the Pune Model? It’s the one that is built on 4 key pillars - the governing departments, corporates, NGOs and citizens, who have worked individually and collectively to help the city successfully conquer the second wave of the pandemic. They have rallied for funds, where corporates have collaborated, and individuals have sold personal assets and emptied their savings - raising crores of rupees to help buy medicines, ventilators, food, and clinic shelters. They have created frameworks and processes to respond to SOSs in minimum wait time, both online and offline. They have rushed people to hospitals in converted ambulances, adopted the elderly in 24x7 care, counselled across borders, donated plasma over and over again and even provided basic utilities including food, ration-kits and even shoes. They have even broken gender and religion stereotypes by cremating the deceased and sanitizing their homes.

Not the ones to watch from the side-lines, “What can we do to help?” was the only motivation needed for members of Setu Advertising to hit the drawing board. They conceptualised it and executed Abhimaan Punyacha (The Pride of Pune), a celebration of these amazing heroes through a media- wide campaign that puts an identity to nameless faces, tells their stories, and recognizes their contribution. True to the spirit, the campaign honours people from across faiths, genders, occupations and even political parties. After all, serving humanity is larger than any individual beliefs.

‘Abhimaan Punyacha’: Celebrating Pune’s Covid warriors

The stories, of course, are endless. From a rickshaw driver ferrying Covid patients to young girls taking up cremation duties, and transgender community helping neighbourhoods to the top leadership of MCCIA; people from every social strata have rallied together. You’ll find them popular in the city not just by their own names but the ones their grateful fans have given them - plasma rani, dabba didi, sanitizer dada, doctors for beggars and the like.

Setu’s team set up a war room where they called, verified and collected stories, invited these heroes to shoot videos, share pictures and details, edit, make final artworks and reels in four days flat! All of it while not to feel overwhelmed by the goodness and courage they met everyday.

‘Abhimaan Punyacha’: Celebrating Pune’s Covid warriors

'Abhimaan Punyacha!' kicked off its salute with a city-wide OOH campaign. This was followed by a special anthem that channelised the spirit and paid them heartfelt gratitude and accolades. The anthem found its way on radio, social media platforms and other sharable platforms.

‘Abhimaan Punyacha’: Celebrating Pune’s Covid warriors

3 short films that were picturised on real stories were released along with 30+ short docu-clips on various social media platforms. Two longer documentaries are still in the offing.

‘Abhimaan Punyacha’: Celebrating Pune’s Covid warriors

The campaign showcases the real essence of the Pune Model, which has successfully helped the city fight the pandemic and has inspired similar initiatives across Maharashtra. Widely received in a really short time, the campaign has reached many people and inspired many more. BJP Kolhapur has adopted the same under the name “Abhimaan Kolhapur Cha’ and as has the Congress. What greater compliment for an idea that won't stop growing!

(We got this information in a press release).