COVID-19 Vaccination-Focussed Caller Tune Replaces Voice of Amitabh Bachchan

The new caller tune urges mobile subscribers in India to take COVID-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccination-Focussed Caller Tune Replaces Voice of Amitabh Bachchan

Photo Credit: Reuters

Callers in India will no longer hear Amitabh Bachchan's voice highlighting COVID-19 safety measures

Highlights
  • Telecom operators have been directed to implement the new caller tune
  • It replaces the earlier one that featured Amitabh Bachchan’s voice
  • The previous caller tune saw public criticism

As India is kicking off its vaccination drive from Saturday, the existing caller tune featuring the coronavirus public service announcement voiced by Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been replaced with a new message that aims to spread awareness about the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. Telecom operators have started rolling it out in the country and is by default ringing out for mobile subscribers. The earlier caller tune that highlighted safety measures for the contagious disease was objected to by several people as they were forced to listen to the message when making a new call.

Unlike the previous tune that had the voice of Amitabh Bachchan, the new caller tune has a female voice that talks about the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

“The new year has brought a new ray of hope in the form COVID-19 vaccine,” the caller tune says. “The vaccine developed in India is safe and effective and provides immunity against COVID. That's why trust the Indian vaccines. Please take vaccination when your turn comes and don't trust rumours.”

It also provides a link to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (www.mohfw.gov.in) and the number of the national COVID-19 helpline that is 1075.

The new caller tune has started rolling out by telcos ahead of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Sources familiar with the development informed Gadgets 360 that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has directed the operators to place the new caller tune. Similar to the earlier version, it is applied by default for all mobile subscribers.

Several users complained about the existing caller tune on social media as they were forced to listen to the message before connecting to a caller. A public interest litigation was also filed before the Delhi High Court earlier this month to seek a direction to remove the caller tune talking about precautions against COVID-19.

The trend of spreading coronavirus-related awareness through caller tunes started in March last year — ahead of the nationwide lockdown. The initial version included a coughing sound.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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