Schoolchildren are taking the ‘Pushpa’ route with fake snack brands

Even seven months after the release of Allu Arjun’s star pushpathe influence of the hero’s mannerisms and dialogues continue to shake the classrooms of many public schools in the Chittoor and Annamaya districts, which form the gateway to the red sander-rich Seshachalam hill ranges.

As the Chittoor dialect used in the film is endemic to the region, the dialogues of pushpa could easily dig into young minds. As if to add fuel to the fire, their passion for the film is exploited by unknown manufacturers of certain snacks named after the film with packaging emblazoned with the hero’s images, having dialogues like ” Pusha ante flower anukuntivah – Pushpa ante fire” (Do you think Pushpa is a flower, Pushpa is fire). Other images showed the hero speaking other popular dialogues such as ” Taggede Le“. These packages are devoid of any address, nor of the manufacturer, nor of the date of packaging.

Targeting schoolchildren, particularly in the 5-10 age bracket, the unknown dealers are supplying “Pushpa snacks” to small shops and makeshift kiosks under trees near schools in border towns and villages of Chittoor and of Tamil Nadu.

A senior Telugu language teacher at a public primary school in Nagari Municipality said that children aged 5-7 years old were the most vulnerable to the lure of “Pushpa” snacks. “Each student buys at least three to four packs a day. After eating the contents, the wrappers are kept,” she said. Another teacher said that there was a mistake among children that if they could collect 100 wrappers, they would have the opportunity to meet the hero.

“And a collection of 500 wrappers would allow them to play in the Pushpa III part,” joked a public school principal in Nindra. He admitted that his grandson had so far collected close to the target number, while several of them had been destroyed by his parents.

Nadhamuni (40), a parent of two in Piler Mandal, said fake ‘Pushpa’ snacks had also generated a bad idea among children. Holding the wrappers in their hands, the schoolchildren feel on cloud nine as they walk down Pushpa Road, with a drooping shoulder and brandishing toy guns, it is observed.

A shop owner near a school in Nagari said she could sell nearly 100 packs of ‘Pushpa’ snacks, each for ₹5. “I get each pack for ₹2, and profits and sales are guaranteed,” she said.

Responding to the development, District Education Officer (Chittoor) Shriram Purushottam said any food packaged without mentioning manufacturers’ permissions and addresses would not be allowed to be sold near schools. Criminal action would be there against such violations, he said.

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