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COVID-19 vaccination drives to ensure 100% registration in 106 Adivasi habitations in Odisha

NEWS

By GV News Desk

17 May 2021

Gram Vikas teams on the field in 106 Adivasi habitations of Kalahandi in Odisha are working to improve the vaccine uptake among the remote rural communities. The multipronged strategy to countering vaccine hesitancy involves community outreach with awareness messages, supporting gram panchayats with information dissemination, dispelling misinformation, and onboarding local community volunteers to help people register on the CoWIN website.

Educational posters from the government promoting preventive measures such as frequent handwashing, covering of the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or handkerchief, and immediately disposing of the used tissue into a dustbin are exhibited in public places. The poster messages encourage people to consult a doctor or visit the nearest health center while wearing a mask if there are symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty in breathing and isolate themselves. They are told to avoid spitting in open and visiting crowded places.

Gram Vikas’ Shramik Bandhu Sewa Kendra (SBSK)/ Migrant Worker Service Center, located in Adri village of Thuamul Rampur block of the district is functioning as a vaccination registration center. Mobile van units travelled across the habitations informing people of this service availability and encouraging them to register for vaccination for free.

Ram Majhi, a 30 year old young man from Pengdhusi village, visited the center yesterday with his wife, Jashoda Majhi, 26 years, to register for the vaccine. He says people in his village were hesitant to take the vaccination until Gram Vikas’ mobile units reached them with information, “Before your vehicle came to our village, like me, many others in the village thought it would cost us money to register for the vaccine. Also, we did not know how and where to register. We heard the audio message from the speaker on the vehicle which came to our village last week, announcing the COVID appropriate behavior to be followed and to register free of cost for the Government vaccine at Gram Vikas’s Shramik Bandhu Sewa Kendra (SBSK) located in Adri village. I also read the poster with the address of the SBSK center and decided to come here with my wife with our Aadhar cards. I will encourage others to come here as the registration is being done so quickly. Only after coming here, I have come to know that we can register four family members on one registration ID so registration is very swift and can be done for many members of a family simultaneously. Also, there is no fear coming here as COVID appropriate behaviour is being strictly followed at the center.”

As part of the COVID-19 response, Gram Vikas started the vaccination drive in the Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district on 15 May 2021. We will reach out to 106 habitations in six Gram Panchayats under this block. We are starting the vaccination registration drive at our SBSK center in Gopalpur Gram Panchayat from tomorrow.

Overall, Gram Vikas’ vaccination drives will reach half a million people in 1500 habitations across 12 districts in Odisha and Jharkhand. The registration drives which started on 10 May has so far registered 1347 people across 74 habitations in 48 Gram Panchayats.

Gram Vikas’ COVID-19 response programme is multi-pronged as marginalised communities struggle with interlinked issues of health, life, livelihoods, food, mental health because of the pandemic.

You can support our ongoing response work here: COVID-19 RELIEF FUND FOR HEALTH & LIFE SECURITY

Field reporting by Puran Majhi, Bidyutprava Praharaj and Gokul Nath of Gram Vikas.

Educational posters from the government promoting preventive measures and poster with the address of the SBSK center are exhibited in public places.

Photograph by Gokul Nath

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