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Village-Level Public Awareness Campaign Convinces People To Get The Covid-19 Vaccine In Tripura

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Translated from Kokborok by Hamari Jamatia

I come from a village called Maharani which is in the Udaipur District of Tripura. My village is one of the oldest in the state and is home to primarily the Jamatia and the Reang community. Our communities are very close-knit and therefore the threat of Corona Virus has also been handled as a united team.

A Vaccination Centre at Maharani Village

It so happens that like many other parts of the country, Maharani was also inundated by rumours about the Covid-19 vaccine. It was believed that it led to deaths and that it was unsafe for people. These days there is also a new rumour going around that it makes the human body magnetic.

To counter all the rumours and encourage every villager to get the vaccine, the village held several meetings under the leadership of the headmen (Chokdiri) Bipad Dhan Jamatia and Kanai Lal Jamatia. In the meetings, the headmen told the villagers that taking the vaccine shall be mandatory for the adults of the village who are above 45 years of age. They said that widespread vaccination shall protect not just the elderly but also the younger generation. "We began to hold meetings 3-4 days before the date of the vaccination camp. Most people in the village agreed to get the vaccine. If someone gets left out then we will request them again to get the jab," Bipad Dhan said.

Based on the above meetings, a vaccination camp was organised on June 12 at the Hatichara Anganwadi Centre. This is the second time that a vaccination camp has been set up in the area. The vaccination drive was spearheaded by three Multipurpose Health Workers—Mani Singh Jamatia, Madhu Bala Jamatia, and Deepa Paul. They were aided by Asha workers Bakul Rani Jamatia and Gulap Rani Jamatia. Thanks to the awareness drive by the village committee, every adult came and got the vaccine. One of them was Bishnu Rani who had earlier refused to get vaccinated but who changed her mind this time. She said she finally understood the seriousness of the virus.

MPW Mani Singh Jamatia said, “We had several meetings with the people of the village to dispel the myths surrounding Covid-19 vaccinations. While the residents of some hamlets understood the need for vaccination there are people in other hamlets who are still reluctant to get the jab.” In total 36 people above the age of 35 received the vaccine on June 12. “We will be holding regular vaccination camps so those people who have not come today can take it on another date. We will ensure that everyone gets vaccinated,” Jamatia added. Asha worker Bakul Rani who hails from Nuabari said that they will be setting up a camp on June 21 for people above the age of 18.

Through this article, I would like to request everyone to get vaccinated. Scientists around the world have put in a lot of effort to make the vaccine and now lakhs of doctors and nurses are working round the clock to prevent people from getting the virus. We need to stop the virus before it can reach our bodies.

This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.


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