WARANGAL: Though the vaccination drive for Covid-19 is being carried out in full swing across the State, not everyone is convinced of the safety of the vaccine and many have opted not to take it. The people of Mariapuram under Geesugonda mandal in Warangal district, however, appear to have no qualms about the vaccine. Mariapuram has probably become the first village in the State where every eligible person has been vaccinated, thanks largely to the efforts of village Sarpanch Allam Bali Reddy — who has been a man on a mission — and his band of keen volunteers.
The village has a population of 800, of which all 314 people above the age of 45 have been vaccinated. Sarpanch Bali Reddy took a personal interest in collecting the details of people eligible for vaccination. He designated volunteers to identify and collect the details of eligible persons. By coordinating through a Whatsapp group created by the Sarpanch, the volunteers knocked on every door to create awareness and urged them to take the vaccine.
After they collected details of eligible persons, the latter were allotted vaccination slots. Under the Sarpanch’s directions, volunteers fixed slots for 60 eligible persons every day and also arranged vehicles to take them to the vaccination centre — an Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Geesugonda mandal of Warangal (Rural) district.
Showing the way
Speaking to Express, the Sarpanch said earlier, eligible persons were not coming forward on their own to take the vaccine. “I myself decided to take the vaccine, and after taking the first dose, posted my picture in the village Whatsapp group. After two days, a few people came forward. Noticing this trend, I formed a group of volunteers and urged them to fix slots for all eligible persons so that the beneficiaries can get themselves vaccinated without much hassle.
With sheer dedication, our volunteers got the job done, as a result of which we managed to successfully provide the first dose of vaccine to a good number of beneficiaries in the village. On learning about this, the remaining eligible persons, who were sceptical about taking the shots, approached us. First, they shared their fears to alleviate doubts surrounding the vaccine.
They asked me about the side effects and other things. Taking congnisance of the doubts people have, I reached out to the health officials and requested them to visit our village to create awareness among the citizens and clear doubts regarding the vaccine. This campaign also proved helpful. After taking opinion from medical experts, all the remaining eligible persons agreed to take the jabs at the UPHC situated in the mandal headquarters.
I arranged private vehicles to pick the beneficiaries from their homes to the vaccination centre, and drop them back after being vaccinated,” Bali Reddy said with much pride in their achievement. Pointing out that they have managed to provide first dose of the vaccine to all beneficiaries, the Sarpanch asserted that they are enthusiastically waiting to administer the second dose jabs to people.