RANCHI: Despite health workers facing oppostion from the villagers, Churdag located in the Maoist hotbed of Khunti became the first village in the district to attain 100 per cent vaccination rate on Friday.
Interestingly, Churdag is located in Torpa Block where an FIR was lodged against a villager in Unkuda for opposing the Covid vaccination drive.
Notably, people in rural areas, especially the tribal dominated districts like Gumla, Khunti, Simdega and other adjoining districts, were reluctant to get Covid vaccine, fearing death.
Not only were they reluctant to take the jabs, but health workers reaching out to tribal villages for vaccination and awareness drives were being attacked by the villagers.
The Self Help Group (SHG), women working in the villages, community leaders, political leaders and ground level staff working in Panchayati raj institutions, worked hard for over two months to convince them to get the jabs. Officials also asserted that these people played lead role in removing the hesitancy against Covid vaccine among the villagers.
"A multiple strategy was applied in which with the help of SHG women working in the villages, community leaders, political leaders and panchayati raj institutions was taken to remove hesitancy from vaccination among the tribal villages of Jharkhand," said Nodal Officer for Health Departments IEC wing, Siddharth Tripathi.
Most possible areas were chosen first for the vaccination drive so that people living in adjacent villages get encouraged for the jab after watching them getting it successfully, he added.
According to Tripathy, there are people who wanted to stall the vaccination drive due to some unknown reasons and hence were trying to misguide people through spreading rumours like people might die or they might become impotent after taking the jabs.
Khunti Deputy Commissioner Shashi Ranjan also said that the district administration has succeeded in removing the confusion among the people living in tribal regions. Government agencies and ground level workers have really done a commendable job in convincing the villagers.
"Whatever were the issues, they have been sorted out and vaccination drive is being conducted in a smooth manner. Ground level mobilization of the people through SHG members, teachers and medical professionals lead to such results. We are committed to replicate the same in each village of Khunti," said the DC.
Churdag, possibly is he first village in Khunti to attain 100 per cent vaccination, he added. Churdag has a population of 382 persons out of which all eligible members, barring seven people who are either ill or pregnant, have been vaccinated.
Likewise, villages like Banmara and Jins Jara Kani in Simdega, located on the borders of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have shown similar spirit and attained 100 per cent vaccination.