KOZHIKODE: Keralites across the globe are now engaged in a spirited endeavour that showcases the unfazed mindset of Malayalees -- keep ticking the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund for a cause. And no wonder, Rs 2.28 crore was deposited in the CMDRF account within 45 hours, as of 9pm on Friday. The day’s deposit alone comes to Rs 1.76 crore.
The hashtag #VaccineChallenge — trending on social media — was meant to replenish the state government’s kitty as it has to spend a whopping amount towards vaccinating people for free. The idea is to voluntarily give back the vaccine amount to the government and encourage others to replicate the same.
The ‘challenge’ was fuelled by the central government’s policy of allowing differential pricing for the Covid-19 vaccine, even as the state government declared it will be provided for free.
While the price fixed for a dose is Rs 400, rough estimates say the state will have to spend Rs 1,300 crore to administer the mandatory double dosage to its entire population above 18 years. The people who are enthusiastically taking the ‘challenge’ are displaying the receipt of the payment made to CMDRF on social media alongside the slogan ‘Athanu Malayali’ (That’s a Malayali).
As per CMDRF sources, Rs 2.28 crore is the amount transferred through the portal alone. The other modes of contribution, like RTGS, will be accounted on a weekly basis. Though Rs 526.09 crore is the total contribution received from the general public through all modes towards battling Covid-19 since March 27 last year, the expenditure is Rs 730.22 crore.
CPM calls for replenishing CMDRF
On Friday, CPM state acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan called for replenishing the CMDRF in the wake of the Covid vaccination requirement. He had urged several party-affiliated organisations to take up the ‘challenge’.
Public contribution to CMDRF through all modes
(Since March 27, 2020)
Covid-19 Rs 526.09 crore
Floods (2018, 19) Covid-19
Rs 730.22 crore
Floods (2018, 19)
Rs 3,881.94 crore