Udaipur : Like elsewhere, the Muslim community in Chittorgarh too,initially had their reasons for shunning the COVID vaccination drive. Most of them believed taking the shot would bring side effects, some felt they would probably catch the contagion if they took the dose and some even felt that the injection would make the men impotent. When logic and reasons failed to convince the populace, the district administration devised a new plan. Collector Tarachand Meena called a meeting of the religious leaders of the Muslim community and asked them to take the lead.
“Get yourself vaccinated first and show them no one would die of the jab but the risk lies when one shuns it” the DM told the Shahar Qazi Abdul Mustafa, Anjuman Sadar Zameel Khan, Secretary Faiz Mohammed and other office bearers of the Islamic organizations. His appeals made an impact and Qazi Mustafa took the vaccine himself followed by other prominent and influential leaders of the community.
Special vaccination camps were organized by the medical department in association with the Muslim organizations where people were motivated to get their doses. Collector Meena, Chittorgarh SP Deepak Bhargava, Municipal Chairman Sandeep Sharma too showed up at these camps and counseled people on the benefits of vaccination and disadvantages of skipping it. Gradually the special drive began showing positive results and people started turning up in good numbers to take the jab.
“The first camp was held at Chheepa Jamatkhana on June1 where 135 persons above 45 years of age were vaccinated. The second camp at Anjuman school had 70 people for the vax on June 3. Now as the message is spreading, people have started inquiring for the nextcamp”Avesh Akhtar Kuka of Anjuman Millate Islamiya Sansthan said. To encourage more people towards the drive, some innovative measures were planned out.
“At the vaccination camp, a desk has been set up where families are being registered under the Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme. Also the corona rapid antigen test, blood pressure, sugar tests are also being held by the medical teams which are the supplementary benefits for the community members” Collector Meena said. In camps being held at the slum areas, a member of the Anjuman cabinet Khizra Khan distributed 5 kilograms of rice to families to inspire them for vaccination. All those who got the first dose were given N95 masks and a bottle of sanitiser each.The efforts are paying off well as people are coming ahead to get themselves vaccinated and also motivating others by refuting the misconceptions related to it.