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Tribals in This UP Village Say They've Not Been Told About COVID Vaccine

Tribal and OBC families in Uttar Pradesh's Wari village are allegedly unaware of the ongoing vaccination drive.

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WebQoof
3 min read

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Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan

"The educated people go and get vaccinated, but we are unable to get it done because we don't have any information."
Jilajit, Labourer and shop owner

Jilajit, 55, is one of the many villagers in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi district, who complain that nobody in their community has any information about the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The villagers in the community want the vaccine.&nbsp;</p></div>

The villagers in the community want the vaccine. 

(Photo: Video Volunteers)

Nearly 30 tribal and OBC families in Bhadohi's Wari village allege that neither ASHA workers nor the village head has visited them to create awareness about COVID-19.

"Neither did ASHA workers tell us nor did anyone else inform us about vaccination. We haven’t heard about it (vaccination) and we don’t step out of our house," says Gudiya, who had to drop out of school and now lives with the 12 members of her family in a small house.

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The residents told this reporter that most of the villagers are daily wage labourers, but since the pandemic, their work has been impacted as they stay indoors to protect themselves.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Staying indoors is the only preventive measure the villagers know of.&nbsp;</p></div>

Staying indoors is the only preventive measure the villagers know of. 

(Photo Courtesy: Video Volunteers)

"Why should I not ask for facilities? ASHA workers should come to our community and inform us. They should educate us, so that we can move ahead as well. If there is any subsidy or other facility, we should be informed about it. But unfortunately, we aren’t getting anything."
Jilajit, Labourer and shop owner

While these families allege neglect, ASHA workers and the village head claim that despite repeated attempts, the community doesn't relent.

Tired of Them, They Won't Listen: ASHA Workers

We spoke to two ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers in the village, who said that they were "tired" of explaining things to the members of the community.

"They simply refuse to listen to us," one of the ASHA workers said.

"We have gone to the Musahar community many times and have informed them about the vaccine, but they do not listen. They think that the vaccine will kill them. They say that they don’t want ration. They don’t listen. We are tired. ANM workers, officials, and the village head have been trying to talk to them. But they do not listen to anyone. They close the doors on our face."
Hansa Devi, ASHA Worker
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The villagers either work as daily wage labourers, or take up jobs such as making plates out of leaves and selling wood to earn their livelihood.&nbsp;</p></div>

The villagers either work as daily wage labourers, or take up jobs such as making plates out of leaves and selling wood to earn their livelihood. 

(Photo Courtesy: Video Volunteers)

Even the village head Vipin Singh says that the people refuse to get vaccinated on account of not having an Aadhaar card.

"There are two-three Musahar communities here and ASHA workers have visited all of them. Even I went there personally and told them to get vaccinated."

The nearest primary healthcare centre (PHC) is three kilometres away from the village. Bhadohi has 21 government vaccination centres (as mentioned on the CoWIN dashboard). Additional vaccination drives are conducted separately.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The nearest PHC wears a deserted look.&nbsp;</p></div>

The nearest PHC wears a deserted look. 

(Photo Courtesy: Video Volunteers)

Even health experts have argued that improving the pace of vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic and what's needed are community-led interventions that address vaccine hesitancy in the local context.

(Reporting: Kesha Devi for Video Volunteers)

(This story has been published as a part of The Quint’s COVID-19 fact-check project targeting rural women.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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