Ending days of uncertainty, the panchayat chiefs in Malana, a remote village located in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, agreed to open their doors to healthcare workers to permit them to vaccinate the village folk against Covid.
Interestingly, the village chiefs’ decision on Saturday was taken after receiving blessings from their governing deity-- Jamdagni Rishi also known as Jamlu Devta.
While 36 people were vaccinated against the virus earlier, 73 people registered for the Covid-19 jabs on Saturday.
A medical team consisting 13 healthcare workers including doctors, paramedical and other support staff, led by chief medical officer (Kullu) Dr Sushil Chander and block medical officer Dr Sapna Sharma, navigated through 18 kms of hilly terrain to reach the remote village to set up a vaccination centre.
At the moment, only those above 45 years are being vaccinated in Malana.
On Saturday, the medical team kicked off the vaccination drive by first conducting an awareness session. “We told them about all Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing, hand-washing techniques, need for hygiene and masks,” Dr Chander said.
As the Malanis speak a distinct dialect and since most of them do not know Hindi, the medical team communicated with them through Nirma Devi, a young ASHA worker, who hails from the village. Devi was instrumental in convincing the village heads in favour of vaccination.
The developments come in the backdrop of Himachal Pradesh logging 2,341 new Covid infections and 55 fatalities on Saturday.