Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs on July 15, 2021, launched the ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan and Uddyam’ nationwide campaign in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination of 10.5 crores tribal people in India.
Munda launched the COVID-19 campaign via a conference link-up with field camps in Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, and Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Rajat Bansal, District Collector, Bastar, and Harshika Singh, District Collector, Mandla, shared about preparation levels for vaccination in respective districts.
UNICEF India Representative, Dr Yasmin Haque said, “COVID-19 has exacerbated issues of access to sanitation, nutrition, and health services in the tribal areas making the people more vulnerable.
COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan and Uddyam Campaign: Implementation
•The campaign will be leveraging 45,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) of the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). The campaign is expected to declare Van Dhan Vikas Kendras and villages in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as COVID-19 free and related restrictions.
•The ground-level workers in villages, SHGs, traditional village headsmen, and the Van Dhan Kendras will be the focal points to implement the campaign.
COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan and Uddyam Campaign: Objectives
•The campaign promotes ‘Livelihoods with Health’ in tribal areas, accelerates the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals, fast tracks the activities of VDVK, and aids tribal people in continuing their livelihood activities such as procurement, value addition and marketing of forest produces, handicrafts, and handlooms.
•The campaign aims at keeping the tribal communities safe from COVID-19 and enable them to continue with their livelihood activities. The campaign is an important step at vaccinating the tribal people to ensure that the tribal areas are not impacted by the third wave of the pandemic.
•Last year, the tribal people were not able to access the forest for their livelihood activities due to COVID-19 restrictions.
•The goal of the campaign is to spread awareness among more than 50 lakh tribals about the free COVID-19 vaccination available at nearby centres and that getting vaccinated protects them from hospitalization and death.
•The campaign will further aid in busting myths, rumors, misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan and Uddyam Campaign: Focus areas
•The campaign will be focusing on three key areas:
•Jeevan (Life): Vaccination is free and key to life as every life and livelihood is precious.
•Jeevika (Livelihood): Vaccination against COVID-19 helps in continuing with Van Dhan Vikas Kendra and livelihood activities along with protection against hospitalization or death.
•Jaagrookta (Awareness): Simplification of the registration process for vaccination, place, accessibility to different age groups, especially women and elderly population. Van Dhan Vikas Kendras working in collaboration with stakeholders to make villages COVID-19 free.