COVID-19 vaccination drives gained momentum with Centre’s liberalisation move, the elderly population in several areas are finding it tough to visit COVID-19 vaccination centres especially in remote areas

Mohan Singh, a police officer from J&K special police officer (SPO) and village defence committee (VDC) member, received a lot of praise from the internet after a video of him helping an elderly man man named Bashir Ahmed, 72,  go to a vaccination centre.

In Singh’s arduous climb lay the story of Reasi district’s success in vaccination, and efforts of the 5,700-plus VDC members across remote and hilly areas to allay vaccine fears among people and help them reach inoculation centres.

Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh,shared the video on twitter, the video shows a police officer carrying the man on his back as he climbed a mountainous region.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh took to the microblogging site and shared the video with a caption. ‘Proud of our frontline warrior SPO Mohan Singh from district #Reasi who helped 72-year-old Abdul Gani by lifting him on his shoulder to get vaccinated.”

In Singh’s arduous climb lay the story of Reasi district’s success in vaccination, and efforts of the 5,700-plus VDC members across remote and hilly areas to allay vaccine fears among people and help them reach inoculation centres.

And at night, these VDC members return to their duty of guarding their villages against militant attacks.Reasi’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Rajeev Sharma said 74 per cent of the district’s population above 45 years has been vaccinated.

Officials said this percentage would have been higher, but for the remote and hilly parts of the district, especially in Gulabgarh and Mahore, where a sizeable area still has poor road connectivity and a large number of people, being illiterate, are apprehensive of the vaccine. They said while 90 per cent people have been vaccinated in areas forming part of Reasi Assembly constituency, just about 50 per cent inoculation has been achieved in remote areas.

And it is here — in these distant, hilly areas — that police have joined the vaccination drive as a force multiplier

Reasi SP Shalindra Singh said he got 16 troop carrier vehicles modified into police vaccination ambulances to help Health Department officials reach remote areas. He also activated more than 6,000 police personnel and VDC members in remote areas with the task of motivating villagers.

While VDC members take elderly people on their back and convince the younger ones to go up to the vaccination centres, police provide lunch to poor families coming for inoculation, Singh said. He said nearly 70 per cent staff at police stations in remote areas is engaged in Covid vaccination duty during the day.

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