On the 10th of March, a vaccination camp was organized in two wards of Bela, a village in the Khaira block of Jamui district. The ward is mainly populated by the Manjhi tribe, most of whom live in abject poverty and can not afford to miss a day’s labor to go and get vaccinated. Hence, to encourage vaccination uptake coupons of Rs. 200 were distributed, and 81 beneficiaries were successfully vaccinated against the target of 100. (Read more about the 10th March session site here)
Under the RECOVER program, all the beneficiaries are presented with certificates within three days of vaccination. The certificate acts as a proof that helps to seamlessly avail government services and helps with employment. However, the project team of Khaira block decided to leverage the occasion of Bihar Diwas to present certificates and offer all 81 vaccinated beneficiaries their moment to shine. The goal was to instill a sense of achievement and selfappreciation within the community for taking an important step
toward safety against COVID by getting vaccinated.
Beneficiaries with the Sarpanch Representative and ward member.
On the day of the event the two Village Mobilization Coordinators (VMCs), Shri Ram Kumar and Niraj Kumar went to the houses of each vaccinated beneficiary and invited them to the event. Bela’s Tola Sevak, Mahadev Manjhi, is the resident of the ward where the session site was organized. A government appointed representative, the Tola Sevak assists with education, enrollment of children and creates awareness of welfare schemes within the Manjhi community. Therefore, along with the VMCs, the Sevak helped the PCI team break refusal in the community and deliver the event invites.
The Bihar Diwas event was graced by the Sarpanch Pratinidhi (representative) Dr. Ramswaroop Yadav along with ward member Soni Devi. Two masks per person and a certificate was distributed to 60 of the 81 vaccinated beneficiaries. Those who weren’t present for the event were mostly daily wage laborers who were out for work. For them, the certificates were handed over to the Village Mobilization Coordinator (VMC) to deliver at the doorstep of the absent beneficiaries.
The Sarpanch Representative, also a Rural Medical Practitioner (RMP) is very well respected and trusted by the community. While addressing the village residents, Dr. Yadav shared his experiences and struggles trying to treat people during the pandemic due to low accessibility to the Primary Health Center (PHC). He shed light on the negative impact COVID can have and emphasized on the importance of getting vaccinated. He encouraged first dose recipients to ensure second dose uptake and be completely safe from COVID.
The project intention is to not just ensure beneficiaries are vaccinated but also to provide them a positive vaccination experience. Usually, the village residents have to go to a cyber cafe or out of the village to get the certificates printed. While some can afford to spend some money on this, some cannot even afford to pay Rs. 10 for certificates that help avail government services and employment.
Bihar Diwas event captured in the local newspaper ‘Shwet Patra’.
Equitable inclusion being one of the objectives, the project caters to special groups and vulnerable populations. Right from counseling, door-step as well as hybrid local vaccine site sessions, to post-vaccine care follow-ups and certificate distribution – the entire process is human-centered. Such a holistic approach is key to the success of rapid immunization efforts with empathy at the heart of the process.