Several NGOs and voluntary organisations have joined hands with the Tamil Nadu government to create awareness about the Covid-19 vaccine, and conduct vaccination camps across the state.
The NGO Aid India, according to its directors, has worked in around 484 villages across the state, and was primarily involved in providing food and free ration to those families who were daily wage earners, and below poverty line category.
A director of Aid India, not willing to be named, told IANS: “We are also into educating children in villages whose parents could not afford their education following Covid, and this was one area where we wanted to pitch in and we are continuing with it.”
The Aid India volunteers also joined with primary health centres and government hospitals for conducting vaccination camps.
Thanal, an NGO based at Chetpet in Chennai and with branches in Erode and Madurai had conducted vaccination awareness programmes across villages in these areas and had helped people overcome the vaccine hesitancy of the village population.
Balamurugan, Director of Thanal, interacting with IANS, said: “We conducted several awareness programmes across Madurai, Erode and on the outskirts of Chennai. We have relied on video programmes and other means to educate people on the need for vaccination. We also roped in several local level television stars who are highly popular in Tamil Nadu for featuring in short visual awareness programmes and this has helped a lot of people coming out for vaccination.”
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian also acknowledged the yeoman service of the NGOs and Voluntary organisations in supporting the government for the awareness programmes and even conducting vaccination camps.
“The government needs support from the general public during a calamity and I am thankful to all the NGOs and voluntary organisations who had joined hands with the government during the pandemic,” he told IANS.The Muslim Service Society based out of Egmore was also actively involved in educating people from the community and prepare them for vaccination drives.
M. Abdul Gafoor, an office-bearer of the organisation, while speaking to IANS, said: “There were apprehensions among people on vaccination at the early stages and we had chipped in and worked among the people using the good offices of priests and clergy, and this was highly effective.”
The organization also helped support several children with tablets, smartphones and other gadgets for online classes. The organisation has roped in several philanthropists for buying electronic gadgets.
In several parts of Tamil Nadu, long queues were witnessed for taking vaccination and this is considered as the hard work done by government agencies, voluntary organisations and NGOs to create awareness among the people.
Subramanian has apprised the Union health minister that the awareness has led to people coming out in large numbers to take the jab.