Vaccine hesitancy has emerged as a major challenge for the Madhya Pradesh government in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. To address the issue, the police in Niwari district recently launched a vaccination drive in the state, as part of which people who have received the Covid shot are being given badges with the national flag, while those who haven’t are handed posters with skull mark.
Policemen in Madhya Pradesh are conducting random checks on roads and those who are found vaccinated are ‘honoured’ with a tricolour badge that says “I’m a patriot as I’m vaccinated”. Meanwhile, those who haven’t received even a single dose of vaccine are being made to wear a poster with skull mark. The poster reads: “Mujhse dur rahein, maine abhi corona ka tika nahi lagwaya (Stay away from me, I haven’t got vaccinated for Covid).”
#WATCH Police in Madhya Pradesh’s Niwari honour those who have taken COVID19 vaccine with a badge that says, “I’m a patriot as I’m vaccinated”, & those who haven’t got vaccinated being made to wear a poster carrying a message, “Stay away from me as I am not vaccinated yet” pic.twitter.com/cmmv9HrlSf
— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2021
Speaking to India Today, Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Santosh Patel said the drive was started to overcome vaccine hesitancy, especially in rural areas, amid anxiety over the third wave of coronavirus in the country.
“As part of the awareness drive, people who have been vaccinated are being given a batch of tricolor, which calls them true patriots. On the other hand, ‘stay away from me’ posters are being given to those who aren’t vaccinated.”
“I am a local from the adjoining Panna district and in this region of Bundelkhand it is understood that if someone swears over something, they will definitely fulfill it. That is why people are being made to take an oath to vaccinate themselves,” Pandey was quoted as saying by a daily.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Police had taken it to the next level when it made violators fill four pages with the name of Lord Ram. Upon finding a person violating the lockdown restrictions, Satna police handed them a notebook to write Lord Ram’s name on the pages.