Amid coronavirus spike, four-day-long 'Tika Utsav' begins today
A four-day-long Tika Utsav is being organized in India to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible against coronavirus. The vaccination program is being held on the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had a virtual interaction with Chief Ministers on the raging health crisis. States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar urged eligible people to get vaccinated between April 11 and 14.
India's vaccination drive had started in January
While speaking with CMs on Thursday, PM Modi had suggested the idea to intensify the battle against COVID-19. India had launched its vaccination drive on January 16, focusing only on corona warriors initially. The drive was expanded on March 1 to include those aged above 60 and between 45 and 59 having co-morbidities. Currently, everyone above 45 is eligible for the doses.
PM Modi spoke about less wastage
"The birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule is on April 11 and on April 14, there is the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb. Can we organize a Tika Utsav? We should vaccinate as many eligible people through a special campaign and decide on zero wastage," PM Modi had said.
UP will start the festival with 6,000 centers
Following PM Modi's clarion call, Uttar Pradesh chalked out a plan. The festival will start at 6,000 centers in the state and the aim is to take it to 8,000 by April 14. CM Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel are poised to participate in webinars on vaccination during the Tika Utsav. The government aims to administer shots to 25 lakh people
Bihar is aiming to vaccinate four lakh people
CM Nitish Kumar of neighboring Bihar revealed that the state plans to inoculate four lakh people during the vaccination festival. He urged eligible people to come forward and get themselves vaccinated. Officials of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed that 35,000- 40,000 people are being given the jabs on a daily basis. The officials want to take this to at least 75,000/day during the festival.
Delhi wing of BJP will spread awareness among people
BJP's Delhi unit plans to organize the festival at 140 corporation-run vaccine centers. Stalls will be put up at the centers and juice will be offered to those getting vaccinated. General Secretary Harsh Malhotra disclosed that party workers would spread awareness about vaccination. They would also help people register themselves. Over 10 crore people have been inoculated across the nation so far.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had taken a dig at 'Tika Utsav'
While PM Modi had commented that this festival would help in changing the country's atmosphere, his idea was dismissed by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. "Amid the growing corona crisis, shortage of vaccines is a very serious issue and not an utsav, (sic)" Gandhi had tweeted on Friday. Several states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi claimed they would soon run out of doses.
Captain Singh, Gehlot urged Centre to send more doses
Recently, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh asserted that his state now has merely five days of doses left. Captain Singh, a member of Congress, urged the Centre to send the next batch soon. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, also a Congress leader, wrote to PM Modi saying that the doses may last 48 hours or less. He wants 30 lakh doses to be sent immediately.