By: Rayees Ahmad Kumar
As the second wave of COVID-19 began to wreak havoc in early 2021, the scenario in Kashmir was no different. Cases were starting to rise again in Kashmir and this
wave seemed to be more deadly than the previous one.
District Ganderbal in central Kashmir didn’t report that many cases but it was always at a higher risk on account of being in close vicinity to Srinagar where the number of cases was multiplying rapidly.
The only effective defense to tackle the novel virus was considered to be ‘widespread vaccination in limited time’.
Among many villages of district Ganderbal, mass vaccination drive was launched at various PHC’s and Hospitals.
Similarly, In MANIGAM one of the largest villages in the district, vaccination
drive began in the starting April and employees from various departments including
the education department were posted in vaccination centers neck to neck with the
healthcare workers and doctors.
Among them was a Teacher named Farooq Ahmad Raina posted at Boys
Middle School Durpora who was assigned the charge of nodal officer at
PHC Manigam vaccination centre.
Farooq Ahmad was one of the first to get vaccinated in order to tackle the growing insecurity about the safety of vaccine(s) among the people and took the first of his many steps to motivate people to get vaccinated. He being a well known person in the village also took many steps to create awareness among his fellow residents about the necessity of getting inoculated.
These steps not only included counselling the people in person but also taking the
help of Religious Scholars and other respected personalities of the society to create
a sense of security among the people about the vaccination drive.
Then during the Holy Month of Ramadhan, rumours were circulating that taking
vaccine may break the fast of the people. To overcome this situation, Farooq
Ahmad consulted one of the famous religious scholars of the state Mufti Nazir
Ahmad Qasmi, who later issued a video statement regarding this matter in which he dismissed this rumour.
Farooq Ahamd worked hard without putting his personal interest in consideration to serve his society and it was due to these efforts that the village of Manigam successfully inoculated 100% of its 45+ population recently.
Author is fiction writer and govt teacher and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org