Himachal first state to administer at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to entire eligible population
New Delhi, September 6, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today praised Himachal Pradesh for becoming the first state in India to have administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to its entire eligible population.
This success has underlined the importance of "Aatmvishwas" (Self-Confidence) and "Aatmnirbharta" (Self-Reliance), the Prime Minister said during an interaction with healthcare workers and beneficiaries of the vaccination programme through video conference.
“The success of vaccination in India is the result of the spirit and hard work of its citizens. India is vaccinating at the record speed of 1.25 crore vaccines per day. This means that the number of vaccinations in the country in one day is more than the population of several other nations,” he added.
Modi praised the doctors, ASHA workers, Aanganwadi workers, medical personnel, teachers and women for their contribution to the vaccination campaign. This was a manifestation of the "Sabka Prayas" he had mentioned on the occasion of Independence Day, he said.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness that even in a remote district like Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh has been a leader in giving 100% of the eligible population the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This area used to be cut off from the rest of the country for months in winter before the construction of the Atal tunnel. He praised the people of Himachal for not allowing any rumour or disinformation to hamper the vaccination efforts. The state was proof of how the country's rural society was empowering the world's largest and fastest vaccination campaign.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, MPs, MLAs, Panchayat leaders, among others, were present on the occasion.
During the interaction, talking to Dr Rahul of Civil Hospital, Dodra Kwar, Shimla, the Prime Minister praised the team for minimizing the vaccine wastage and discussed their experience about serving in a difficult area. Talking to vaccination beneficiary Dayal Singh of Thunag, Mandi, he asked about the facilities of vaccination and how the people dealt with the rumours regarding vaccination. With ASHA worker Nirma Devi from Kullu, the Prime Minister inquired about her experience with the vaccination drive.
He talked about the use of local traditions in helping the vaccination drive. He praised the model of dialogue and collaboration developed by the team. He also asked about how her team travelled long distances to administer the vaccines.
He discussed the senior citizens' experience with Nirmala Devi from Hamirpur. The Prime Minister praised Karmo Devi of Una, who has the distinction of vaccinating 22,500 people and had kept on working despite having a fracture in her leg. The world’s biggest vaccination programme is continuing due to the efforts of people like Karmo Devi, he added.
Talking to Buddhist leader Nawang Upashak from Lahaul & Spiti, he asked how he used his position as a spiritual head to convince people to take vaccines. The Prime Minister thanked the Buddhist leaders for helping in making Lahul Spiti the fastest adopter of the vaccination drive.
Referring to tourism, he said it was also getting the direct benefit of strengthened connectivity by way of initiatives like the Atal tunnel along with farmers and gardeners who produce fruits and vegetables. By using internet connectivity in villages, young talents of Himachal can take their culture and new possibilities of tourism to the country and abroad.
Referring to recently notified Drones rules, the Prime Minister said these rules will help in the spheres of many sectors like health and agriculture. This will open doors for new possibilities.
The central government was now going to create a special online platform for women self-help groups. “Through this medium, our sisters will be able to sell their products in the country and the world. They will be able to deliver apple, orange, kino, mushroom, tomato and many such products to every nook and corner of the country,” he added.
On the eve of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Prime Minister urged the farmers and gardeners of Himachal to make farming in Himachal organic within the next 25 years.