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Good sense prevails as Dawal Malik villagers agree to Covid vaccination

The famous dargah of the Sufi saint Dawal Malik at the Dawal Malik village in Karnataka (Pic. Courtesy mapio.net)

Following a stern warning from the authorities, the Dawal Malik village residents have finally relented and agreed to get vaccinated against the ongoing second wave of Covid-19. The Health Department officers and personnel had told the locals that they would declare their village as an “unsafe place”.

The result of this warning had its effect as on August 30 (Monday), 90 people of this village got jabbed with the vaccine.

Dawal Malik is located in the Gadag district in Karnataka.

Also read: Himachal becomes India’s first state to give at least one vaccine shot to all adults

The first camp was organised by the officials of the Health Department and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in the first week of June. None of the villagers came to the camp for the vaccination. In order to facilitate vaccination of senior citizens and women, the team of doctors and officials went door to door, yet the residents of the village refused to take the jabs.

The villagers who are staunch believers of the Dawal Malik, a Sufi saint whose dargah is situated in the village, argued with the officials that they are not afraid of the disease as they expect the saint to save them and hence, they don’t need the vaccines.

With adjoining villages getting vaccinated rapidly – reaching 70 per cent coverage – the health and taluk administration officials were worried since in Dawal Malik only four villages had been vaccinated.

Also read: More vaccines being rushed to states for school teachers to pave way for starting classes

Last month on 25th the officials called on the villagers again and told them that if they continued to refuse to get inoculated, the authorities would be forced to put up a board stating that nobody in the village was vaccinated. Also, they added that no outsider, even devotees of Dawal Malik, would be allowed to enter the village.

Allowing the villagers a week’s time to decide, the officials left. Good sense dawned on the villages and they agreed to take the jab. In the last two days, 130 villagers have been vaccinated.