Skip to main content

Want to get vaccine jab in Ahmedabad? Fend for yourself; you are 'atmanirbhar'

A person getting vaccinated at Urban Health Centre, Vejalpur
By Rajiv Shah
Amidst news of vaccine shortage, on one hand, and “rush” and “scramble” for it at several spots to get vaccinated in Ahmedabad, I was reminded of what happened with me while getting by second Covid-19 vaccine jab. I got my first vaccine at the local Urban Health Centre (UHC) in Vejalpur village, Ahmedabad, on March 5 after getting myself registered online on the website Government of India has especially created for those seeking to do it.
It was a smooth going for the first vaccine. It was Covishield, Oxford’s Astra Zeneca’s India version, being produced by the Serum Institute in Pune. Those who had registered online had no issues: After checking on the computer, they were asked to produce their ID and move to get vaccine. Others, who had not registered online, were asked to wait for manual registration.
No sooner I got the first vaccine, I was told, I would receive an SMS on when to come next for the second dose, which was to be after 28 days. A few days later, the guideline for getting the second vaccine changed: Instead of 28 days, it was from 42 days to 56 days. So, first I thought I should get an SMS for the second dose. However, on opening the vaccine registration portal, I found I could register – but that was on computer. As for the mobile app which is supposed to offer the same facility (Aarogya Setu), no such facility, however, was available.
Be that as it may, I and Shruti (who took her vaccine on March 8, the International Women’s Day), decided to register ourselves online and go and get the vaccine. On opening the site, and entering in the pincode for Vejalpur (380051), we were offered just two options – one was an Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) centre where it was “paid”, and the second was called Municipal School No 18 (free). There was no option for the UHC, where we had taken our first jab.
Someone told us that the School No 18 was nearby, which is just about five minutes walk from my house, and we should better register for that spot, which is what I did. The date was fixed: April 20. Thereafter, I tried googling to find out where this Municipal School No 18 was in Vejalpur. I couldn’t find it.
Thereafter, I decided to contact a local social worker, who in turn asked a local AMC corporator to find out where this school could be. He too couldn’t identify it, though said, it should be “one of the two in the Vejalpur village.” A day before I was to get the second dose, I decided to go on a reconnaissance mission, so to say, to find out where this school was.
Indeed, there was a school just opposite UHC, and a board there declared it was a vaccination centre. But it was closed. A chaiwala standing just outside the closed school told me, the vaccination centre had been closed, and we should instead go to UHC. I felt strange, and returned home.
The next day, I and Shruti riding on my scooter, first reached the school which we thought perhaps we had registered online. The school was open, so I entered in. A school teacher (or principal?) was sitting in a big room alone, talking through a video call. I asked him about the vaccination spot. He said, it wasn’t there in the school, and we should instead go to UHC.
Hence, we rode to UHC. We sat there for some time. A UHC staffer was standing outside, directing people who had been reached there for vaccination. I reached up to him and said, “We have registered online… What do we do?” He replied, “That makes no difference. Keep your photo copy of photo ID ready, give it the person who will give you a coupon, and get yourself vaccinated.”
So the online “facility” has no meaning? I wondered. We got coupons, they were number 29th and 30th, within half an hour we were called to get ourselves registered with copies of our photo ID cards. The person who was registering had no details of our online registration. We were told to get ourselves vaccinated, which we did – the whole process didn’t take another 10 minutes. So, after an hour or so, we returned home after buying a few vegetables.
Was it an “atmanirbhar” experience (to use Modi’s new spin word)? There was no intimation for the second jab, our online registration had no meaning, there was no SMS or any other intimation, we were just left to calculate for ourselves as to when should we take our second vaccine. And we just had to tell the person in the UHC that it was our second vaccine (he had no record of our first vaccine, either), and that’s all!
Interestingly, before the vaccination drive began in Ahmedabad, persons from AMC had come for a door-to-door survey, took our details, including photo ID number and mobile number. They were seeking details from persons aged 60 plus. We were told, we would be informed by SMS when should we get the vaccination and where.
Nothing happened. No SMS came. Our society was not an exception. They had done a similar exercise in other societies as well. What happened to the whole exercise, and why such sheer waste of human resources? Shouldn’t someone seek an answer?
As for getting SMS alert before the second jab, I tried inquiring from at least 20 others whether they had received it. Everyone said a clear No! An elderly husband and wife, who were Covid-19 infected but recovered told me, they would get their second dose later. They had already completed 56 days. I wondered if they had received an SMS invite, which is what we were told after the first dose. And they too told me, “No, we didn’t get any SMS”.

Comments

TRENDING

Eco Ganesha made from water hyacythns, a most noxious invasive aquatic weed

Elsie Gabriel, founder, Young Environmentalists Programme Trust, and national coordinator, Oceans Climate Reality Project India, has come up with Eco Ganesha, made from recycled water hyacinths and silt from Powai Lake. She presented it to Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on September 7 at Powai lake:

Diaspora protest as Biden failed to publicly address persecution of minorities in India

As Modi addressed UN, human rights groups decried “monstrosity” of persecution of Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other minorities in India. Demonstrators gathered outside UN to protest fascism, hate campaigns, weaponized rape, apartheid, lynchings, unlawful arrests, attacks on the media, and other abuses in India: A report distributed by the diaspora group Hindus for Human Rights: *** While observers said it was “shameful” that President Biden failed to publicly address widespread persecution of religious minorities in India when he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, more than 100 members of interfaith and human rights groups spoke out as Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Speakers condemned the egregious human rights violations and murders of religious minorities in India under a government that openly supports Hindu supremacy. The rally was sponsored by 21 organizations, including Ambedkar International Center, Ambedkar King S

In the land of the Buddha, why are there so few Buddhists? Did they convert to Islam?

Sonali Ranade, a trader and columnist, who is a prolific tweeter , in a recent blog "How did India’s Buddhists disappear? In the land of the Buddha, why are there so few Buddhists?" suggests that most of the Muslims who converted to Islam in South Asia were Buddhists and they did it mostly out of self-volition. Read on: *** It wasn’t until college, that it dawned on me that I had never met a Buddhist in my life. I could count quite a few Jains [hawt property for Gujju girls] at college, Muslims a plenty; the Navy, on whose bases I grew up, was chockfull of Sikhs; many Christians at school including a English literature teacher who I think was a recreant Pope in hiding; and not to forget my bestie, a blue-blood Parsi, whacky as they come, [she masquerades as an architect these days, and I always wonder why her buildings don’t collapse laughing at her colorful Hindi]; but no Buddhists. Puzzled, I asked the Pater, usually my go-to walking encyclopedia, but he was stumped. Or a

Post-Stalin Netaji advised Soviets, had facial surgery, met Lal Bhadur in Tashkent!

In an curious Facebook post "What happened to Netaji?", former editor of the Times of India, Ahmedabad, Kingshuk Nag, who later took over the Hyderabad edition of TOI as editor, has asserted that not only did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose didn't die in a plane crash, he went to the Soviet Union, where he served as adviser of the Soviet leaders during the post-Stalin phase. One who has authored a Netaji book , he makes another astonishing "revelation": that Netaji, it is believed, had undergone face surgery "to change his appearance", and is "supposed to have met Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri when he went to Tashkent in 1966." Was Netaji so meek? One doesn't know... Anyway, read the FB post : *** Today is purportedly the day that Netaji died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. An elaborate theory of his death and the fact that his ashes were stored in Renkoji temple was created. By all accounts this is fiction. Netaji disappeared into Soviet

Critique of Hindutva does not constitute an attack on Hinduism, nor is it Hinduphobia

Organised with the active support of Indian diaspora in US, a series of virtual conferences, Dismantling Global Hindutva, have been held in order to "analyze and educate" the public as to how Hindutva is destroying India, undermining syncretic nature of Hinduism and the country's secular and democratic traditions.

Jinnah's claim: He never wanted Pakistan, wished if he could return to Bombay

In an account of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, termed "amazing but true", Ramkrishna Dalmia reveals Jinnah’s claimed love for Indian heritage and his beloved city Bombay (now Mumbai). Read it to comprehend a different aspect of his life... The account first appeared on Facebook timeline of Christi A Ali, and has been shared by many. *** “Look here, I never wanted Pakistan! It was forced upon me by Sardar Patel. And now they want me to eat the humble pie and raise my hands in defeat.” Jinnah to his closest friend Ramkrishna Dalmia to whom he (Jinnah) sold his marvelous Delhi house for Rs.3 lacs before partition. Jinnah chose his friend Ramkrishna Dalmia over others, a Jain, no-onion; no-garlic; a sprinkler of Ganga jal if a Muslim entered the home type of Hindu. The house was later sold to the Dutch Embassy as Nehru had issues with Mr.Dalmia. Nehru ensured that Mr.Dalmia would later be jailed. Jinnah never wanted Pakistan and even accepted Cabinet Mission Plan in July, 1946 to form

An international phenomenon, crackdown on media now part of Ukrainian policy

An article released by the Independent Media Institute points to how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is using the ‘Kremlin excuse’ to ban media that doesn’t always agree with him. Authored by David C Speedie , the article has been produced by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for US-Russia Accord : *** On the eve of his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on September 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pulled the plug on the opposition news outlet Strana.ua and imposed sanctions on its editor-in-chief . This is not the first time Zelensky has cracked down on opposition media. Earlier this year Zelenksy banned three of his country’s television news stations—NewsOne, 112 and ZIK—accusing them of peddling “Kremlin-funded propaganda.” A veteran of the broadcast media himself [he was previously a comedian], Zelensky’s action may perhaps be seen at first glance as largely symbolic. It is, in fact, both inflammatory and short-sighted. First, it should

What caused Kandhamal violence in 2007-08? Expert, Dalit leader react to new docu-film

Well-known film maker KP Sasi has released a new 95-minute documentary  "Voices From the Ruins - Kandhamal In Search of Justice", which seeks to graphically describe how in Kandhamal district of Orissa, mainly inhabited by Adivasis and Dalits, among them a large population are Christians, witnessed its biggest violence on the Adivasi Christians and Dalit Christians in 2008. Based on interviews with the survivors of Kandhamal violence, who are still struggling against the improper compensation, improper rehabilitation and improper justice delivery systems, the film brings out the concerns of the survivors, through their own voices as well concerned sections, analysing the historical roots of violence, the impact of violence on various sections of the communities and the struggle for justice by the survivors of Kandhamal violence. Released on the anniversary of the violence (August 28), while Sasi has sought the documentary, already available on YouTube, widest circulation thr

Forthcoming book explodes Western myth: Personal qualities are biologically inherited

Jonathan Latham, PhD, Executive Director, The Bioscience Resource Project, New York, has said in an email alert via JanVikalp that his forthcoming book about genetics and genetic determinism, provisionally titled "The Myth of The Master Molecule: DNA and the Social Order" criticises the notion that personal qualities are biologically inherited: *** The contention of the book is that the key organising principle of Western thought is the seemingly innocuous and seemingly simple idea that our personal qualities are biologically inherited. That is, our character derives from our ancestors rather than being an always-adapting product of our own experiences, decisions, and education. The book makes the case, first, that genetic determinism is a scientific fallacy. Organisms are self-organised systems and therefore are not genetically determined. Second, the explanation for the myth, which predates Mesopotamian cities of 6,000 years ago, is its utility. Genetic determinism rationa

UN Food Systems Summit paved the way for greater control of big corporations

In a sharp critique of the  UN Food Systems Summit, a statement released by the People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty, a global network of NGOs, has accused UN meet of being steered by big corporations, even as the Global South was pushed back. *** The Global People’s Summit (GPS) on Food Systems slammed the recently concluded UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) for paving the way for greater control of big corporations over global food systems and misleading the people through corporate-led false solutions to hunger and climate change. “It was just as we expected. While branding itself as the ‘People’s Summit’ and even the ‘Solutions Summit,’ the UN FSS did not listen to the voices of marginalized rural peoples, nor forward real solutions to the food, biodiversity and climate crises. Instead, it let powerful nations and big corporations play an even bigger role in determining food and agricultural policies. The UN has finally made it clear what ‘multilateralism’ is all about—paying l