Akshaya Patra’s Incentivised Vaccination Drives
Foundation on a mission to overcome vaccine hesitancy among people by providing customised ration‘Raksha Kits’.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented crisis that has affected people from all walks of life. The vulnerable populations, in particular, are among the worst-hit as they face the threat of the Coronavirus on the one hand and the hunger pandemic on the other.
On 23 July 2021, The Akshaya Patra Foundation conducted an Incentivised Vaccination Drive-in Jogupalya, Bangalore, in association with Team MGK (M. Goutham Kumar) and vaccinated 500 people. After taking the vaccine shot, individuals received refreshments as well as a unique customized kit called ‘Raksha Kit’, containing essential groceries for 20 meal servings. These kits were distributed in the presence of the former Mayor of Bangalore, M. Goutham Kumar.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Dr. Sharanappa S.D., IPS – DCP East; Dr. Lakshminarayan Gundanna – Chairman BBMP and Domlur Corporator; B Gunaranjan Shetty – Founder of Jaya Karnataka Janapara Vedike and ICare Brigade.
Each Raksha Kit consists of one kg rice, one kg wheat flour, 500 gm tur dal, 500 gm desi channa, 500 gm green mung whole, 250 gm peanuts, 200 gm turmeric powder, one kg sugar, one kg salt, one liter refined oil and one bar soap. Apart from this, vaccinated people are provided with juice packets, water, and a banana/khichdi/pulav.
Earlier, on 19 July 2021, a similar drive was organized at Medi Agrahara, where 300 people were vaccinated and provided Raksha Kits. On 24 July 2021, vaccination drives are scheduled to be held at Rajajinagar and Mahalakshmi Layout, where 500 people each will be vaccinated, bringing the total number of beneficiaries of this initiative in Bangalore to 1,800. Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Sundeep Talwar, CMO – Akshaya Patra, said, “Many people, especially from vulnerable communities, such as slum dwellers and daily wagers, hesitate to take the vaccine due to misconceptions and resultant fear.
To address this vaccine hesitancy, we decided to initiate Incentivised Vaccination Drives where we educate people about the need to get vaccinated and also provide them ‘Raksha Kits’ as an incentive. We have so far vaccinated 800 people in Bangalore and plan to cover 100,000 across the country in the next 2-3 months.”
Incentivised Vaccination Drives are conducted by Akshaya Patra in association with a hospital partner or vaccination partner with the necessary safety measures in place. The Foundation has collaborated with a volunteering partner for manpower requirements. The initiative was started with a pilot in Delhi on June 26, 2021.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been utilizing its kitchen infrastructure and resources to undertake relief feeding by serving cooked meals and distributing essential grocery kits. The Foundation has so far served over 14 crore meals in various locations across 20 states and one union territory.