The district authorities on Friday started COVID-19 vaccination for Pakistani Hindu migrants who do not have Indian identity documents, officials said. The migrants were given jabs on the basis of their Pakistani passports, they said.
Around 100 migrants got the much-awaited vaccine jab at one of the camps on the first day of the exercise started for them in the district, the officials said. Health department teams reached one of the settlements, the Alkosar camp, in the morning and began vaccination the migrants, they said.
The migrants in the district were so far left out of the inoculation drive as they did not possess local identity documents like Aadhaar. President of Seemant Lok Sangthan Hindu Singh Sodha termed Friday's vaccination drive as a victory for the community members.
It was indeed surprising to note that all other districts had started vaccination of migrants with no ID cards while the migrants of Jodhpur kept waiting for their turn, Sodha said. The inoculation exercise in all districts of the state having the presence of migrants with no local identity documents had started from June 8 with their passports as a base document, but despite having the largest presence of the migrants, Jodhpur continued to keep them waiting in the name of awaiting directions from the state government.
The Central government had issued a standard operation procedure (SOP) on May 5 for vaccination of those people who do not have prescribed identity cards by recognising them as vulnerable communities. But the state government continued to falter on interpretation of the SOP with regard to the migrant community with no identity documents.
The Rajasthan High Court had also taken a serious note of the failure of the state government in arriving at any decision despite the Centre's SOP and had sought an affidavit from the chief secretary seeking steps taken by the dispensation on the vaccination of minority migrants with no local identity cards.