Sonkatch (Madhya Pradesh): The digital divide has led another blockage in Covid vaccination drive as residents of cities are hopping to small towns and villages near them to get a Covid jab. In turn, the small towners and villagers are losing their chance of getting a vaccine in absence of a virtual geofencing.
Amid ongoing vaccination drives against the global pandemic COVID19, this trend has been common in Madhya Pradesh.
The villagers of Sonkatch town of Dewas district and nearby areas claimed that they are facing a tough competition from residents of Indore, Ujjain and Dewas to get a slot for vaccination, as uptowners are getting slots in small towns and its nearby villagers booked.
Tarun Khatri, a resident of Sonkatch claimed that a large number of people from cities like Ujjain, Dewas and Indore can be seen driving to smaller places like Bagli, Khategoan and Sonkatch to get them inoculated. “As they are more tech savvy than us, they are easily booking slots for vaccination at vaccination centres in our villages. I had to visit four different villages to get my four family members vaccinated, as I was unable to book slots” he said.
Another villager, Prabhu Singh, who has been trying to book a slot to get a covid jab, said, “There is very poor internet connectivity in villages. The window for booking a slot in the portal is open for one or two hours. We fail to book slots because of poor connectivity, while people living in towns easily book and get jab at vaccination centres in our villages.”
Former cabinet minister and Congress MLA from Sonkatch Sajjan Singh Verma, who inspected a vaccination centre, said locals must be given preference at rural vaccination centres, instead of outsiders. “It is poor management of the government that villagers are deprived of getting a Covid jab,” he said.