Former Delhi BJP president and MP Manoj Tiwari on Monday announced that a special COVID-19 inoculation drive for 10,000 people will begin from Tuesday to observe Chhath Puja across the national capital.
Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri will inaugurate the vaccination campaign from Kadipur near Burari on Tuesday.
“We have to celebrate Chhath Puja with precautions, so a ‘Chhath Vrati special vaccination Abhiyan’ will start from tomorrow (Tuesday). In this campaign, 10,000 devotees who would observe the Puja but could not get inoculated due to any reason would be covered,” Tiwari said while talking to the reporters.
Party councillors with the help of municipalities will visit every locality and identify people who could not get vaccinated against COVID-19, Tiwari said, adding the vaccination programme will be carried out in association with an NGO.
He said that for the first phase the entire drive has been divided into 10 sectors. “In my constituency (Northeast Delhi), 4,000 vaccines will be administered to Chhath devotees while 1,000 each will be distributed in the remaining six parliamentary constituencies of Delhi. We aim to finish this special vaccination drive before 9 November,” Tiwari said.
Tiwari also appealed to the Delhi administration to provide the necessary support for the special drive. All BJP councillors from three Delhi Municipal Corporation and municipal staff of the three civic bodies will begin the cleaning of Chhath Ghats soon. Chhath, celebrated after Diwali by people belonging to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, involves the offering of ‘Arghya’ by fasting women to the Sun god in knee-deep water.
In an order issued on 30 September, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had prohibited Chhath celebrations at public places, including at riverbanks, water bodies and temples, in view of the threat posed by COVID-19.
Following this, Tiwari has staged protests at the residence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and demanded to allow Chhath celebrations.