As Covid-19 is spreading across the world and mutating into new forms, the vaccination efforts of the government are also accelerating. Over 70 million people in Pakistan are now reported to be vaccinated. Following story of a Hindu community was covered by a citizen journalist. After conducting in-person interviews with the minority community in Rawalpindi, it was confirmed that the vaccination process is focused on people from all walks of life without any religious, ethnic and social discrimination. The minorities in Pakistan are satisfied with the vaccination campaign and the government facilities.
Talking to our citizen journalist, a Hindu student and activist, Jaya Joggi from Islamabad, informed that in the beginning she was concerned about the vaccination process and the vaccine itself, as plenty of rumors and fake news were hovering on social media creating fear and panic among the people. “This made me frightened and confused about the vaccination process leaving me questioning whether I should opt for it or not” said Jaya. She further explained that, “when people from my family got vaccinated and didn’t face any health issues as its consequence, then I decided to get vaccinated”.
“Despite fears and various negative perceptions I went for the vaccination” she added, “I got vaccinated and found all the social media posts misleading and false.”
According to Jaya like any other vaccines around the world the Covid-19 vaccine is equally important for our safety.
Another Hindu community member from Rawalpindi, Ramesh Bhatti aged 45, confirmed that he didn’t face any discrimination based on his religion during the vaccination process. Same was told by the other members of the Hindu community living in the region.
Pakistani Hindus like other citizens had fears and doubts regarding covid-19 vaccines due to the spread of misinformation regarding the vaccines on social media. However, after the Government’s decision of making the vaccines mandatory for all, they abide by the law and got vaccinated, told Ramesh.
During personal visit by the scribe to the Hindu community in Rawalpindi it was observed that the Hindu community is satisfied with vaccine distribution and have faced no discrimination in receiving them.
When questioned about the vaccination process, Jaya Joggi informed that the vaccination process was simple and easy. “We sent a text message to the UAN announced the government and received the code. Then we visited the hospital nearby and got vaccinated.After getting vaccinated we took a sigh of relief as now we felt safe against spread of covid-19 around us.”
While sharing her experience,Jaya emphasized that social media has a strong impact on the society. The fake news about the vaccine generated from social media created panic, fear and anxiety among the society, which spread rapidly.