BHOPAL/INDORE/BETUL: In a bid to encourage people to take COVID-19 jabs and overcome hesitancy, Madhya Pradesh government officials and various organisations have started offering prizes and gifts, ranging from mobile phone recharge coupons to sarees and make-up boxes, especially in rural areas.
Bhopal district administration is offering mobile recharge coupons worth Rs 200 through lottery while an organisation in a village in Betul district is distributing umbrellas and sarees.
A traders’ outfit in Indore has also announced various rewards totalling Rs one lakh to encourage people to get themselves vaccinated.
“Five persons won mobile vouchers worth Rs 200 each through a lucky draw on Wednesday. This initiative was launched to encourage vaccination,” a Bhopal district official said.
In Indore, the Association of Industries Madhya Pradesh, an organisation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) companies, announced a reward scheme to strengthen inoculation.
“We are seeing that many workers in industrial plants in Indore are not getting themselves vaccinated due to different reasons. So we have decided to encourage them through a reward scheme,” said Association president Pramod Dafaria.
He said prizes, including items like juicers, mixers and cookers, worth Rs one lakh would be distributed on July 20 to 100 vaccinated labourers through a lucky draw.
An estimated one lakh workers are currently working in local industrial plants, he said, adding that the Association has also asked its member industrialists to get workers in their respective factories vaccinated by July 10.
Another organisation is offering umbrellas and sarees for those getting themselves vaccinated in Simori village in Betul district.
“All the doses of vaccines were exhausted within the first two hours of the announcement of this scheme,” said a volunteer in Simori village.
He said 40 sarees and a good number of masks were distributed on the occasion.
Besides, make-up boxes were also distributed to women.
Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday recorded 84 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 casualties that raised the tally of infections to 7,89,499 and took the toll to 8,827, the state health department said.
On July 21, Madhya Pradesh set a new record for itself by vaccinating more than 16 lakh people against COVID-19 as part of a mega inoculation campaign launched to coincide with International Yoga Day, exceeding the set target of 10 lakh inoculations for that day.