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Heroes without Capes

October 1st, 2021

Superheroes have always been a fascinating figment of our imagination, crossing mountains, rivers and skies just to save the world. But what if we told you that this need not be mere fiction, but very much a fact too!

This can be proven by Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ very own superheroes i.e, the project officers, ASHA workers and volunteers, who travelled to extremely remote villages via a 2-hour boat ride and a long walk through the forest to help vaccinate those living in isolation. In today’s times, there’s no better way to save the world than to help people fight COVID-19.

Situated in the district of East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, lies a cluster of five villages. These villages are one of the most isolated villages in India, inhabited by around 2000 migrant tribals from nearby states Orissa and Chattisgarh. The lack of electricity, road travel and mobile network makes it difficult for the villagers to access basic healthcare facilities, let alone getting the COVID-19 vaccines.

As the team reached the banks of the river Godavari, they saw several villagers fishing. The team, accompanied by Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) workers, started vaccinating the villagers by the river banks. They then moved into the villages, going inside tiny huts made of bamboo to vaccinate the rest. The volunteers and ASHA workers played an important role in interpersonal communication, speaking to the villagers in their local language and convincing them to get the vaccine by addressing their fears and clarifying their doubts. 

Around 400 people were vaccinated in this cluster and the TdH-NL team plans to vaccinate the whole population within the next four months. These villages come under the governance of Thummileru Panchayat that TdH-NL in India has collaborated with to carry out this vaccination drive effectively. 

“We are so delighted that we could reach out to the most inaccessible villages. It makes us happy to help them be safe and protected. I am truly grateful to be a part of this team”, says Subrat Kumar Panda, a TdH staff member who leads the vaccination drive in the state.

As more and more people get vaccinated, the team is hopeful that these small steps with great efforts will truly make a change. 

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