Mumbai, July, 2021.

NSE Foundation, a Section 8 subsidiary of National Stock Exchange of India Limited, has launched an innovative programme that will unite the efforts of grass root level partners and the local district administration to facilitate increased vaccination in remote ‘aspirational’ districts of India which include Nandurbar and Osmanabad in Maharashtra, Karauli in Rajasthan, Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu and Kiphire in Nagaland.

According to a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group, across India, about 63 percent of people in villages have reported resistance to the Covid-19 vaccine due to lack of awareness; also, they have a limited understanding of the vaccine registration process. ‘Cavach’ stands for armour, and the programme aims at building one, in terms of immunity to the disease, through increased vaccination numbers and awareness among the people residing in rural India.

Dr Vinod K. Paul, Member NITI Aayog, Chair of the Empowered Group on Medical Infrastructure and Covid Management Plan, National Task Force on Covid-19 (ICMR), and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) launched Project CAVACH in the presence of District Collectors and NSE Officials.

NSEF will drive the vaccination advocacy campaign across the districts by mobilizing the community through concerted communication and facilitation of the vaccination process. Its local NGO partners will work on lowering resistance, addressing fears through community connect programmes and improving footfall for vaccination so that herd immunity is achieved in these districts. NSEF will rely on its community network, youth volunteers, gram panchayats, self-help group members, as well as enlist support from the district health administration, collectorate, Sahayaka Samitis and so on. Ms.Rema Mohan CEO, NSE Foundation, stated that this is a first of its kind large scale convergent and collaborative initiative by civil society organizations to address issues of vaccination hesitancy in rural areas.

Eventually, NSEF hopes to create a template that can be used by the government administrations and corporate social responsibility divisions of organizations in other geographies so as to align with the efforts of national Covid vaccination movement and achieve a critical mass.