Van Rawat, the indigenous tribe that is on verge of extinction in Uttarakhand refuse vaccination

BD Kasniyal
GG News Bureau, 
Pithoragarh,11th June. After refusing RTPCR Covid 19 test, The Van Rawat community in the Didihat region of Uttarakhand has now have refused to get vaccinated due to the misconception that they will get infected with other diseases including Covid, said administration sources from the Didihat subdivision.
“Out of 700 tribals of three localities namely Kuta Chaurani, Altari, and Jamtari, we could take conduct a Covid test on 107 persons. The administration through the persuasion by Health department officials is trying to persuade them to get vaccinated but the exercise is being met by stiff resistance from the remaining members from the tribal community, that is on verge of extinction, “said KN Goswami, SDM Didihat.
According to the SDM, out of a total of 107 tribals who underwent the RTPCR test all have been reported negative. The real struggle is in getting them vaccinated as only 129 have come forward to take the vaccine.
“We are continuing counselling on the rest of the villagers, and have taken a pledge to vaccinate all of them. “Said the SDM.
The SDM said that to pursue the tribal population to come forward for testing and vaccination, the administration has distributed ration to the families. “besides free ration quota for three months, the administration has also distributed other grocery items to the tribal families including edible oil, spices, pulses and salt to over 88 families of all three tribal villages, as they have complained of lack of money due to no work situation following Covid wave. “Said the SDM.
In another tribal village (also Van Rawat) of Khirdwari in Champawat district, no one, out of 159 tribals of the village, turned up for testing and vaccination.
” While villagers, from general villages of Phatakia, Madiyas, and Lohiasera, came in big numbers for test and vaccination, no one from Van Rawat village of Khirdwari, came either for test or vaccination,” said Reena Rana, a medical officer in Champawat district headquarter.
The Van Rawat tribe is confined to their village and remain cut off from the outside world and the Covid negative test reports in all those tested are being attributed to negligible connection and reduced incidents of migration from the other parts of the country.

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