Delhi BJP MP Manoj Tiwari on Monday announced a special COVID-19 inoculation drive for 10,000 people who would be observing Chhath Puja across the city. The special vaccination drive will be launched by Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri from Kadipur near Burari on Tuesday. “We have to celebrate Chhath Puja with precautions so a ‘Chhath Vrati Special Vaccination Abhiyan’ will be started from tomorrow (Tuesday). In this campaign, 10,000 devotees who would observe the Puja but could not get inoculated due to any reason would be covered," Tiwari told reporters at a press conference.
The BJP leader said that party councilors with the help of municipalities will visit every locality and identify people who could not get vaccinated against COVID-19. He said that the vaccination programme will be carried out in association with an NGO Delhiites.
He said that for the first phase the entire drive has been divided into 10 sectors. “In my constituency (Northeast Delhi), 4,000 vaccines will be administered to Chhath devotees while 1,000 each will be distributed in the remaining six parliamentary constituencies of Delhi. We aim to finish this special vaccination drive before November 9," Tiwari said.
He also appealed to the Delhi administration to provide necessary support for the special drive. Tiwari also said that all councillors of the BJP and municipal staff of the three civic bodies will begin the cleaning of Chhath Ghats soon. Chhath, celebrated after Diwali by people belonging to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, involves the offering of ‘Arghya’ by fasting women to the Sun god in knee-deep water.
In an order issued on September 30, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had prohibited Chhath celebrations at public places, including at riverbanks, water bodies and temples, in view of the threat posed by COVID-19.
Following this, Tiwari had staged protests at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and demanded to allow Chhath celebrations. Later on October 14, Kejriwal wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow Chhath Puja in Delhi.