Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha defended the ‘thaali taali’ initiative of the government amid criticism from the government, saying it was done to encourage coronavirus warriors in the country.
The Health Minister recalled how his own daughter had chosen to work in a Covid ward, despite the risk to her life, and how it had made him feel.
“They say why did we do ‘thaali-taali’? We did it to encourage Corona warriors. We did it for the police personnel standing on the roads for our protection, we did it in honour of the healthcare staff - from the lowest to the highest level - who worked during the pandemic," Mandaviya said.
Mandaviya was speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session of the Parliament, on the government’s Covid response during the waves of the pandemic in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last year in March, during the beginning of the pandemic in the country, asked the public to beat ‘taalis and thaalis’ during Janata curfew to raise the morale of various frontline workers.
However, Opposition leaders had criticised the initiative. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut at the time had said the government had reduced a grim situation to a ‘festival-like’ event.
But the PM has often reiterated the importance of people-driven initiatives amid the pandemic. In his Mann ki Baat in April last year, Modi had said that “our ‘taali, thaali & diya’ initiatives have kept spirits high."
Mandaviya in his address in the Rajya Sabha also asked the Opposition to not politicise vaccination in the country, detailing efforts to obtain more doses from the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, for Covishield and Covaxin, respectively.