Our new project ‘Smartpur’ is linking digitally dark rural India to online vaccination process and ensuring that those who are eligible get vaccinated as soon as possible.
What is ‘Smartpur’?
With support from NOKIA, Save the Children is implementing a project called ‘SMARTPUR’ with the objective of Digital inclusion for the rural community. It will be implemented in 60 villages in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Under this project, we established digital centres with software-defined networking technology in 60 villages in March 2021. While the community provided the space for the centres, the digital access aims to help the community in return. A facilitator who has knowledge and experience manages the centre within the village.
Why did Save the Children start ‘Smartpur’?
With the recent announcement by the Government of India requesting people to register online for the COVID-19 vaccine, the team took this brilliant opportunity and provided digital services to the community free of cost. Community-level campaign awareness was organized to get people to register at the centre from 28 April and is continuing. This supports the community to access online registration services within the village, help the centre promote its services, and ensure that all the citizens can register for the vaccine. Here, to mention, no other service institution nor government body is providing online registration services.
In the long-term, this project supports the community in combating the control of the disease, and registration for vaccination and getting vaccinated is the only solution. Sanitization and Face masking safety precautions are followed.
What is Save the Children’s role in ‘Smartpur’?
The digital centre aims to provide access to the community for online services availing government social protection schemes or any other online services. Save the Children, and Chaitanya Jyothi Welfare Society (CJWS) team discussed and led the thought process and came up with the idea of organizing online registration camps for FREE. Save the Children’s role in this was to provide all the technology and off-grid power solutions, including the centre facilitator’s capacity building.
When did it start?
The campaign for online registration was initiated in 5 villages on 25 April and scaled to 60 villages. The campaign was made through door-door visits, announcement through hand-Megaphone, and friends and family chat groups.
How many have we registered so far?
3,102 persons have been registered for vaccination as of 1 pm on 6 April 2021, and more people are registering every day.
Are we providing any assistance for the vaccination apart from the registration?
The facilitator has the complete reference IDs of the registered persons and will follow up with the nearest Public Health Centre and Government office for the vaccination and then get back to the person registered. Around 70 people registered so far have been vaccinated, and the team is progressively following up for a logical conclusion of the registration process. Like community person D. Srinivasulu was registered on 2nd of May 2021 and got vaccinated three days later on 5th May 2021.
How is the community responding to this project?
D. Laxmi, Varagali village facilitator, said, “I am coordinating with the nurse in the Primary Health Center for the registrations I made in my village and neighbouring centres. We are ensuring that the people who we get registered, also get vaccinated soon. The nurse also coordinates daily with us to get seven people vaccinated at a time”.
Mr. D. Veera Raghavulu, 45 yrs, Epuru village head, said, “The access to online service in the village was never thought of and has become a real support for us in this pandemic”.
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