A significant part of rural India is still illiterate and COVID-19 lockdowns have further affected the education system of India. In such a scenario, the government assumes every citizen of India owns a digital device (smartphone/laptop) and will register for their COVID-19 vaccine slots online themselves.
However, many don't own a smartphone and have no idea how to use one. 'How does one register for a vaccine slot' is something our Community Correspondent Anshu Raj Maurya often hears when speaking to communities in Jharkhand. "People are scared to even talk these days because of the Coronavirus infections," said Suresh Kumar from Baihari village in Jharkhand.
"If the government sets up a camp here we will take the jab," said one of the other villagers she spoke to. People are facing problems registering for their slots online. This is because people generally rely on designated stores that charge a small fee to do work online. This could be everything from applying to a government job, PAN card registration, or even music downloads on your phone. But since these shops are closed due to the lockdown, the local people don't know how to navigate the online world and register for their vaccine slots.
At present, an average Indian citizen needs to book a COVID-19 vaccination slot by registering through the Arogya Setu app on smartphones or through the CoWin portal.
In this video, you can see that the Gram Panchayat office in Barbaspur village of Balod district has been in a dilapidated condition for 10 years, in Chattisgarh.