April 29, 2021 12:51:12 am
Members of nomadic tribe Gosavi community barely have any access to medical help, Covid tests or vaccines. Now, with three members of the tribe infected with coronavirus, others are worried about how to get vaccinated as none of them have any of the requisite identity documents such as Aadhaar card, PAN card or voter ID.
Nearly 50 members of the tribe are currently living on a piece of land in Hivare village near Saswad, about 35 km from Pune city.
Nikita Makwana, who is about 18 years old and a member of the Gosavi community, said, “My parents are Covid positive. We have kept them in isolation in another shed. When we visited the local government hospital in Saswad, we got to know that identity proof documents like Aadhaar card or PAN card are needed to get the Covid vaccine. We have none of these documents, so we are not able to get the vaccine. We also face difficulties while trying to get tested for the infection, as we don’t have any documents. So far, three persons from our community in Hivare have been infected.”
Members of the Gosavi tribe have no fixed address and they keep moving from one place to another. “We are about 50 persons from 12 families, who are living in Hivare now. We shifted here a couple of weeks ago. We earlier lived at Khalad village, located a few kilometres away,” said Makwana.
Hiraman Sampat Pawar (68), another Gosavi community member, said, “I don’t have an Aadhaar card or any other documents required for the vaccine. But other members of the community and I do want to take it. No doctors or government officials have approached us so far… we are living in difficult conditions. We collect scrap and empty bottles and earn some money by selling them. But due to the lockdown, our earnings have gone down.”
Activist Kishor Shinde of Vaidu community, who has been working for welfare of nomadic tribes, said, “These families from Gosavi community were earlier living on a piece of land in Khalad village, which was provided by social activist Siddhu Shinde. They lived there for a few years. But a few days ago, one person from the community died in a road accident. This scared the others and due to some superstitious beliefs, they left Khalad and took shelter in Hivare, where they have taken some open land on rent.”
He said the state government should take some steps to vaccinate members of such communities, who neither have any identity proof, nor any resources to get medical help.
Pune Zilla Parishad CEO Ayush Prasad said, “We have been working towards providing identity proof documents to people from nomadic tribes in the district. There are nine types of documents that are allowed for vaccination…We will look into the matter.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.