ACT coalition vaccinates entire Kabini tourism ecosystem in Karnataka as businesses
As Covid cases steadily decline, restoring some form of normalcy, businesses including the tourism sector that have been ravaged by the pandemic are looking to reopen. But lack of access to vaccinate employees is a concern for the sector. ACT’s community coalition initiative, along with a few other non-profits, looks to address this challenge.
This week, ACT vaccinated about 3,000 people in Kabini including forest department staffers, employees of the government-run Jungle Lodges, private resorts and most of the villagers living on the fringes of the Nagarahole National Park who are directly or indirectly involved in tourism.
“We first launched the community coalition initiative to vaccinate marginalised communities in Bengaluru. Then we decided to extend the vaccination drive to business sectors like tourism, so that we can help them restart quickly,” said
India’s founder-partner, Prashanth .
Prakash founded ACT Grants last year to aid India’s fight against Covid at various levels.
He said Kabini was a pilot model where the vaccination drive was carried out in partnership with the forest department, local panchayat and health officials.
“It is an ecosystem approach, similar to how we are vaccinating the target population like delivery executives, kirana owners, MSMEs and slum dwellers in Bengaluru. Ecosystem approach seems to be the way forward,” Prakash said.
While IT industry veteran Tiger Ramesh funded the vaccination of forest employees in Nagarahole and the nearby Bandipur National Park, ACT used its funds to inoculate villagers. Jungle Lodges and private resorts paid to vaccinate their employees.
The experience proved helpful to also do away with vaccine hesitancy among people, Prakash said.
Retired principal chief conservator of forests Vinay Luthra, who helped coordinate the drive, said jabbing forest staff who were not declared as frontline workers was important. “There are about 12,000 forest staff in Karnataka. While some of them have been vaccinated, most of them are not. It is high time that we vaccinate all of them,” he said.
ACT has been vaccinating about 6,000 people daily from marginalised communities in Bengaluru.
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