Walking into the Sri Sathya Ganesha temple in South Bengaluru, devotees expected a queue for ‘darshan’, special ‘poojas’ and ‘prasaada’. The excited residents, however, were all met with an unexpected sight inside the temple premises — a vaccination drive.
The local officials of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike have set up a desk providing first and second doses of Covaxin and Covishield to those who were due for their shot.
“Ahead of the third wave, we must vaccinate the maximum number of people. BBMP has given us the authority to organise vaccination drives at various places. So I thought why not do it in a temple where lot of people gather during the festival. This is the biggest temple in this ward. We sought the necessary permission from higher officials, temple management and set this up two days ago,” said Dr Sagarika Prema, medical officer, Jaraganahalli ward.
At least a hundred people had got their shot within two hours of the beginning of the vaccination drive on Friday. “I was due for my second dose since the last ten days. I had come to the temple for darshan and saw the drive and immediately got the jab,” said Swathi, a resident.
“I had tested positive for Covid and hence could not take my first dose all these days. This drive was a pleasant surprise. In my opinion, giving vaccination is a more noble act than offering devotees ‘prasada’,” said Vivek KM, another resident.
The drive targets to vaccinate at least 500 people by end of the day and will continue to be held inside the temple in the coming days.
In a recent survey, BBMP found that 62% of Bengaluru received their first dose of vaccine and 3% of the population were detected with Covid19 previously.