Secluded in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, the Malana village that is widely known for its controversial culture, is making the headlines again as the villagers have refused to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
Aiming to provide the Covid-19 vaccines to all the remote corners of the country, the health workers have been trekking 7km uphill to the village every alternate day of the week for the past two months. Although, all their efforts to offer medical support and conduct a vaccination drive have been left futile.
As the media reports, the villagers who believe that they're the direct descendants of the Greek king, Alexander the Great have repeatedly refused to take the vaccine as it stands against their beliefs.
Malana denies vaccination instancing their faith in the deities
The villagers of Malana have formed their own local government who makes all the decisions. Though, they trust in their deity, Jamdagni Rishi or Jamlu Devta to have the final say.
A 35-year-old Nirmala Devi, an accredited social health activist (ASHA) who has been working in the Kullu district for several years now, told Hindustan Times that she has been walking up to the village from the nearest bus stand for weeks to convince them. Though the villagers have refused to take the vaccine citing the deity’s diktat.
On Friday, the Kullu legislator, Sunder Thakur informed that he will persuade the villagers again, despite their repeated denial. He also said that the Himachali's faith in the mystical powers of deities is the main reason for the residents to be reluctant to get inoculated.
Malana panchayat to decide on behalf of the villagers next week
The Malana panchayat makes all the decisions of Saura Behad and Dhara Behad, the two villages with around 475 households and a population of 2041 residents whose occupation is sheep rearing and agriculture. Tek Chand, the Panchayat secretary informed that he has been trying to educate the panchayat representatives during their meetings but all his attempts have failed so far.
On the other hand, Raju Ram will be trying to persuade the residents in the next village parliament meeting which is to be conducted sometime next week. The final decision will be taken then.
The lockdown situation in Malana
The Malanese have prohibited around 20 guest houses in their vicinity from running since the month of March last year when the pandemic commenced. They had prohibited the entry of outsiders after the Covid-19 cases surged which has kept the village from experiencing a full-blown outbreak of the disease.
So far, Malana has not recorded a single case of Covid-19 and no deaths have been linked to the disease.
What do you think of the decision made by the Malana villagers? Let us know in the comments below.
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