Hello, my name is Sanjeevani Gaadi. I travel to different villages across India. My job is to visit villages across the country while providing communities with valuable information on COVID-19 that could help protect them from the virus.
Looking back at how the world changed in January 2020 was something no one could have prepared me for. Watching the virus travel from country to country, infiltrating homes, has left people with more questions than answers. Fortunately, this is something that I can help with.
On my current route, I visit 5 districts across the country which has led to some interesting conversations. Each day, I have the pleasure of interacting with hundreds of community members as I travel between villages. My journey takes me to both, urban and rural localities which provides me with the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people. The profile of these individuals spans across age groups, socio-economic backgrounds and genders. Even though we are at a crucial point in the pandemic where vaccines are now available, my job as the Sanjeevani Gaadi is as important as ever. For instance, on my last visit to Indore, I was asked many questions about the vaccine. The most common one being “Agar tika lagaya to COVID-19 infection hoga kya?” (If we take the vaccine, can we still get infected with COVID?). Some people also ask “Tika kaha milega?”(Where can we get vaccinated?). I always make sure I travel with plenty of informative leaflets, messages and a team that answers everyone’s questions. Often, small children run up to me, announcing my arrival to their families. “Gaadi aa gayi!”(The van has come!). To maximize outreach, it is important to adopt an inclusive approach to ensure that my messages reach everyone without having literacy as a barrier. For this, my audio-visual screen projects “how-to” videos on key points such as registering for the vaccine, following covid appropriate behaviour etc. This way, people can use me as a visual guide when they need help. Some also register themselves while watching my videos which shows the benefits of using multiple forms of communication to create awareness. Positive responses mean more people are practicing COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, which in turn, will make their communities a safer place to live.