BEHIND Himachal Pradesh’s coronavirus vaccination success are several unlikely heroes. Among them are office-bearers of its district- and state-level legal service authorities, and the para-legal volunteers who work with them. Through YouTube videos, online camps and door-to-door visits, they have been raising awareness about the virus and how to check it since the first Covid-19 wave.
At the office of the Nari Chintpurni gram panchayat in Una district, a group of people are gathered on September 9 to hear Vivek Khanal, secretary of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), at an online nukkad camp. Khanal, 44, describes the official duties of the DLSA, that is offering free legal advice to those who can’t afford it, before going on to congratulate the audience on getting themselves vaccinated and helping Himachal become the first state in the country to cover all those eligible with at least the first shot.
It may be months down the Coronavirus road, but Khanal doesn’t skip the part underlining Covid-appropriate behaviour. “When you wash your hands, it is not possible to look at the time. What I do is I keep washing my hands till I count up to 80,” Khanal says. “We have to learn to live with the virus. Mere hisab se agli garmi tak aise hi chalega (According to me, things will continue like this till the next summer). Till then we should not lower our guard.”
Sanjay Kalia, a shopkeeper at Nari Chintpurni village, says he likes Khanal’s way of…