When a Covid vaccination site at the Community Health Centre in Bisrakh village near Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida was set up, authorities expected that the facility would serve the residents. However, people from apartment complexes in neighbouring Noida and Ghaziabad can be seen queued up at the centre daily for inoculation.
Many of the beneficiaries from the cities had not even heard of the village before they booked an appointment here.
36-year-old Akash Saxena and his 31-year-old wife Soumya live in Ghaziabad. They had to travel 20 kilometres to Bisrakh to get inoculated after they failed to book an appointment near their home.
"I had been trying for several days but it is so tough to book a slot on CoWin. I could not get it anywhere in the whole of Ghaziabad, so I came here. I had never even heard of the village. I reached by using GPS and by asking locals for directions," Mr Saxena said.
Soumya Agarwal, who stays in Noida, was also among those who turned up at the village for vaccination. "I tried for a slot on CoWin for over a week but could not get it. I finally managed to get a slot here but could not get another for my mother at this centre. So, I booked a slot in another village for today. I had never heard of these villages," she said.
In Greater Noida villages like Bisrakh and Khairpur Gurjar, 10-15 people test Covid positive every day. Despite the surge, most residents are not vaccinated. From rumours to lack of access to resources, reasons for the poor vaccination record are many.
Rishi Chaudhary, 42, who lost both his parents within a span of 20 days due to Covid, said: "I am ready to take the jab. But they should first clarify. We have heard that people with blood pressure issues should not get vaccinated as they fall sick post the jab. The vaccination camp should be set up in the village itself - it will then be a lot easier for all of us to get vaccinated."
Another resident Praveen Sharma said: "There is a lack of awareness and lack of conveyance. We need a team of doctors to come here and set up a vaccination camp in the village itself and clear people's queries. For those who do not have access to technical resources, there should be manual registration. If all of these things are taken care of then I am sure that 80% of the village's residents will get vaccinated."
According to rules, walk-in vaccinations are not allowed for those in the 18-44 age group - the CoWin mobile application is the only option.
"We have received some complaints that residents of the village are not as educated and are struggling to get online registration. We have informed higher-ups like the District Magistrate. We will try to resolve this. We are trying our best at these vaccination centres. We come at 8 am and leave around 10 pm. Our aim is to ensure maximum people take the jab," Dr Sachendra Mishra, Medical Incharge at Bisrakh, said.