Hesitation to vaccination is "coronavirus invitation", Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Monday as he launched a campaign for creating awareness in rural areas about the ongoing inoculation drive in the country.
While launching the "Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai" campaign from the Chamraua primary health centre in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Naqvi said "some vested interests" are trying to spread rumours and apprehensions regarding Covid vaccines in some areas of the country.
Such elements are enemies of the health and wellbeing of the people, the minority affairs minister was quoted as saying by a statement from his office.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs, along with various socio-educational organisations, NGOs and women self-help groups, has launched the awareness campaign which will be organised across the country in the coming days.
Various religious leaders, prominent people from various fields such as social, educational, cultural, medical and science are giving effective messages to the people to get vaccinated.
Street plays will also be organised across the country under the campaign, the statement said.
"Two made-in-India coronavirus vaccines are the result of the hardwork of our scientists and it has been proved scientifically that these vaccines are absolutely safe and are an effective weapon in the fight against coronavirus," the Minister said.
Every eligible person should get himself or herself vaccinated to make India free from the pandemic, Mr Naqvi said.
He said that state Haj committees, Waqf boards, their associated organisations, Central Waqf Council, Maulana Azad Education Foundation, various social and educational institutions, NGOs, women self-help groups, working under ''Nai Roshni'' scheme of the ministry, are part of the awareness campaign.
Religious leaders and prominent people from various fields including Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid; Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Mufti Mukarram Ahmad; Jain Guru Acharya Lokesh Muni and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa, have given effective messages and appealed to people to get themselves vaccinated.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah ''Sajjadanashin'' Syed Zainul Abedin; Dargah Ajmer Sharif Chairman Syed Moin Hussain; Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor; various Christian and Buddhist religious leaders; personalities from film, television, among others, are also participating in the campaign.
Video messages of these prominent people will be publicised among the people through social media platforms and other mediums to create awareness on coronavirus vaccines.
Several other prominent people of the country will also join the campaign in the coming days, the statement said.
Mr Naqvi said the Modi government is running the world's largest Covid vaccination drive under which crores of people have been vaccinated so far in the country.
The Minister said India is far ahead of nations with better resources and facilities in terms of vaccination against coronavirus.
The government and the society have worked unitedly to defeat coronavirus and the country is coming out of the crisis, he said.
The campaign is aimed at creating awareness for coronavirus vaccination in rural and remote areas of the country and also to "crush and curb'' the rumours and apprehensions, being spread by some vested interests regarding the ongoing inoculation drive, Mr Naqvi said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)