Actor Sonu Sood's initiative COVREG to create volunteer programme for COVID-19 vaccination
June 25, 2021, Updated on : Fri Jun 25 2021 07:39:06 GMT+0000
On Friday, actor and humanitarian Sonu Sood launched his new initiative, COVREG, which aims to create the world’s biggest volunteer programme for COVID-19 vaccination registration in rural India.
The initiative is powered by rural fintech leader Spice Money, which will provide the technological expertise for building the app, and will onboard volunteers through the website.
Once the volunteers register for the initiative, they will get access to an app to help with the vaccine registrations for an approximately 95 crore Indian rural population.
COVREG has been authorised by the Ministry of Health, Government of India as an Application Service Provider (ASP), with protected CoWIN APIs. This will be the first ASP-enabled B2B app that allows for an assisted model in COVID-19 vaccination registration in rural India.
Speaking about the initiative, Sonu Sood, actor and philanthropist, said, “Vaccination is the need of the hour in India to win the battle against COVID-19. Rural India continues to struggle in coping with the pandemic, and is now also struggling with vaccine registrations.”
“So, COVREG is created based on a detailed understanding of rural India, and their needs observed through months of on-ground work. COVREG addresses rural-specific issues of vaccine registration and provides much-needed assistance to hesitant rural citizens. The trust that a neighbourhood volunteer warrants will be an additional push towards registration.”
COVREG will also address the challenges regarding lack of digital literacy, infrastructure and accessibility in rural areas and work towards eliminating vaccine hesitancy by educating the beneficiaries and busting common myths around it.
The volunteers will register rural citizens and book slots for both the doses of vaccination will follow up to ensure they reach the vaccination centres and will also provide certification post with the vaccination.
Volunteers of the Sonu Sood Charity Foundation will be part of the COVREG network. The foundation further aims to recruit a large number of volunteers to specifically support the initiative.
Spice Money’s network of more than 5 lakh Adhikaris (banking correspondent agents) and partners will be leveraged as COVREG volunteers to maximise reach in rural villages.
COVREG volunteers will also be trained to address any issues, such as a lack of ID proof, wherein they will assist the beneficiaries in applying for a PAN card online. Anyone with a smartphone and 4G connectivity can become a volunteer by registering on www.covreg.in.
“Vaccination of the rural population is the only way to control the spread of Covid-19, and rebuild rural livelihoods. To address the challenges faced by rural citizens to register for vaccination, we have created this assisted model of COVREG wherein volunteers will handhold rural citizens throughout the vaccination journey, facilitating bookings for both inoculation doses,” said Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money adding that the partnership with COVREG is a step towards rural upliftment.
Ek Soch Foundation, a partner organisation, will be responsible for on-ground volunteer management. Mobilization of such a massive workforce will enable greater penetration of the right information, education and alleviate fears in every corner of India.
Edited by Anju Narayanan