NGOs demand recall of order for mandatory vax shot

Shillong, June 16: Three pressure groups have demanded the immediate withdrawal of a directive for mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.
A letter to this effect was jointly submitted to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) seeking his intervention in the matter.
This came as strong opposition against the recent directive issued by the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills for compulsory Covid vaccination of all shop keepers, hawkers and even labourers, before they are allowed to earn their livelihood.
“The government cannot trample on the people’s right of free choice. Hence we strongly condemn and demand that such totalitarian directive be withdrawn with immediate effect,” the letter from the NGOs read.
“The Deputy Commissioner cannot force people for compulsory vaccination, as this invites the violation of fundamental rights, including the right to consent when it comes to any kind of medical treatment,” they added.
The NGO said such a directive in the first instance is an uphill task to be completed in a short span of time that is the 24th of this month.
They also opined that this implies the denial of the right to livelihood to the common citizens of the country who are already in crisis due to the extended lockdown.
The NGOs also stated that there is a lacuna on the part of the government in creating awareness about Covid vaccines coupled with a slacking on the part of the government machinery to carry out vaccination.
The NGOs said that the present situation demands that medical experts of the state must come forward to clarify to the general public about the pros and cons of Covid vaccination. “The doubt-ridden public needs specialist opinions not an opinion of a generalist public servant,” they added.