The Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu called for removing vaccine hesitancy among sections of people and underlined the need for concerted efforts to counter fake news and dispel myths on issues relating to COVID-19.
Noting the effect of mental stress and fear among people, he said that misinformation on COVID-19 and vaccination is a matter of serious concern. The Vice President urged icons in different fields, doctors and others to dispel fears and create awareness among the people on the importance of vaccination.
Pointing out that India is implementing the world’s largest vaccination drive, Shri Naidu emphasized that every Indian has a social responsibility to get vaccinated and encourage others to immunize themselves. Vaccination drive should become a peoples’ movement and it should be led by the youth, he added.
Releasing the book ‘Kotha (Corona) Kathalu’, an anthology of 80 short stories on COVID-19 in Telugu by eminent authors from across the world, Shri Naidu suggested to people to adopt five principles to combat the pandemic–leading an active lifestyle that includes regular physical exercise or yoga, seeking spiritual solace, consuming healthy nutritious food, observing Covid-appropriate behavior like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently and to always protect and live in harmony with nature.
He also stressed the need for behavioural changes in the wake of the pandemic.
Asserting that India has fared reasonably well in tackling the pandemic in spite of the huge population and lack of adequate health infrastructure, he commended the efforts of scientists, doctors, health workers and others in playing an invaluable role in containing the spread of Corona virus.
Observing that the pandemic has underlined the importance of regular physical activity, Shri Naidu said modern lifestyle and sedentary habits have led to the increasing prevalence of many non-communicable diseases.
Shri Naidu pointed to the importance of mental health as a public health issue in the wake of the pandemic and the need to address it in a holistic manner. He said that meditation and spirituality would help in maintaining a balanced life. Highlighting the importance of consuming a balanced diet, he cautioned people, particularly the youth, against becoming addicted to fast food.
The Vice President also spoke about the importance of personal hygiene, which he said was reinforced by the pandemic. He urged people to follow precautions even after getting vaccinated.
Observing that the Indian ethos is to love and live in harmony with nature, the Vice President underscored the need to keep living spaces well-ventilated and well-lit.
On this occasion, Shri Naidu also paid rich tributes to the legendary singer, late Shri S.P. Balasubramaniam, to whom the book is dedicated. Recalling the life of the versatile singer, Shri Naidu said in the five decades of his musical journey, Shri S.P. Balasubramaniam left an indelible mark on the musical world. Commending the efforts of the authors and the publishers for bringing out the book, Shri Naidu reiterated the need to preserve our native languages and mother tongues. He said the medium of education should be in mother tongue up to primary education. He also said that importance should be accorded to the usage of local language in administration and judiciary. He also called for gradually increasing the use of Indian languages in technical education. Shri Naidu urged people to always speak in their native languages without belittling other languages.
Shri Mandali Buddha Prasad, Former AP Assembly Deputy Speaker, Dr. Alla Srinivas Reddy, US-based cardiologist, Dr. C M K Reddy, All India Telugu Federation President, Dr. Kesani Mohan Kishore, US-based cardiologist, Vamsee Ramaraju, founder-president of Vamsee Art Theatre and several others from India and abroad participated in the virtual event.