HNExpress Staff Reporter : Sonu Sood today launched his new initiative, COVREG, which aims to create the world’s biggest volunteer program for Covid vaccination registration in Rural India. The initiative, powered by rural fintech leader Spice Money, will onboard volunteers through its website www.covreg.in. Once the volunteers register for the initiative, they will be provided with an app to help with covid vaccine registrations for approximately 95 crore Indian rural population, comprising over 65% of the total Indian population. Spice Money will provide the technological expertise for building the app. Currently, Spice Money provides a redirection to the Cowin platform through its Adhikari app and web portal which has been utilised by more than 2 lakh Adhikaris based in rural India to help register their customers for covid vaccination.
COVREG has been authorised by the Ministry of Health, Government of India as 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 vaccination registration in rural India.
The rural population of India continues to struggle due to low digital literacy and thus is unable to fully benefit from the digital self-registration services offered to them for vaccination. COVREG will address the challenges regarding lack of digital literacy, infrastructure and accessibility in rural areas. COVREG volunteers will also 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 the vaccination.
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.
Spice Money’s extensive network of more than 5 lakh Adhikaris (banking correspondent agents) and partners, covering 95% of the rural pincodes in India, will be leveraged as COVREG volunteers to maximise reach in rural villages. Also the volunteers currently working with the Sonu Sood Charity Foundation will be part of the COVREG volunteer network. The foundation further aims to recruit a large number of volunteers to specifically support the initiative.
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.
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 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 neighborhood volunteer warrants will be an additional push towards registration.”
Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money, said “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. We have always been passionate about Sonu Sood’s philanthropic journey and partnering with COVREG is a step towards building to our common vision of rural upliftment.”