While tackling 1 lakh cases on a daily basis, India’s impressive progress in mass production of vaccine made the world look up to it. It trounced archrival China in the race of vaccine diplomacy. By supplying “Made in India” vaccine to neighbours and far-off countries, Bharat has demonstrated its potential to lead from the front
Singing Praise: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
with family meeting the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
with family meeting the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
From requesting penicillin from Canada in 1947 to supplying COVID-19 vaccine to more than 70 countries in 2021, mother India has come a long way on its path of development and its dream of becoming the Vishwa Guru. India’s vaccine diplomacy programme which is named as “Vaccine Maitri” has already taken off even before global organisations like World Health Organisation (WHO) could get their global vaccination programme on track.
Even during the initial months of the pandemic, India provided many countries with hydroxylchloroquine and paracetamol and sent PPE kits and other medical equipments to nearly 100 countries. Thus, it is not wrong to say that even from the start our motherland was ready to serve others also.
Not only the world organisations like UN and WHO but also member nations of “Quad” such as USA have also acknowledged the Indian dominance in the field of vaccine production and called the India’s production power to be the saviour of this world.
From the month of March in 2020, after WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, not only the fight of every nation against this pandemic started but also a Cold War started between the major countries to produce most reliable as well as cheapest vaccine as so on as possible. Also the upcoming picture was pretty clear that the country to produce the cheapest and most reliable vaccine will lead the fight of the world against this pandemic and will eventually grow as a superpower.
India’s Path to Success
India never hurried for the production of the vaccine. Rather our government very carefully examined the correct procedure required for its storage and transportation. In the meantime large chain of cold storages were established throughout the country to ensure its safe and secure transportation as well as usage.
16th January 2021 was the day, when the world’s largest vaccination drive started in our country and now the eyes of whole world rested on India to lead this fight against COVID-19.
Even before the outbreak of this pandemic in 2020, the vaccine producing capacity of India was already very high. It should be noted that every 3rd vaccine used in this world was produced by Serum Institute of India having its headquarters at Pune. Thus, contrary to EU’s decision for nationalisation of its vaccine, India headed towards the path of internationalisation of its “Make in India” Vaccine.
India’s Policy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
While making the announcement of two Made in India vaccines, our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the mantra of “Sarve Santu Niramaya” (which derives its origin from Rig Veda). It means ‘May all be free from diseases’. This was the first hint which proved that our country will supply vaccine to all those countries who need it urgently. Working precisely on our belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and thus treating the whole world as a single family, 20th January 2021 was the day when the first shift of ‘Made In India’ vaccine was dispatched to some of our neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles. It was done through Undergrant Assistance. This marked the beginning of an era which was going to be totally dominated by India’s vaccine diplomacy.
While making the announcement of two Made in India vaccines, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the mantra of “Sarve Santu Niramaya” (which derives its origin from Rig Veda). It means ‘May all be free from diseases’. This was the first hint which proved that our country will supply vaccine to all those countries who need it urgently
During the coming days, vaccines will also dispatched to many countries of Asia, Africa, South America as well as Europe. If the world managed to conquer COVID-19 “it would be significant because of India’s tremendous pharmaceutical capacity and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership sharing capacity with the world”
Nepal’s Minister for Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi and Indian ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra attend vaccine handover ceremony at Kathmandu airport
These words of appreciation by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are more than enough to determine the amount of respect and support our country and its leadership is getting from some of the world’s most developed nations.
Vaccine Diplomacy in Asia
In the middle of 2020, while the whole world was busy fighting the pandemic, its epicentre China became more or less free and started the production of its vaccine. But it thoroughly failed to win confidence of major countries of the world as its pharmaceutical companies refused to share their details. On the other hand, while tackling 90,000 to 1,00,000 cases per day, our country rapidly progressed on the path of mass production of vaccine along with 100 per cent transparency in its production procedure. This made India defeat its archrival China in this race of vaccine production as well as diplomacy. By supplying Made in India vaccine to most of the South Asian countries, India made a bold statement that now it has developed that potential to lead Asia from front. The real battle between India and China was to supply vaccines to different countries as cheaply as possible which in return would grant their support in different world organisations and also would benefit their trade and traders. India’s production capacity is so fast that till now it has supplied more than 58 million doses of ‘Made in India’ vaccine which is approximately 3 times of what China has supplied. India is working progressively on its policy of “Act East” as in case of Myanmar which holds a very strategically important position both with respect to India and China was immediately granted with supply of 1.7 million doses from India before China could fulfill its long lasting promise of supplying 3,00,000 doses.
Workers unload cartons of a Covid-19 vaccine being delivered from India to Myanmar in Yangon
Dominance in South Asia is a matter of great concern as it is home to nearly 25 per cent of world’s population and also home to many developing countries, a close tie with whom can serve a a great marketplace for our “Made In India” products and it can eventually boost our economy.
Developing nations are turning to India to provide them the healing touch
India’s Emergence as Superpower
Along with South Asian countries, India also supplied vaccines to Canada, South American, Caribbean, Gulf as well as African countries. When the whole world was busy fighting this pandemic and merely someone gave liys sympathy to poor African countries, it was India which stood firm and helped many of those poor African nations by supplying them “Made In India vaccines. Supply of indigenous vaccines to African countries can help India in setting up close ties with the African sub-continent which is home to enormous amount of poor population where India can establish large amount of developmental schemes and also gather huge amount of supporting world organisations through this sub-continent. India providing vaccines to Caribbean and South American nations is a big diplomatic move as it has challenged the long ranging USA’s dominance in that area. Brazil’s president thanking India for “Sanjeevnibooti” along with a picture of “Lord Hanuman” carrying a mountain of booti itself describes the amount of love and respect our country has earned through this vaccine diplomacy. It should be noted that Brazil is home to enormous amount of natural resources and it’s close ties with India can help us revitalise our industries. Last but not the least, world’s biggest source of petroleum and energy, the Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait were also provided with Made in India vaccines. Close relations with these Gulf countries can help India solve its problem of petroleum products as Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil producing nation and it play a major role in deciding the crude oil prices in worldwide market whereas India is one of the biggest consumer of petroleum products. Also, one of the major reasons behind India’s vaccine diplomacy could be its hope to get a permanent membership in the United Nation’s Security Council which will officially declare India’s dominance in the post-COVID world.
India providing vaccines to Caribbean and South American nations is a big diplomatic move as it has challenged the long ranging USA’s dominance in that area. Brazil’s president thanking India for “Sanjeevnibooti” along with a picture of “Lord Hanuman” carrying a mountain of booti itself describes the amount of love and respect our country has earned through this vaccine diplomacy
In the end, it should be taken into account that now it’s no longer the old India that stands on the door so International Monetary Fund and World Bank to get itself some financial aid or the India which needs the support of USA or Russia. This is the new India which stands firmly on its feet and is headed strongly on the path to become the Vishwa Guru.
(The Writer is a student of Mechanical Engineering, NIT Bhopal)