The RSS affiliate organisation, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch observed World Awakening Day on Sunday, by putting forward their demand of "Patent Free COVID Vaccine". The local members of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch visited the residence of the Member of Parliament from Silchar Constituency, Dr. Rajdeep Roy, and had a session of discussion with him on the issue. In addition, the Manch published a set of Awareness placards and got their proposal of "Patent Free COVID Vaccine", signatured by the MP.
Ravi Kumar Patwa, the Assam Province Branch Connector for the Manch, along with the Cachar District Branch Connector, Santanu Sutradhar and the Hailakandi District Branch Connector, Binay Paul, accompanied by other members of the organization, participated in the discussion and other additional programmes at the residence of Dr. Rajdeep Roy.
On the occasion, the Assam Province Branch Connector of the organization, Ravi Kumar Patwa said, "The law allows a company or an establishment to own the patent rights of a vaccine or a medicine for a period of 20 years, and it has been the rule. This is in no way illegal. To ensure a good profit, every company usually does that. However, considering the pandemic situation, it is important to impose relaxations on this law or rule, especially with regards to the COVID-19 vaccines".
Patwa added, "It has been observed that a very few number of companies of a very few number of countries are currently manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccines. The remaining companies, by virtue of the Patent Law, do not have access to the production of these vaccines. Consequently the poor countries are not being able to inoculate its population against the coronavirus. The shares of the manufactured vaccines are remaining exclusive to the rich countries." He further added, "When the question is about the death or life of people, this uneven share of this acutely essential material is in no way acceptable. If the vaccine is liberated from the patent law, all countries can have access to the formulae of the COVID vaccines, and thus can manufacture it to inoculate their population."
The members of the Manch added to the discussion, along with the Assam Province Branch Connector and said, "Despite having access to a total of two to three COVID-19 vaccine formulae, India, in collaboration with South Africa is actively participating in favour of the proposal to bring relaxations on the Patent Law, in case of COVID vaccines, amid the pandemic." They added, "However, the representatives of few powerful countries, who have been manufacturing COVID vaccines, are advocating the opposite narrative. But a ray of hope is that the powerful countries are gradually changing their statements in favour of the cause, which is being supported by India and South Africa."
The members of the organisation further informed, "In the meeting of the World Trade Organization on June 9, a total of 60 countries have advocated the proposal of liberating the COVID vaccine from the Patent Law and officially signed for the cause. "Now, it is important for the proposal to be held up in the meeting of the 'Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights' and get that signed. To achieve this goal, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch has started a campaign to collect public signatures, advocating the cause, around the world. In addition, Sundays (June 20) has been observed as "World Awakening Day", said the members of the Manch. Swadeshi Jagaran Manch has urged the citizens to be vocal in this regard.