A controversy erupted in the Pogoi village in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, after a Christian doctor wore her footwear inside a temple, as per reports. The doctor was reportedly a part of the team that had gone to the village to administer Covid vaccines to the villagers. Despite repeated appeals, when the doctor refused to take off her footwear, the irate villagers protested and refused to take the vaccination until the doctor left.
According to local reports, the vaccination camp had been organised by the Vellore Government Hospital in the Muthalamman temple premises in the Poigai village. Regina, the Christian doctor, who works in the Hospital was a part of the team that was sent to the village to administer the Covid vaccine to the villagers.
While all the other health workers removed their footwear, as the camp was being held inside the temple, Regina reportedly refused to respect the sanctity of the place and sat in front of the sanctum sanctorum with her shoes.
This left the villagers infuriated. When the villagers asked her to remove it she reportedly asked “is there a board saying one shouldn’t wear footwear inside the temple?”. Despite repeated requests, when Regine refused to remove her footwear, the Hindu villagers declined to take the vaccine unless she left the temple.
‘Wore the footwear for fear of contracting Covid-19’: Doctor tries to justify behavior
When the matter escalated, Adi Siva, the Hindu Front leader in the area, came to the temple with his supporters. He requested the doctor to respect the sentiments of the Hindus and take off her footwear, but the doctor remained adamant.
Seeing the situation worsen, Dr Regina quickly issued a justification for her action saying that she feared she would contract Covid is she went barefoot. But the enraged villagers refuse to buy the argument and insisted on her leaving the temple premises immediately. The villagers were adamant that they would only get themselves vaccinated once she leaves.
The villagers only agreed to take the vaccines after the nurses who accompanied the doctor apologised on behalf of the doctor, for hurting the religious sentiments of the villagers.