Ghaziabad: Chanchal, a 27-year-old cook who provides services to households at GC Grand highrise in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram locality, was one of the first beneficiaries who got the vaccine against Covid-19 under an initiative of the local apartment owners’ association (AOA) to vaccinate their staff on Thursday. .
Chanchal works at the GC Grand highrise society in Ghaziabad, who’s AOA on Thursday got their domestic staff vaccinated at a paid centre in Indirapuram and also paid for their vaccination.
The society has 306 apartments and sees about 65 domestic helpers come and go on a daily basis. The office bearers said that E-rickshaws were roped in to ferry the staff to the vaccination centre, adding that snacks/refreshments were also arranged for them.
“I am the only earning member in the family and could not find time to visit a vaccination centre and get the shot. So, the AOA members took an initiative and also paid for our vaccination. We are overwhelmed by the gesture,” Chanchal said.
The association’s office bearers said it took them some time to convince the staff for the jabs.
“We convinced domestic helpers through our security heads as well as residents. We asked our residents to inform them that a person without vaccination has the potential to infect others. Everyone lent support and we prepared a list of about 100 persons, including 40 domestic helpers, and the rest of our highrise staff to be vaccinated,” said Amrish Garg, president of GC Grand AOA.
“We even told them that we also got vaccinated and there is no harm in taking the shot. The entire cost of the vaccination was borne by the AOA; we consider the helpers as one of our family members,” he added.
Another highrise society in Indirapuram, Amrapali Village, which has about 1,030 flats, got their staff vaccinated on June 4.
“We got 107 of our society’s staff, such as drivers, maintenance staff, guards and also our housekeeping staff, vaccinated. The housekeeping staff was difficult to convince. Were also roped in the highrise staff members to register over the Cowin portal. The bill for the paid vaccination of the staff was paid for by the AOA,” said Deepak Kumar, president of the Amrapali Village AOA.
He added that for vaccination of domestic-helps, the AOA has requested residents to sponsor their domestic-helps and many residents have done so.
“We have about 250 domestic helps coming to the highrise on a daily basis and about 40 were vaccinated. We are now planning that the AOA will try to sponsor for vaccination of domestic helpers and we plan to hold camps for them,” he added.
Alok Kumar, founder member of federation of AOA, said that more AOAs and residents’ welfare associations need to take up the initiative.
“We need to help underprivileged groups get jabs and AOAs must come forward to get the vaccination done for their domestic staff. Since this workforce often visits several flats in a single day, their vaccination becomes vital. Many societies have taken up vaccination for their drivers, guards, etc but vaccinations for domestic helpers should also be expedited,” he added.
Special vaccination drive directed for vendors and digitally illiterate groups:
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government in an order on June 8 ordered for vaccinating street vendors, fruit/vegetable sellers, auto rickshaw drivers, cycle-rickshaw drivers and bus drivers, who are required to be vaccinated at special vaccination camps.
“The drive for this group will start from June 14 and we are planning the location for the camps. The idea is to get more vaccinations done and also protect people who generally come in contact with many people on a day-to-day basis,” said Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer, Ghaziabad.
The city has about 34,000 street vendors registered with Ghaziabad municipal-corporation.
“It will be a big exercise and we have held meetings with our officials to draw out a plan for their vaccination. There may be many vendors who may have gone to their native place during the pandemic. So, we are chalking a plan for the vaccination camp sites. These could be our zonal offices or community centres across our different zones. Locations will be finalised soon,” said MS Tanwar, municipal-commissioner.
Meanwhile the National Health Mission (UP) has also issued an order on June 10 for getting the vaccination done for people who are not digitally connected or don’t have knowledge base to connect to online platforms for registrations.
“The NHM has suggested that vaccination of such people can be done by the way of walk-in, or they can go to their nearest common service centre for getting the registrations done. They can also use the 1075 helpline number for getting their registrations done. The NHM has also directed that special camps will be held ‘near to home’ for senior citizens and physically-challenged persons under the category,” Dr Gupta added further.
As per the Cowin portal figures on Thursday evening, the district has so far administered first dose to about 607,570 beneficiaries while second dose was also administered to about 104,549 of these beneficiaries.