For some time now, a lot of people have been raising the question of how the transgender community and some others are being left out of the current ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drives of India. However, that seems to be changing as more and more transgender communities across the country are being reported to either having been vaccinated or have started getting it.
States like Assam, Kolkata, and more have already started to vaccinate their transgender communities and now even Noida is planning on joining them. In a special campaign set to start from June 7th, 2021, transgenders, elderly people living in old-age homes and divyangs (people with disabilities) will be given COVID-19 vaccinations.
This is a good step forward towards inclusion and making sure every citizen of India gets their vaccinations regardless of any label or tag.
What Is This Campaign?
On 7th June 2021, a vaccination drive will be held at the Vikas Bhawan auditorium in Greater Noida.
Shailendra Singh, a Gautam Buddh Nagar District Social Welfare Officer, as per reports, said that the drive would take place between 10 am to 4 pm and also that transgender community members who want to get the vaccine should approach officials in room 117 at Vikas Bhawan and get themselves registered for the drive.
Singh, as per reports has stated that, “The department concerned has identified 50 differently-abled beneficiaries, while 70 people have been identified from the old age home run by the social welfare department in Greater Noida. Apart from this, the district magistrate has instructed to include transgenders in the drive as well. Hence, we are publicising among their communities that they can come and get vaccinated here.”
According to reports, those wanting to participate in the campaign need to get themselves registered. For this, they will need to bring a photocopy of their Aadhar card and have their mobile phone in hand to complete the registration process.
The contact of social welfare department official Suneel Kumar on 7042563106 has also been given and those who have any queries can get it resolved through this.
Apparently, this campaign is part of Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district’s attempt at becoming India’s first district to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
In a press statement, District Information Officer Rakesh Chauhan said “DM Suhas L Y called on all officials to get totally committed toward ensuring the objective of getting Gautam Buddh Nagar fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Singh also commented on how it was a bit difficult to gain the trust of the transgender community of the area regarding the vaccine. He said, “It is very difficult to convince people in the transgender community to come and get vaccinated. Two days back, I reached out to their community leader over the phone but she said that they do not ‘trust’ vaccines. Her brother got a fever a day after getting vaccinated so they got scared. However, I tried to make them understand that it is just a side effect.”
As per a Hindustan Times report Ram Kali, a transgender working with NGO Basera Samajik Sansthan that works with over 2,000 transgenders in the area, also said how most of the members tend to follow their leader in these kinds of things. She said “Various rounds of counseling are required to get transgenders vaccinated as they only follow what their community leader tells them. We have so far been able to get only around 50 transgenders vaccinated at the Sector 30 district hospital.”
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