ChildFund India, with the support of HSBC India, has launched a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination drive for fisherfolk and people from vulnerable communities in South Mumbai from October 4-13.
The drive, supported by the Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai, and in collaboration with Surana Hospital, Mumbai, was flagged off by Rahul Narwekar, MLA, Colaba Assembly Constituency and Harshita Narwekar, Corporator, 226 under A ward at a Private COVID Vaccination Centre in Colaba, in the presence of Neelam Makhijani, Country Director, ChildFund in India, Aloka Majumdar, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC India, Aman Ullah, Head of Communication, HSBC India, Dr Prajakta Amberkar, Medical Officer – Health, A ward, South Mumbai and community leaders from the Machhimar nagar.
India has 7,200 kilometers of coastline and four-five crore fisherfolk making their living from the sea. Given these numbers, it is easy to see how such a pandemic would have far-reaching implications. Vaccination support to the community was imperative and our efforts have been directed towards the same.
As part of the drive, 10,000 fisherfolk and people from vulnerable communities in South Mumbai will receive the two doses of the Covishield vaccine as per government directives and protocols, completely free of cost. The drive will serve marginalised people who have not been able to access them earlier due to the nationwide vaccine supply shortage and vaccine hesitancy.
Since the past 18 months, ChildFund India has supported millions of people, including children, with awareness and vaccination drives, relief material, livelihood recovery opportunities, psycho-social support and necessary medical aid, as part of the COVID-19 response. These efforts have so far reached over 8 million people including children from vulnerable communities across the 15 states.
Neelam Makhijani, Country Director, ChildFund in India, said, “Through this initiative, ChildFund India and HSBC together are proactively contributing to the nation’s goal of complete vaccine coverage. We are grateful to HSBC for joining hands in our endevour to keep people safe, secure and sustained. Since the last 18 months, ChildFund India has been working in semi-urban and rural areas to handle the impact of the pandemic. Our interventions include providing medical equipment to 100 PHCs and CHCs, setting up child-friendly COVID-care centres, providing food, hygiene and educational kits to families, launching an intensive vaccination drive and most importantly, providing livelihood opportunities.”
Aloka Majumdar, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC India said, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread. During these tough times, the marginalised communities in Mumbai have been particularly vulnerable and also lacked the access to adequate health care. We are happy to partner with ChildFund India for a vaccination drive across the underprivileged communities in South Mumbai. Vaccination has emerged as an effective measure to check the spread of the pandemic and this is the latest initiative amongst our various efforts to combat the pandemic and support our communities.