New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS): Residents of Tahirpur and the surrounding areas in Delhi are benefitting from Svayams mission to get vaccinated against Covid-19. What is remarkable about Tahirpur is that it is Indias largest colony for the leprosy-afflicted.
Svayam, an initiative of the Sminu Jindal Charitable Trust, works for accessibility and dignity of people with reduced mobility.
Along with local authorities, it initiated a drive to get all the people living in and around such leprosy colonies in Tahirpur.
Six months since it began, the drive has successfully vaccinated nearly 5,000 persons living in these leprosy colonies against Covid-19. The process is ongoing and aims to vaccinate all those willing and eligible.
Leprosy is a dreaded disease and many fear to even go near those afflicted by it. Prior to the drive, the lives of nearly 5,000 families in and Tahirpur was on the balance as stigma of leprosy was further complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. There was not only reluctance to spread awareness about vaccination in these colonies but also commuting to nearest vaccine centres was extremely inconvenient.
"Even after having vaccination centres near us, we were not able to reach there due to our condition but Svayam not only helped us in getting registered but also to reach the vaccination centres comfortably via accessible vans," says 61-year-old Sumai Soren, a resident of Tahirpur.
Sminu Jindal, the Founder and Chairperson of Svayam, says: "As India marks Mahatma Gandhi's 152nd birth anniversary, it is poignant to remember his words: ‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members'. As a society, the least we can do is make our infrastructure and facilities accessible to all. Svayam's initiative to get Tahirpur residents vaccinated using specially modified accessible vans is just a small step in that direction."
Inderjeet Kumar, Secretary of Hari Om Kusht Ashram, says: "Involvement of Svayam comes as a blessing to people of these colonies. Svayam has provided us accessible vehicles which transfers these residents to and fro from vaccination centres."
Svayam has been at the forefront of vaccination of all people with reduced mobility since a long time, including the elderly as well as pregnant women. There are over two lakh physically disabled people in Delhi alone. The mission to get each person vaccinated cannot be complete until people living with reduced mobility get access and the dignity to lead a healthy life.