Navi Mumbai civic body first to roll out vaccination drive for beggars, homeless persons

Navi Mumbai is possibly the first corporation in the state to undertake a special vaccination campaign for the homeless, officials said

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has vaccinated 14 people as a part of its special Covid-19 vaccination drive for homeless persons and beggars Wednesday. Navi Mumbai is possibly the first corporation in the state to undertake a special vaccination campaign for the homeless, officials said.

On Wednesday, the drive was rolled out from its Belapur division and over the next 10 days, civic officials said, it will be extended to all its eight divisions. The NMMC also started vaccinating beneficiaries above 18 years on the day and administered the dose to 3,449 persons on the first day. So far, the NMMC has administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to 5 lakh people in other age groups.

“The corporation is taking care not to leave out a single person from the vaccination process in Navi Mumbai. Accordingly, the vaccination of homeless persons has been started from Belapur division today,” NMMC chairperson Abhijit Bangar said.

According to civic officials, under Bangar’s directions a special health team, comprising doctors and nurses, has been appointed to visit selected places, identified by the social development department staffers in each ward, to vaccinate homeless persons.

Since the poor, homeless and beggars do not have any documentation required to prove their identity and address and to ensure they are not vaccinated multiple times, officials said their biometric details (fingerprints) are being collected for the vaccination process.

“We vaccinate such beneficiaries after collecting their fingerprints and registering their name on the government portal,” said a civic official. A special software has been developed to record the fingerprint data.

On the first day of the drive, civic officials have also counselled 103 people at 19 places across the Belapur division. Of them, 14 persons were also vaccinated.

“NGOs have been roped in to identify homeless people in all the wards from places such as railway stations, flyovers, and outside religious places among others. The information collected during this drive will also be used by the Social Development Department to implement public welfare schemes in future,” a civic official said. The NMMC is also mulling over to roll out a special drive for transgender persons.

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