Transgender persons and farmers pitch in for COVID-19 vaccine awareness

The groups have been combating vaccine hesitancy through awareness drives in their communities

Transgender rights groups in Chennai and Farmers Producers Groups (FPG)from Tiruvallur have started pitching in to create awareness about COVID-19 vaccination and precautions that needs to be taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. They have started conducting awareness drives to educate their members.

There are over 1,000 members who are part of the Ponneri Farmers Producers Company (FPC), which comprises 10 FPGs. “We have been conducting an awareness programme on COVID-19 awareness and precautions that need to be taken to prevent getting infected. We have also distributed masks to farmers,” said N Vijayakumar, president of the company. He said that now they have started creating awareness about vaccination. “With the help of the Agricultural Department in Tiruvallur, we will be conducting a vaccination camp for all the members and ensure all farmers are vaccinated,” he said.

G. Pandian, Joint Director (in-charge), Agriculture, Tiruvallur, said that there are 150 FPGs and eight FPCs in the district. “We are planing to conduct vaccination awareness campaigns in all these groups and get them vaccinated. People have become aware of the danger and have started wearing masks and are not stepping out unnecessarily in villages,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sahodaran (an organisation for the rights of sexual minorities) along with Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection In India (SAATHI) and PeriFerry, an organisation that provides employment and training for transgender persons, have been creating awareness about vaccination among transgender persons.

On Thursday, 28 transgender persons got vaccinated. “There is fear in the transgender community about vaccination. They fear they will get a heart attack or die. With the help of doctors from SAATHI, we educated them and cleared all their misconceptions. Then we asked them to get vaccinated,” said Jaya, who along with her friend Sudha have embarked upon this awareness drive.

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