As the most vulnerable and deprived sections like beggars and the homeless are finding it difficult to get the Covid vaccine jabs as they don’t have a document of identity like an Aadhar card, the mayor of Mumbai Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday said they will not be left behind. She said the civic body will consider allowing vaccines for the homeless and beggars, and those who do not have Aadhar cards.
"I will be taking up this matter with the BMC chief as well as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. With experts already anticipating the third wave of Covid-19, we should not let the vulnerable sections suffer and help them immediately," Pednekar said.
Currently, to avail of the vaccination, it is mandatory to furnish any one document as proof of identity like Aadhar card, PAN card, voter ID, driving license, service identity card, MGNREGA job card (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), passport, smart card, pension identity card, bank or post office passbook or health insurance smart card at the vaccination points.
Pednekar's proposal comes in the backdrop of a demand put forth by the Shiv Sena MP for allowing vaccination for Jain Munis who do not have any identity proofs like Aadhar card. "Jain Munis do not have Aadhar card, however, they cannot be neglected and must get vaccine jabs. Similarly, inmates of mental hospitals, beggars and the homeless too should be given vaccine jabs. “The number of such people is large and in a situation like a pandemic, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind. We will soon decide on this matter at the BMC level," she said.
Meanwhile, the state government has sought guidelines from the Centre regarding vaccination for the deprived section.
The civic body has already floated a tender to provide food packets to homeless and beggars who have been suffering due to restrictions on movements under the break the chain drive of the state government. "The vaccination for such people who are homeless is necessary. As the condition in which they live is unhygienic, hence vaccination is a must for them. We will work out something after discussing with the state government," said a BMC official.