The campaign to vaccinate the residents of Dharavi is on track, thanks to the financial services giant, Citibank. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has designated a municipal school in the area for the vaccination drive. Citibank launches Dharavi vaccination driveCitibank along with Jaslok Hospital and BMC.
Dharavi’s slums play host to around 8.5 lakh residents although official estimates narrow it down to 7 lakhs. While the BMC has managed to inoculate 40,000 locals, the remaining are at great risk of catching the deadly coronavirus. Adding to BMC’s worries is the shortage of vaccines. Public centers offering free vaccination are witness to daily throngs while private hospitals have found few takers. This has prompted civic authorities to call for a tie-up with CSR initiatives to expand immunization coverage in slums like Dharavi.
Citibank’s intervention is a god-send and comes at a crucial time when vaccination has been acknowledged as the sure-shot way to fight off the impending third wave. Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, G-North Ward, said that Citibank had offered to conduct a vaccination drive in partnership with Jaslok Hospital. The drive will cover 1 lakh Dharavi residents.
Citibank had earlier approached the BMC, along with Godrej to sponsor the vaccination of 1 lakh individuals through their CSR programs. Other than vaccination drives, Citibank has been a major contributor to India’s battle against COVID-19. Earlier in May, the company pledged an additional Rs 200 crore to India’s COVID relief plans. The amount would be used to aid the country’s recovery in a post-pandemic world. Part of the donation would also be used to procure oxygen supplies and other critical medical equipment and supplies.
Commenting on the drive, Kiran Dighavkar said, “It’s an excellent initiative by Citi and Jaslok together. The BMC will be helping them mobilize the beneficiaries with the help of local NGOs. We plan to provide a card to the beneficiaries which will be distributed by the NGOs. Any resident wanting the card can visit our health post.”
As of July 27, Mumbai has administered a total of 69.66 lakh doses. 51.50 lakh people have received the first dose with another 16 lakh receiving both doses.