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Citizens with disabilities want independent vaccination centre

Citizens with disabilities in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad believe that a separate vaccination centre will ease the process in terms of easy access, convenience and a quicker process
By Jigar Hindocha, Pune
PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2021 09:27 PM IST

Citizens with disabilities in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad believe that a separate vaccination centre will ease the process in terms of easy access, convenience and a quicker process.

With long queues at most vaccination centres every day, disabled are finding it difficult to navigate through the entire procedure.

“People do help us in finding a chair or offer us spaces, but these days many hesitate because of Covid-19. People do allow us to get ahead in the queue and doctors also help us, however, the procedure takes a long time. If there is a different centre then we might not have to deal with long queues and nobody has to bother about us,” said Savita Darkunde, who works at Bank of India, Swargate.

Darkunde, who is blind, took her vaccination a few days back and was accompanied by her four friends to the centre.

“I was even helped by the hospital staff, but real problems arise for those who are illiterate, as they don’t understand things easily and their disability makes things more difficult for them,” added Darkunde.

Pravin Parkhe, who is partially blind and works as an assistant general manager, grade 3, at the Food Corporation of India said, “If there are 10 vaccination centres for citizens, one should be devoted for the specially-abled. Everyone doesn’t offer help, some have reservations, and it creates unnecessary arguments especially when things are so tense at centres due to vaccine shortages.”

The National Federation of Blind has written a letter to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) asking them to make 500 doses of vaccination available and the staff to undergo vaccinations after May 1.

“For the specially-abled, going at centres is becoming difficult with no public transport and most of them cannot drive on their own due to the disability. I hope the administration provides us the vaccines so we will provide them a suitable place where they can come and vaccinate all of us or we are also ready for door-to-door vaccination,” said Sushil Patil, treasurer, National Federation of Blind.

PCMC starts separate centre for specially-abled

From Wednesday, the PCMC administration in coordination with Rotary Club of Pimpri has started a vaccination centre for the specially-abled. The first day did not have a big response as many of them were still unaware about the centre.

“We have forwarded messages on their groups and also planned a one common pick-up point in the allocated areas where our bus will go pick them up and drop as well. From tomorrow (Thursday) rush will increase,” said Mehul Parmar, president, Rotary Club of Pimpri.

The PCMC administration did not release the number of people vaccinated on the first day at the centre. In the twin cities, there are a total of 2,145 people above 45 who are eligible for vaccination.

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