Mumbai-based Clean-Up Foundation has started a vaccination drive for the city’s ragpickers who belong to the extremely vulnerable and overlooked segment of the society.
The vaccination drive for the ragpickers will be executed in multiple batches out of which the first batch was vaccinated on July 9 at Gandhi hospital in Parel.
The drive was carried out in association with Aasra Welfare Association and the ragpickers were administered Covishield vaccines. Many more rag pickers will be vaccinated as a part of this initiative during the coming weeks.
“With low income and lack of access to even basic facilities, this often ignored but essential segment of our society has no proper guidance or access to vaccination. Hence the Clean-Up Foundation decided to step in and help in whatever way it could,” the foundation said.
Clean-Up Foundation has been working on creating awareness about the COVID-19 situation and had also conducted a camp in the past on information and mental well-being in the pandemic phase, for Mumbai’s ragpickers.
Sixteen-year-old Sanjana Runwal, co-founder of Clean-Up Foundation said: “At Clean-Up, we want to help the ragpickers in getting access to facilities that are not easily available to them. Vaccination is one such area and I am glad we could do something in this direction for them. In their line of work there are a lot of health hazards and we are trying in our own small way to bring some relief and make their lives easier. If they stop doing what they do, the cities will become unliveable. Therefore, there is a necessity to extend our help to them in such a situation and get them vaccinated on priority.”
Clean-Up’s aim is to improve the living conditions of those who keep the city clean – the garbage cleaners and ragpickers being prominent. Clean-Up has already donated a number of water purifiers to different ward offices of BMC, which have helped hundreds of garbage cleaners get access to clean drinking water. It has also provided safety gear for ragpickers and financial assistance for the education of their children.
Apart from this, it also provided medical insurance facility to several rag-pickers in addition to providing sanitary pad vending machine. Clean-Up Foundation firmly believes that it is imperative to help these unsung heroes of the society and shall continue its efforts in this direction, the foundation said.