A good news for senior citizens and persons with disabilities is that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued directives to set up ‘near to home ’vaccination centers across the country. 

The move was welcomed by Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Sh Rattan Lal Kataria who has said that the initiative is bound to benefit around 14 Crore senior citizens and 2.2 Crore Divyangjan across the nation. 

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment had earlier flagged the problems being faced by Persons with Disabilities in testing, treatment and vaccination to MoHFW. 

An advisory was also issued for Senior Citizens regarding COVID appropriate behavior on 27th April 2021 by the Ministry in consultation with the Geriatric Department of AIIMS, Delhi. 

Mr Kataria has stated that the Modi Government is sensitive to the needs of people and is working relentlessly to provide immediate relief amidst the ongoing pandemic. He has further informed that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is committed to the cause of weaker sections of society and other vulnerable groups.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has also launched a Helpline number for providing psychological support to people belonging to the transgender community. Counseling through expert psychologists is available for Transgenders (TGs) who are facing extreme stress owing to highly uncertain and evolving circumstances.

The Ministry has also announced a one-time Subsistence allowance of Rs 1500 for transgender persons who are adversely affected by the lockdown restrictions imposed by respective state governments. The financial assistance, as an interim relief measure, was also extended last year when 7000 people from TG community benefitted.  

Mr Kataria also added that Ministry, through its letter dated 20th May 2021, urged all state governments to spread awareness amongst the transgender community in vernacular language regarding the COVID vaccination programme , to make existing vaccination centers TG friendly and to organize separate camps as well as mobile booths for vaccinating the TG community. 

The minister added that we are witnessing the world’s largest and fastest vaccination programme where the Government has so far administered 20.27 Crore doses of vaccines within 130 days. He urged all public authorities and stakeholders to join hands in collectively fighting the second wave of COVID-19. He reposed full faith in the intent and resolute leadership of  Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi and claimed that soon with the active cooperation from all sections of society, we shall be able to tide through the second wave.

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