Over 200 sex workers vaccinated at Wadia hospital

Over 200 sex workers vaccinated at Wadia hospital

The drive at Wadia Hospital was undertaken with support from Gaurav and Aastha Parivar

Credit: AFP Photo

The Wadia Hospital in association with Aarya organized a Covid-19 vaccination drive for Commercial Female Sex Workers on Monday.

The drive at Wadia Hospital was undertaken with support from Gaurav and Aastha Parivar.

Under this initiative, over 200 individuals were vaccinated with the first dose of Covishield vaccine.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Sewree MLA Ajay Chaudhary, Wadia Hospital CEO Dr.Minnie Bodhanwala, human rights activist Zainab Patel and Dr. Shrikala Acharya, Additional Project Director at Mumbai District AIDS Control Society, were present.

Pednekar said: “Many vaccination drives were conducted for Vulnerable and marginalized communities; however, the sex workers were left behind. As sex work is still considered as ‘taboo’ and this makes it harder to tackle the problems that they face on a day-to-day basis.”

“The coronavirus does not discriminate on the basis of gender as anyone can get infected with it.  This initiative aims to safeguard this vulnerable class of society from the harmful effects of Covid-19 and vaccinate each and every one. We always wanted to help this section of the population. Also, there is also a lot of misinformation regarding the side effects of the vaccine and all the members were counseled to get vaccinated.  But, even after vaccination, they will have to continue following the Covid protocol of masking, social distancing, and hand sanitizing,” said Dr. Bodhanwala.

Shital Bhatkar, the founder of WithAarya, took the noble initiative to erase this taboo and resolve the problems that this community faced, especially since the pandemic made their clientele minimal and they essentially lost their livelihood.

In parallel with the vaccination, all beneficiaries received a dry ration kit, Personal hygiene, sanitation kit, and saree with support from Aarsa, an initiative supporting the cause of artisans. Moreover, Transportation facilities were provided to ease the commute for the workers.

After inoculation, transgender vaccine beneficiary, said, “Humbled by the initiative taken by Aarya in association  with Gaurav and Aastha Parivaar and Wadia Hospital. Initially I was scared because of many rumours associated with vaccines and its safety. Our entire community is grateful for the vaccination drive.”

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