No takers in first five days; Punchayet says 9 Parsis will get jabs on Friday; they are also offering free transport to vaccine-seekers
BD Petit Parsee General Hospital at Cumballa Hill. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Five days after the Bombay Parsi Punchayet and Irani Zoroastrian Anjuman appealed to eligible community members to get vaccinated at B.D. Petit Parsee General Hospital offering free pick-up and drop services, they are yet to open the account.
Article by Gaurav Sarkar | Mid-Day
BPP and Irani Anjuman announced their drive for Zoroastrians over the age of 60 years and those between 45 and 49 years with comorbidities on March 21. They asked COVID vaccine-seekers to call on one of their two helpline numbers for registration.
Apart from promising to book slots at the Parsee General hospital and provide transport to the members, BPP and Anjuman Irani also offered to bear the cost of vaccination and transport if senior citizens of the faith chose to get the shot at a private facility in their vicinity. However, none from the community had gone for the scheme as on Thursday.
BPP worker Jimmy Merchant, 37, said community members have begun showing interest in the drive. He said, “We have arranged for cars and buses according to the need of the hour, which will take the people to Parsee General Hospital to get them vaccinated. Around 50 people have called so far inquiring about the vaccination drive.”
Merchant added, “Our first group of 9 people, who are residents of Dadar, Tardeo, and Nana Chowk, will be taken to the Parsee General Hospital tomorrow [Friday]. On March 30, there is a group of 25 people scheduled to come in from Andheri’s Bharucha Baug, followed by another group of 11 the next day.”
‘Advertised the drive’
BPP trustee Viraf Mehta said, “We advertised our drive on Sunday which was the first day the news went out to the public. Hopefully, by next week we will have 50-60 people covered under this vaccination drive. Yes, the drive has got off to a slow start because most of the people who wanted to take the vaccine did so in the first week of it coming out…and now there is a huge section of people who are skeptical about taking it. It is almost like a walk-in situation now whereas previously there were long lines.”
He added, “If people who live in the suburbs don’t want to go to Parsee General Hospital then they can go to a local or private hospital and we [BPP and Anjuman] will organise transport and pay for the vaccine. When more and more people begin to see that transport is being provided and everything is running smoothly…they will automatically come forward to take the vaccine.”