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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

PIL in Bombay HC seeks door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens, persons with disabilities

PIL in Bombay HC seeks door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination for advanced age senior citizens and specially-abled persons.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
April 2, 2021 1:31:04 pm
A medic administers the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to an elderly woman as other senior citizens wait. (PTI Photo, File)

Two Mumbai-based lawyers have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Centre, state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to provide door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination facility for senior citizens above the age of 75, and those who are physically challenged, bed ridden or specially-abled, and facing difficulties in visiting vaccination centres. The petition stated they would need the jab at the earliest.

The PIL filed by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari said the authorities could fix charges around Rs. 500 for the special service. It referred to the BMC’s letter to the state government seeking permission to take its vaccination drive door-to-door across the city to increase the number of beneficiaries. BMC’s plea, however, had been declined due to lack of policy.

“There are specially-abled and handicapped citizens across the country who are eligible for vaccination but are unable to visit Covid centres due to their disability, and need utmost care and support to get them vaccinated. If the door-to-door vaccination facility is made available to them, then they will get vaccinated in time without causing further health disaster,” the plea stated.

The petitioners also urged the HC to pass orders to waive off mandatory documents for vaccination, like Aadhaar or PAN. They said it is in the “interest of natural justice” that those who are unable to visit Covid-19 vaccine centres but wish to receive the shots, be allowed to do so from home.

The petitioners also pointed out that some senior citizens do not know how to register for their vaccination online and book appointments independently. They sought directions to start a helpline number to book appointments for home visits, and sought arrangements for ambulances for pick up-drop services for the elderly, specially-abled and medically challenged persons who need such facilities in case they have to get vaccinated at a designated centre.

The PIL also sought direction to the central government to set up a policy on an urgent basis to provide door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination facilities for advanced age senior citizens and specially-abled citizens.

The petitioners said they were informed of the hurdles by a few senior citizens, who had waited in long queues at vaccination centres after failing to register themselves online.

The HC is likely to hear the PIL next week.

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