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Sunday, September 26, 2021

A campaign that aims to provide free vaccines to transgender community across the country

The Villoo Poonawalla Foundation, which was started in the memory of the late Villoo Poonawalla, wife of Poonawalla Group Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, will pay for 2.5 lakh Covishield vaccine doses that will be purchased by Apollo Hospital from the state.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: September 2, 2021 4:56:25 am
The NGOs, community organisations and individuals can now just list themselves with Kineer and camps will be organised either at the hospital premises or offsite and free vaccinations would be provided to the transgender community. (File)

The Pune-based Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation, Apollo Hospitals and Kineer Services, a social enterprise, has launched an initiative to ensure free-of-cost vaccination for the transgender community.

The Villoo Poonawalla Foundation, which was started in the memory of the late Villoo Poonawalla, wife of Poonawalla Group Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, will pay for 2.5 lakh Covishield vaccine doses that will be purchased by Apollo Hospital from the state.

At a vaccination camp held in Pune recently, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, which is part of the Poonawalla Group, had agreed to support the efforts of Kineer Services – a social enterprise set up by transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi to empower the community. Poonawalla had tweeted that he “looked forward to collaborating with Laxmi Narayan Tripathi in providing equal opportunities to the transgender community in the country.”

As vaccinations were a major concern for the community and access to registrations was difficult, Kineer, in association with Apollo Hospitals and Villoo Poonawalla Foundation, has now made the process simple. NGOs working with transgender communities or transgender individuals can now list themselves with Kineer, and the latter will organise camps, either at a hospital premises or offsite, and provide free vaccinations to community members.

This campaign will be organised across the country for six months so that both doses are administered, Manish Jain, executive director of Kineer Services, told The Indian Express. He also said there was an urgent need for such an initiative, which has been made possible at a nationwide level.

“We are now creating awareness about the drive and preparing a list of members of the transgender community who can benefit,” said Jain.

Nearly 400 transgender community members have already been administered the vaccine dose in Pune. “The aim is to ensure that all members of the transgender community are fully vaccinated within the next six months,” Jain said.

Kineer has been engaged in mainstreaming the marginalised transgender community and is responsible for successfully placing over 200 candidates with various organisations. Its members have also been assisting the community with rations and health camps throughout the pandemic.

Recently, the efforts of Laxmi Tripathi and her team at Kineer were recognised as the ‘best social enterprise’ at the International Glory Awards held in Goa. Actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood felicitated Tripathi on the occasion.

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