Stuck at home, centenarian struggles to get vaccine


NGO seeks govt.’s help to get her vaccinated at home, highlights difficulties of disabled in getting jab

Padma Ranganathan, a 100-year-old woman, is finding it difficult to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and an organisation has sought government’s help to get her vaccinated at home.

The organisation, which works for differently abled people, also highlighted other problems faced by differently abled and transgenders in accessing vaccination.

“She has not stepped out of the house since the beginning of the pandemic and because of it, she has been safe so far. It is not easy for her to go to a hospital because of her advanced age. She lives on the first floor and it is difficult to bring her down too. Also, we don’t want her to be exposed to the virus by going outside,” Reena Ramachandran (80), her daughter, told The Hindu.

She said her mother had turned 100 last year. “If home vaccination is happening in other parts of the country, then why not here?” she asked.

Free pick up, drop

Preeti Johar, the CEO of Family of Disabled, an NGO which works for differently abled, said they were offering free pick up and drop facility for people to get vaccinated and that is how they came to know about the case .

“Her daughter from London contacted me and said her mother walks even inside the house with a walker. She was very worried about how to get her mother vaccinated and we have been in touch with her for the last one week,” she said.

“There are a lot of differently abled people who are facing issues to get vaccinated and the government should vaccinate them on priority basis,” Ms. Johar.

Lagging behind

The organisation, ‘Doctors with Disabilities: Agents of Change’, has written to the Chief Minister about the issue and also said that Delhi government is unfortunately “lagging behind” in socially affirmative drives towards disabled and transgenders.

“Despite the claims from the same government in the previous as well as the current tenure, Delhi got neither a separate department for persons with disabilities as promised by the Social Welfare Minister nor the Transgender Welfare Board. The pandemic has disproportionately affected the marginalised community and we are not even seeing vaccine equity,” the letter read.

When contacted, Satendra Singh, a government doctor, who is the founder of the collective, said that the 100-year-old is “disabled due to her age”. He has spoken to the officials to get her vaccinated.



This article was originally published on The Hindu