A 16-year-old student hailing from Mumbai has become the first teenage donor to procure and donate Covishield vials for the mass immunisation programme conducted for members of the transgender community.
For ensuring that the transgender community gets vaccinated, Sia Sehgal raised ₹ 2 lakh within the last two weeks and made her initiative successful.
Around 120 members were administered their first jab at the free vaccination drive. After learning that many members of the transgender community were shying away from getting the jab due to lack of awareness and stigmatization, she decided to do something about it.
Hesitancy Regarding Vaccination
"Since I wanted to help the community, I contacted the heads of the transgender community and sensitised them about the need for vaccination through Zoom video calls. When they agreed to get vaccinated, I contacted different organisations like InHarmony, Triveni Samaj Vikas Kendra and I-TECH who helped me raise the fund for procuring the vials and organising the camp," said Sehgal.
She procured the vaccines from HCG-ICS Khubchandani Cancer Centre. I-TECH along with MDACS (Maharashtra District AIDS Control Society) and organised a vaccination camp for members of transgender community at Triveni Samaj, Malwani, Malad. Sehgal also plans to organise another vaccination camp for their second dose.
She added further that many from the transgender community claim that they face stigma which discourages them from getting the jab. She also said that since they are a vulnerable group of the population, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are fully vaccinated. Sia even explained the benefits of being inoculated to many of them who were hesitant about it.