- Football Clubs in Kolkata are providing free vaccines to people
- Most people coming for the drive are from poor background: A club official
- The initiative has received over 900 registrations for the vaccine
New Delhi: Football is a game where 22 individuals battle it out for supremacy on the field. But with the going getting tough, most associated with the sport have not shied away from helping the society outside of the pitch. As the second wave of the COVID-19 virus has spread across the country, two clubs from Kolkata have joined the fight against the pandemic, arranging free vaccinations for the people. Starting from Thursday (May 6), Southern Samity, along with Kalighat Milan Sangha FC (two clubs that regularly feature in the Calcutta Football League) and the Indian Football Association (IFA), have arranged a vaccination drive in Kolkata.
Southern Samity Secretary Sourav Pal said,
We have a clinic near our club office where there were long serpentine queues every day. Many among those who queued were from very poor backgrounds, who would barely be able to put the money together for the vaccinations. That really struck us, and we decided to go ahead with the vaccination drive.
Initially, the club had planned to help those in and around football with the vaccinations, along with people from not so fortunate backgrounds.
Our initial plan was to provide free vaccinations to people above the age of 45, who were associated with football — referees, club officials, and other staff. We had arranged the finances accordingly, Our initial estimate was not more than 300-400 people, he said.
However, the organisers of the vaccination drive received an overwhelming response from the local people, many of whom called in to register themselves for the vaccine. According to Mr, Pal, the club has received over 900 registrations for the vaccine.
We approached Kalighat Milan Sangha FC and IFA for help with the vaccination drive, and I must really thank them both for stepping up at this time of need. With pooled resources, we are now looking to provide more vaccinations. We are now looking to vaccinate more than just the people in and around football, said the Southern Samitee Secretary.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.