Urgent Vaccination for Homeless/Destitute: Madras HC


Shivangi Prakash-

Madras High Court ordered the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that vulnerable people, such as the homeless and those who live on the streets, are vaccinated as soon as possible because they are more susceptible to Covid-19.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy ordered that all Corporations, Municipalities, and Town Panchayats be made aware that these vulnerable individuals should be considered candidates for “emergency urgent vaccination”.

The development is part of a PIL aimed at ensuring that the homeless and less fortunate, such as sidewalk dwellers and people who fall between the cracks in the system and may not be recorded at all, are safeguarded from the virus and that vaccination steps are taken to protect them.

Based on a status report filed by the Principal Secretary to the Government in the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department, the Court found that a scheme is in place to ensure that all such vulnerable people be vaccinated as soon as possible.

According to the status report, monies have been approved and operational shelters have been established to care for the class of people that the petitioner wishes to be vaccinated. 

The Deendayal Antyodhaya Yojana [National Urban Livelihoods Mission] was also included in the study, which has been implemented in 664 urban local bodies, including 15 Corporations, 121 Municipalities, and 528 Town Panchayats.

Accordingly, the Division Bench disposed of the petition by requesting the concerned authorities to make sure that,

“No destitute or homeless or pavement dweller or another citizen of a similar kind residing in the State is left out in the vaccination drive. All Corporations, Municipalities and Town Panchayats should be sensitized by the department to ensure that these vulnerable persons be regarded as candidates for immediate urgent vaccination, since they stand more exposed than other citizens to contract the virus.”

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