Wednesday, June 23

Friendly youths lend tech help to elderly neighbours

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From helping them register for the vaccination on the Co-Win portal to booking an appointment and even assisting senior citizens to the vaccination centres, some youths have come to the rescue of their elderly neighbours. This assistance has ensured that the not-so-tech-savy senior citizens are not left out of the vaccination programme.
“I have been home throughout this pandemic. But I live alone and was at a loss as to how to get the vaccine after the rollout for senior citizens began. Luckily, my neighbour’s daughter got my registration done and I got inoculated at RG Kar Medical College a few days ago,” said septuagenarian Hemanta Biswas, a Dum Dum Park resident.
Registration on the Co-Win app is the first step towards getting the vaccination. Once it is completed, recipients have to book an appointment. Since the procedure is done on a digital platform, it caused a lot of anxiety to the elderly, most of whom are not well versed in either technology or the internet.

“The commencement of the community vaccination drive brought a lot of cheer and hope among the elderly and those above 45 with co-morbidities. But we came across many who did not know how to enrol themselves. That is when we started reaching out to the elderly who live alone, starting from our known circles,” said Ajay Mital, an environmental activist.

During the lockdown, Mital and his friends, like Manoj Periwal, had reached out to many senior citizens in different pockets of the city with food and essential commodities. Many of these elderly citizens who live alone started asking them about how to get vaccinated. The duo then got more youths from different localities involved and formed WhatsApp groups to coordinate with each other in assisting the elderly residents in their respective localities.

“The other day, someone who lives near Sambhunath Pandit Hospital informed in the group about a very small queue at the vaccination centre. I rushed there with four-five neighbours and they got vaccinated smoothly,” said recruitment consultant Pewiral, a Russell Street resident. “The registration issue is gradually easing out due to spot registration facilities at most centres. But many times, these elderly people have to wait a long time. We are trying to help them get proper slots so the wait is shorter,” said Periwal.

These youths have also maintained data on the dates of vaccination of the elderly they have helped, so that they can be reminded of their second dose. They are also calling the recipients up to check whether any of them are facing any health issues post the vaccination.

Source: Times of India

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