A city school has provided its fleet of five buses to ferry people to vaccination centres in the absence of public transport.
Swarnim International School said several companies were trying to make arrangements to get their employees vaccinated but did not have vehicles to take them to these centres.
“We offered our buses to the public to help them reach the vaccination centres in a safe way,” said Swati Sarawagi, the director of Swarnim International School in Sonarpur.
In the last two weeks, about 1,100 people have used this service to reach the vaccination centres from their doorstep.
Since schools are shut since March last year because of Covid, buses have been lying idle across campuses.
“We want our children to come back to school at the earliest and for that we must fight the pandemic together,” said Sarawagi in support of this endeavour.
Young Indians (YI), the youth wing of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has partnered with the school in this initiative.
“The school administration has been supportive and it has helped with our workforce vaccination drive,” said Arpit Dhandhania, who chairs YI- Calcutta chapter.
The buses would pick up people from their homes and drop them back after vaccination.
“It saves people the hassle of arranging for transport or paying hefty rents for cars,” a school official said.
The school hopes that this would encourage other schools to take a similar initiative.
“We have only five buses but there are schools with a much larger fleet. Those could be put to use now,” the official said.
Since schools are shut since March last year, buses have been lying idle across campuses.
The maintenance of the buses, which are not running regularly, is also a concern.
At a time when in-person classes are suspended and there is no certainty when schools will reopen, several schools in the city are putting their campuses to other use during the pandemic.
Schools have set up safe homes for Covid patients on their premises to ease pressure on hospitals and provide treatment to patients with mild symptoms.
Schools have also allowed hospitals to operate vaccination centres from their campuses so that the hospitals could vaccinate more people.
Besides, school campuses give the hospitals more space to administer the jabs.