COVID-19: Hyderabad’s Sakina Foundation helps thousands get vaccinated

Hyderabad: In a bid to ensure COVID-19 vaccination of the elderly, homeless people, roadside hawkers and other intellectually disabled people, a Hyderabad-based non governmental organization (NGO) Sakina foundation has started an initiative called ‘Vaccine on Wheels’.

It has been 28 days since the free-of-cost initiative was launched, and over 10000 beneficiaries for the first and the second dose have been inoculated as part of this effort at t government and private vaccination centers. Due to the COVID-19, lockdown many people were afraid to come out and get vaccinated, as arranging transportation was also a hassle.

To help bridge the gap between the transportation and the vaccination, the drive was initiated. Sakina Foundation Chairman Mohd Asif Hussain said ,”Our sole purpose is to safeguard the lives of senior citizens, homeless and vulnerable people who are finding it difficult to administer the vaccine.”

To make it easier for people, more than 50 mobile vaccination vans are stationed at four zones of Hyderabad, along with Adilabad, Karimnagar, Suryapet, Nalgonda and Nirmal districts of Telangana. to take the people to the vaccination centres.

Explaining the details Hussain said, identity proofs are being collected through the help line and registration is done at a nearby government and private vaccine centers. “After the registration is completed ,people will be taken to the nearby vaccination centre, with this facility they do not have to wait in long queues. The required documents are provided to registration Department.”

To facilitate the smooth functioning, hundreds of volunteers are involved in this vaccination on wheels drive. “We are receiving many calls from Senior citizens who reside alone to help them with the vaccinations,” he adds.

Asif Hussain further hopes that this initiative will reach maximum number of people. “Meanwhile, the door to door campaign to vaccinated has also been started, so we can win the war against COVID-19. We are listing area wise senior citizens with the help of welfare associations, basti committees,” Asif added.

Sakina foundation had also begun the ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ initiative, through which Asif has been providing free oxygen to COVID-19 patients from over a year. He has also provided food to COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

Oxygen on Wheels on Telangana state highways :

The ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ programme was conceptualised to meet the emergency oxygen needs of the people at the highway who are coming from districts & villages to the city for treatment, Asif said. On receiving SOS calls on their help-line number, he along with his team of volunteers rush to the spot on the highways, often as far as 180 kms away.

Emergency oxygen cylinders are being provided to COVID patients who are at home, on highways or to ambulances when a patient’s SPO2 readings are less than 80. In case patients are not getting beds, Sakina foundation is also supporting them till they find beds in hospitals. All these services are being provided free cost by Sakina Foundation.

Short Background of Sakina Foundation :

Mohammed Asif Hussain Sohail is fondly called “Hyderabad Hunger Warrior” for his most work of feeding the hungry and providing for the needy relentlessly for the more than 10 years now. Asif Sohail was once a star campaigner for the Congress from the party’s youth wing. Back then, he campaigned for the party with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.

Sakina Foundation Trust started in memory of Sakina, the daughter of chairman Mohammed Asif Hussain Sohail, in 2010. She succumbed to pneumonia. They began feeding people, and his wife would cook food, while he would distribute it among the hungry on the streets. They started with just 200 food packets. But today the number of people they feed every day has crossed the 1,000 mark.

He has also carried out difficult funerals of almost 200 people, including many non-muslims, whose families stepped back from cremating them due to fear of contracting COVID-19. Last year in October, when partd of Hyderabad were submerged due to heavy rainfall, Asif used personal boats to evacuate 300 families, and shifted them to safety, and provided them food and warm clothes.