GUWAHATI, May 20: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday urged people of the state to celebrate their birthdays by sponsoring two doses of Covid-19 vaccines to save a life.
Pushing for making this exercise a ‘jana andolan’ (mass movement), Sarma said, “I would like to appeal everyone to celebrate their birthday in a special way. Pay for the vaccination of someone on your birthday and save a life from Covid-19 as vaccination is the only way to save people and what better way can be there be to celebrate a birthday by saving someone’s life.”
Sarma’s appeal is for sponsoring vaccines for individuals in the 18-44 age group, which is the responsibility of the state governments, while vaccinating those above 45 years is the responsibility of the central government, which being done for free in government facilities.
Sarma said out of the three-crore population, about 1.2 crore are aged between 18 and 44 years while about one crore are above 45 years of age. “A time will come when vaccines will be readily available but funds with government will be less to purchase them,” he said.
“For vaccinating the 1.2 crore people between 18 and 44 years, we would need about Rs 600-800 crore. It is not that the state, which has recently invested over Rs 2000 crore in a central PSU, cannot provide the amount for the vaccination but I do not want to offer people the chance and joy of saving a life by sponsoring his or her vaccination,” he said.(Courtesy: TOI)