Assam Chief Minister appeals to citizens to give vaccines as "birthday gift"
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday urged the citizens of the state to celebrate the birthdays of their family members and well-wishers by donating vaccine as a "birthday gift."
"I appeal to people to donate vaccine as a birthday gift to friends and well-wishers. If we take responsibility to vaccinate one or two persons at our own expense it will be great work we will do for our society," Himanta said addressing a press conference, appealing to the people to take part in the 'jana andolan' (mass movement).
He also said that 600-800 crore would be required to vaccinate 1.2 crore individuals belonging to the age group of 18-44 years.
"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 want to offer people the chance and joy of saving a life by sponsoring his or her vaccination,” he said.
Rs. 119 crores, which was deposited in Aarogya Nidhi from public donation last year to help the state combat the first wave of the pandemic, will be utilised to purchase the vaccines.
"We have not touched that amount and now we can buy the vaccines for 18-44 age group people," he said.
"We can mobilise funds by raising taxes, which would again have to come from people. Instead of that people can donate Rs 600 or Rs 800 for two doses of Covishield or Covaxin respectively for one individual."
Sarma also added that on Thursday a cheque of Rs 50 crore was handed over to the Assam Arogya Nidhi from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for vaccines. The State College Teachers Association has also contributed a day's salary for the same purpose.
"Guwahati University donated Rs. 15 lakh for the procurement of vaccines. Everybody is donating in our CM fund for the fight against COVID-19," Sarma, who also took oath today as a member of the 15th Legislative Assembly of Assam, said.
He also mentioned that Reliance has decided to provide free 50 litres of petrol or diesel every day to the vehicles assigned for COVID-19 duties.
(Edited by Aparmita Das)
TNT-The Northeast Today is now on WhatsApp. CLICK HERE to receive more updates on your phone.