No.AIRF/561 Dated: April 16, 2021
Deptt. of Health & Family Welfare,
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
(Government of India)
Sub: Vaccination of the Health Care Workers and Frontline Workers – Eligibility criteria thereof
Ref.: Your D.O. letter No.1940407/2020/Imm. dated 05.04.2021
Fresh guidelines have been issued for vaccination of the Health Care Workers and Frontline Workers vide your above referred to D.O. letter dated 05.04.2021, addressed to the Addl. Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretary(Health) of all the States and Union Territories. A copy of the said D.O. letter has been docketed to a large-number of offices, including Banks etc., however, Frontline Staff of the Indian Railways have been left out for the reasons best known to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
In this connection, it is worth-mentioning here that, Railway Staff could not stay at home even during the countrywide lockdown, invoked w.e.f. 24/25.03.2020, to operate large-number of Freight Trains as well as Timetabled Parcel Trains, with a view to ensure uninterrupted supply chain of essential commodities, including Foodgrains, Sugar, Petroleum Products, Medical Equipments, Medicines, Perishables, Milk, etc. etc., throughout the country. Not only this, but to transport stranded workers to their homes; a large-number of Shramik Special Trains were also operated, and more than 60 lakh stranded workers were carried to their home destinations during the COVID-19 Pandemic situation.
It may also be appreciated that, majority of the Railway Staff is now between the age group of 18 to 44 years, having been recruited during the last few years. It may further be noted that, more than 450 Railway Workers have lost their lives due to COVID-19 infection over this period.
Majority of the Railwaymen fulfil the criteria of Frontline Workers, and it may also be appreciated that, Hon’ble Minister for Railways as well as Hon’ble Prime Minister of India have already applauded the performance of the Railwaymen during COVID-19 Pandemic and called them “Corona Warriors” in their address to the Nation.
Since number of Corona positive cases in the country have broken all the boundaries, and the pandemic is spreading at a very high pace, it would be quite appropriate that, Railway Staff should also be vaccinated immediately by including them as Frontline Workers as has been done in the case of other employees enlisted in your above referred to D.O. letter dated 05.04.2021.
It is requested that, immediate instructions to this effect be issued to all concerned, so as to ensure vaccination of the Railwaymen, without any age limit, to save them from Coronavirus infection.
An immediate action in the matter shall be highly appreciated.
√Copy to: Chairman-Cum-CEO, Railway Board, with the request to use his good offices in regard to the above.
√Copy to: GSs, All Affiliated Unions – For information.