Space inside malls and retail stores can be used for vaccination of general public: RAI

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RAI has appealed for an opportunity to get all Employees/Salesmen of Retail Stores vaccinated on priority as they continue to serve the general public.

Appreciating the proactive measures taken by state governments towards ensuring that citizens of their respective states have a steady access to essential commodities and services despite the curbs, Retailers Association of India (RAI) has appealed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare across state governments to treat retailers and their employees as frontline workers (FLW) and prioritise vaccinating the retail workforce that are serving inside mall premises and retail stores.

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In the submissions to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare across state governments, RAI has proposed the following points on behalf of its retail members:

1. Space inside malls and retail stores can be used for vaccination of general public.
2. Retailers can meet the cost of their employees’ vaccination.
3. RAI can work with the State’s Health Department to help mobilise vaccination for retail employees.

Speaking on behalf of the industry, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said “Looking at the current scenario of the pandemic, speeding up inoculation of the larger segment of public, which is under the age of 45 years, is the need of the hour. Retailers and shopping centres are willing to offer their premises to vaccinating the general public in a safe and controlled environment that ensures social distancing and safety measures. It is also important to give an opportunity to all formats of retail to start operations again at the earliest and to do so the state governments must consider vaccinating the frontline retail workers on priority. This will not only benefit the retail industry but will also benefit the public at large who continue to rely on the frontline retail workers for their needs.”

In the submission, RAI has recommended that the Chief Medical Officers in States to consider the staff working at retail outlets as frontline warriors and prioritise their Vaccinations.

The frontline employees of retail stores have risked their lives to serve citizens during the peak of the pandemic by keeping their stores open to ensure that citizens had access to essential items. They are continuing the relentless efforts even today. The hard work, struggles, and risk of retail staff (frontline workers of the retail industry) must also be appreciated along with the frontline workers of the medical and the law enforcement fraternity. They too have to face hundreds of people in the course of dispensing their duties and run the risk of getting infected.

RAI has appealed for an opportunity to get all Employees/Salesmen of Retail Stores vaccinated on priority as they continue to serve the general public. This is in the interest of the retail industry as well as the general public.

RAI is certain that the Government too appreciates the efforts taken by its member retailers in following the SOPs on preventive measures issued by the Government. The entire retail industry is willing to play their role in economic revival, but it will not be possible without government support.