Pro-corporate vaccine policy of India

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The Union government is being cornered every single day. Firstly, it was the anti-CAA stir then the price rise of essential commodities post the first corona wave, followed by anti-farmers’ bill protests and anti-labour bill agitations and now the second wave of coronavirus and the rising number of deaths. Nothing seems to be working for the present Union government to neutralise the growing frustration of the citizens. Given the current economic crisis in the country, which started way before the pandemic, the people are the receiving end of all the failed policies of the government. The rising number of positive cases, many look at the political leaders of being responsible for the situation. They feel that by hosting huge and massive election rallies by flouting Covid protocols, they played with the precious lives of common people.
Given all this frustration and anger, this year’s May Day might be very different in India. Trade Unions of the country have announced demonstrations all across the country on the day. With it they aim to demonstrate their solidarity with the working class and with the common people who have been victimised by the Modi government. Trade Unions are of the opinion that a majority of lives could have been saved if the government would think and plan for it on time, having learnt their lesson during 2020. A large percent of deaths during the second wave occurred due to non-availability of oxygen, medical beds and essential medicines. The joint platform of Central Trade Unions and independent sectoral federations, during an online meeting on April 28 also sent a letter to the Prime Minister to apprise him of their stand against the Union government’s ill-preparedness and leniency in addressing and combating the second wave of the pandemic. They termed the vaccine policy to be in favour of the corporate and demanded its immediate withdrawal. For the same, the Trade Unions have called for observing the coming May Day as a protest day. They would also be voicing in support of withdrawal of the new pro-corporate vaccine policies of the government and total mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis; against the anti-worker, anti-farmer, and anti-people policies of the Modi government.
Whatever be the official figures being presented, almost everyone knows the ground picture is quite different. The states are running out of vaccines and many, off the record, also admit that there is a huge shortage in the vaccine supply. Additionally, the vaccine companies who were previously selling the vaccines for Rs. 150 without going through losses, have become greedy suddenly and raised its prices for the vaccine to Rs. 300. Then there is the pro-corporate vaccine policy, that according to the trade unions will further facilitate hoarding and black marketing, which can already be seen in the case of essential medicines like Remdesivir and oxygen. All in all, this year’s May Day protests will have 11 demands including the safety and security of common people from the disease and financial uncertainties created by the anti-people and anti-worker policies of the Union government.

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