Indian-American group deploys volunteer response team for vaccination in Philadelphia: FEMA

WASHINGTON, May 8: An Indian-American non-profit organisation has deployed a volunteer response team to support a vaccination centre in Philadelphia that administers up to 6,000 doses of the anti-COVID vaccine each day, a federal agency has said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in a statement on Friday, said the Philadelphia centre is the second federally supported community vaccination centre in the nation to benefit from Hindu Swayamsevak’s (HSS) service.
Sewa International and 25 other organisations of the Indian-American community in the greater Philadelphia region are working closely with the HSS to offer support, it said.
The HSS has named its campaign “Sewa With FEMA,” the statement said.
“Now more than ever, volunteers of Sewa International and Hindu Swayamsevak (HSS) are impassioned to invest in the US vaccination efforts as India’s COVID-19 case rates rapidly increase and its supply of oxygen tanks and medical resources decrease,” FEMA said.
Sewa and HSS have deployed 351 volunteers at the CCVC and 21 volunteers at the Esperanza Community Vaccination Centre, it said
“They are incredibly eager to be here, and they have the drive to volunteer for a community that some of them are not even a part of,” said Justice Colbert, emergency management specialist at FEMA Region III.
“They show up ready to help Philadelphians with a positive attitude and learn everything they can about emergency management so they can transfer their skills to future disaster deployments,” she said.
Over one dozen Indian-American volunteers arrive daily to provide non-clinical support at the vaccination centre, such as wheelchair escort assistance and traffic control, FEMA said.
“We are honoured to serve in this national cause of ending the COVID-19 pandemic and sincerely thank the FEMA Region III team for giving us an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia,” said Mukund Kute, president of PA East Division of HSS.
“We have distributed USD 55,000 worth of PPE kits, food and masks since early April 2020. We will continue to support FEMA until we beat COVID-19,” he added. (PTI)