After Industry chamber FICCI wrote to the Union Health Ministry seeking inclusion of retail industry staffers in the list of ‘frontline workers’ for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, it was the turn of Retailers Association of India (RAI) to appeal to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to consider prioritising vaccination for the frontline retail workers.
In a submission to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, RAI expressed that the hard work, struggles, and the risk of retail frontline workers must also be appreciated along with the frontline workers of the medical and the law enforcement staff.
Speaking about the submission, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, said, “It is known that the Indian Retail industry employs about 46 million people, which sustains the livelihood of 250 million Indians. These include individuals engaged in the supply, retail and delivery of products across all channels of retail. An opportunity of getting vaccinated should be given to all those Employees/Salespersons of the Retail Stores who continue to serve the general public every day.”
“This will not only benefit the retail industry but also benefit the public at large who continue to rely on the frontline retail workers for their daily needs.”
The pandemic-led lockdown had significantly impacted the Indian Retail industry, which hasn’t yet been able to achieve the pre-pandemic level of sales. As consumers start to resume to their regular shopping needs, retailers are hopeful of recovery in the first six months of 2021.
At this juncture, all efforts are required to boost the local economy to help the survival of the retail and restaurant sectors, thus saving millions of jobs, RAI said.