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Vol. XXX No. 22, March 16-31, 2021

Our Readers Write

Vaccination – Public Health Centre Style

I have been a long time resident of TTK Road in Alwarpet. I must have passed by the Urban Primary Health Centre on C.P. Ramaswamy Road innumerable times over the past several years. However, the first time I got to enter the premises was in the morning of Sunday, March 7, 2021.

Belonging to the age group of 45+ with comorbidity of diabetes, I decided to get my COVID-19 jab done sooner than later. Armed with my prescriptions and treatment details over the years, I walked into the UPHC about 10 minutes after 9 am. The health worker standing atop the ramp leading to the front hall of the bright and shiny parrot-green coloured building was all smiles as he gave a warm welcome.

Over a thorough enquiry lasting all of 75 seconds, he ascertained my purpose of visit, age and the details of comorbidity and generated token number 14 in a jiffy. He then guided me to the friendly health worker at table number 1, who checked my blood pressure, noted it on the same token and made a note about my ongoing treatment for diabetes. It was the turn of the staff at table number 2 to note down my personal details such as name, address, phone number and Aadhaar Number in a thick bound notebook of early 20th century vintage and direct me to the third member sitting inside room number 2.

It was her turn to key in the above details into a computer of late 20th century vintage and with that the pre-jab formalities were duly and diligently completed. It was only the token holders from 10 till 13 who stood between me and my Covishield jab. This meant a wait time of about 6 minutes, which was just about enough for me to open the first of the WhatsApp groups on my smartphone and start to smell the first of the Good Morning flowers of all hues.

As Ms. Vijayakumari, the high-energy health worker escorted me into room number 3 and probed me on my breakfast menu and as my memory cells were working overtime to recall the same, the jab was done. I am not quite sure if she even waited for me to complete my response as she guided me out of the room handing over a piece of cotton to be gently pressed over the injection site, telling me of how she had to refuse the gratuity offered by a ‘delighted customer’ as she was just doing her duty! I was given a strip of 4 paracetamol tablets to be taken after breakfast and dinner for the next two days.

It was all over in a span of about 15 minutes. I joined the ranks of millions of fellow Indians who have either been Covaxinated or Covishielded. And I sat down in the waiting area with the countenance of a Zen monk for the mandatory duration of 30 minutes before I was allowed to leave the centre.

No prior appointment was needed unlike in the case of reputed private hospitals. No ‘doctor fees’ for preexisting diseases were charged as was by some hospitals. I found the staff friendly and courteous. And the facilities maintained as well as any high end hospital. Such a pleasant and gratifying experience it was. If you are in the eligible age group, and haven’t got your jab done yet, what are you waiting for? Hurry to the friendly neighborhood PHC now!

– Rajagopalan Venkataraman

Kirk and the School connection

This has reference to the front page article on the Bicentennial of St. Andrews Kirk, in the issue dated March 1st, 2021. A little known fact is that the Madras Christian College High School of yore (now known as Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School) was founded in 1835 at the St Andrews Kirk by Rev. George James Laurie and Rev. Mathew Bovie. In 1837, after the arrival of Rev. John Anderson, the school moved to George Town and was called the General Assembly School. Later, the school was renamed Madras Christian College School and in 1950 it moved to its present premises on Harrington Road under the dynamic Headmaster, Shri Kuruvila Jacob.

During the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school in 1985, a thanksgiving prayer meeting was held at St. Andrews Kirk.

Jairaj Ittiyanath

Free vaccine

The article on covid vaccine was timely and on the spot.

We agree with Madras Musings that the vaccine can be given free to everyone. In any case, the vaccine has been donated free to many countries as part of vaccine diplomacy. The rich can avail the vaccine in private hospitals for a fee.

Professor V.Chandrashekhar MBA (XLRI)
President Senior Citizens Group of Besant Nagar
B12/4, 25th cross
Besant Nagar 600090

More on museum

The Heritage Transport Museum in Manesar, Gurgaon, set up by a private individual is the state of art museum that showcases modes of transport from the bullock cart to automobiles. It is a place of interest and information to adults and children. Madras, as the hub of transport industry, would be the right place to have a similar museum,which can be set up on similar lines by all the industrial houses.

Another museum that Chennai could have is the Handloom and Textile Museum, which could be set up by the silk industry and the premier shops dealing in silks. The Textile Museum at Ahmedabad has been set up by the Sarabhai Foundation.
The Kelkar Museum for utensils, weapons and artifacts in Pune is also a private museum. Tamil Nadu with its rich history of arts and crafts can set up similar museums in all its cities – small, medium and large.

Is it not possible to have an aquarium in this city of the golden beaches? Why look to the Government to set them up and maintain them? DakshinaChitra was planned, set up and sustained by Madras Craft Foundation.

The government can support all these with grants and publicity.

Sujatha Vijayaraghavan

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