Retailers body appeals to prioritise Covid vax for workers

Retailers Association of India (RAI) has appealed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to consider prioritising vaccination for the frontline retail workers who face hundreds of people in the course of dispensing their duties and run the risk of getting infected.

In a submission to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, RAI expressed that the hard work, struggles, and risk of retail frontline workers must also be appreciated along with the frontline workers of the medical and the law enforcement staff.

Just as the healthcare staff, front-end employees of retail stores have risked their lives to serve citizens during the peak of the pandemic by keeping their stores open ensuring that citizens had access to essential items. They are continuing the relentless effort even today.

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.

Retail in India which is sized around $ 854 billion continues to be one of the country’s largest industries that makes up for over 10 per cent of the GDP.