Indian developer Satish Magar has managed to get 700 of his construction workers vaccinated against Covid-19 in the last month, and he hopes to do the same for another 2,000 in May.

Magar wants all his workers to have the vaccine as India grapples with a catastrophic surge in coronavirus cases that has overwhelmed hospitals and morgues, with oxygen in short supply.

“We have explained the importance of getting vaccinated to them,” said Magar, the national president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).

“If they don’t get vaccinated, one infection can lead to an outbreak in labour camps,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Pune in western India, where he runs a construction business specialising in housing.

India’s vast army of informal workers was hit hard by a strict lockdown enforced last year that left many out of work and forced those who had migrated to cities for jobs to make long journeys home to their villages, often on foot.

As the country suffers a fresh wave they are again facing an impossible choice—go out to work and risk catching the disease, or stay home and lose their wage.

As most of India’s around 400 million informal workers are young, the majority have not yet been vaccinated—under-45s will only qualify from Saturday, when the government opens eligibility to all adults.

Read the full article about vaccine doses running low in India at Eco-Business.