Polioplus Campaign

India to be confirmed as Polio Free


Landmark moment as India to be declared 'polio-free'

After three years during which no one has been infected with polio, the country will be officially declared rid of the disease

Four year old Rukhsar Khatun is running with her shrieking brother and sisters among the chickens and ducks in the dirt yard of her parents' bamboo hut in Shahpara village, near Calcutta. She should be laughing like the others, but she's crying.

She was diagnosed with polio on January 13th 2011 when she was 15 months old and months of illness left her with one leg slightly shorter than the other. Now her high-energy games hurt her leg and often leave her in tears.

It might be a tragic story, but for campaigners striving to eradicate the disease Rukhsar is a symbol of hope: She is the last person in India to contract polio, the end of the line for a disease which has been in India for thousands of years and just three decades ago claimed 150,000 victims in a single year.

Many of those victims are today the beggars with withered and twisted limbs who limp and crawl between cars pleading with motorists at city junctions, but Rukhsar Khatun has recently started school and is growing up under the watchful gaze of the global charity Rotary which has played a leading role in the campaign to eradicate polio. They see her as a living turning point, the end of a horrible history, and an inspiration for countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria where polio remains endemic: If India, once the single largest concentration of polio sufferers in the world, can eradicate the disease, any country can.

Monday is the third anniversary of the day Rukhsar was diagnosed and the third consecutive year India has not seen a single new case. It means the country is now officially 'polio-free' and will receive its certification in March.

 

Related pages...

Micro Loans - Nepal

more Feedback from the Club Contribution to the scheme

International Committee Archives

more History of Committee Events

Ad Lammers and President Jeff receive donation

Flamborough Collection for Philippines 2013

more Terry Waite collects for disaster

Make Them Walk Again Project

more Support for The Rotary Club of Kandy Project

Lifestraws

more Thank you letter from LifeStraw Secretary following donation.

Lifebox Donations

more Certificate for 2012 Donation

Jamaa Home Niarobi

more Updates from the charity

Tsunami Sponsorship 2005

more

Brooklyn Chest Hospital 2006

more Medical Supplies for Hospital

Yorkshire School in Sri Lanka 2007

more Opening Ceremony for this International Project is 24th November

Pictured from left: Laura Caley, Paul Atkinson, Rebekah Foster 16, Charlotte Hall 16 , Neale Lucas, Keith Lowe

African Exchange Students Donation 2009

more President Neale Lucas hands over a cheque for £350 towards the cost of the schools exchange. [Move cursor over picture for names]

EU Parliament visit 2011

more 10 Bridlington Rotarians in group visit

Japan Disaster Collection March 2011

more Response to Tsunami

Morrison Bagpacking 2011

more Club Project for Thanks for Life Week

back to page above this...

International

back International Committee offers a broad range of humanitarian, intercultural, and educational programs and activities designed to advance the organization's ultimate goal of world understanding and peace.