Rotarians closing in a on polio-free worldBy Linda Fort
March 05, 2012
Rotarians in Reading had two good reasons to celebrate on Tuesday.
The Reading Matins Rotary Club went to Theale Tandoori to mark the 20th anniversary of the club.
The members also had a more momentous event to pay tribute to – the eradication of polio in India carried out by Rotarians working as volunteers across the country in collaboration with international health agencies.
It was known as the Purple Pinkie campaign named after the purple stain used to mark the children who had received the oral polio vaccine.
As a result of the immunisation, the end of the crippling disease in India was announced on January 13, after a full year passed when no cases were reported.
The Polio Eradication Programme was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the World Health Organisation’s National Polio Surveillance Project, UNICEF, Rotary International and the US Centres for Disease Control.
Philip Vokes, of Reading Matins Rotary Club, said: “We feel very proud of being involved in this. A number of people from Reading Matins actually went out to India to administer the vaccine which was given orally to the children and they were incredibly moved by what they saw there.
“It is an amazing achievement.”
Mr Vokes explained that the club meets every Wednesday, but every fifth Wednesday is a social evening when members hope to introduce newcomers.
On Tuesday, for the first time, the members went to the Theale Tandoori.
He said: “It was a very successful event, The first one I had organised.”
Among those present was the current president, Greg Wilkinson.