By Salman Mubarak DGN District 3272
Eradicating Polio from the world has been the dream of all Rotarians for more than three decades. With only one case each reported by the only two Polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, we are very close to the finish line.
We as Rotarians need to encourage, motivate and double our efforts so our dream becomes a reality. Most importantly we need to recognize our Polio workers who are covering long distances under tough conditions and defying weather of extreme cold and scorching heat.
These are our real heroes working passionately, risking their lives day and night on low salaries of as little as $100 a month so planet earth gets rids of this crippling disease. No amount of donation can compensate them as more than 100 polio workers have been killed. They have sacrificed their lives for a better world for us and for our children.
To solidify our resolve a joint meeting was organized by Rotary International Districts 5495 Arizona and 3272 Pakistan which was well attended by Rotarians of both districts including Trustee and National PolioPlus Chair PDG Aziz Memon who graciously agreed to be interviewed.
Past RI Trustee and International Steve Brown interviewed Mohamed Ishaq, chair of the Afghanistan National Polio Plus Committee. The idea of a joint meeting was conceived by my District 5495 friends PDG Abe Feder and PDG Barb Feder.
The highlights of the meeting include an interview with our frontline Polio Worker Shagufta, the interview and a presentation on Polio Campaign was done by Rtr. Mashaim Salman.
Special thanks to Rotary International Polio Plus Director Carol Pandak, District 5495 Governor Bret McKeand and PDG Saeed Shamsi from District 3272.
I propose to my readers and friends in the Rotary World that we get together and work out a recognition ceremony to pay respect to all those who have sacrificed their lives in this battle. I urge the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help their families so that the world knows that they were not left alone and they would be remembered.
Special thanks to Rotaractor Mashaim Salman for the hard work and a fabulous presentation on Polio eradication and Shagufta our frontline Polio worker. I feel indebted to PDG Abe Feder and PDG Barb Feder for enlisting me as their District 3272 counterpart.
Special thanks are due to DG Bret McKeand from District 5495 and Past RI Trustee Steve Brown for their efforts in making it a successful event. I am thankful to our TRF Trustee and Chair NPPC Pakistan PDG Aziz Memon and PDG Saeed Shamsi our Polio Plus Coordinator for Punjab for sparing time to grace the occasion and for their insightful inputs and sharing their thoughts.