Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mittal, Birla join hands to make India polio-free

New Delhi, Jan 7 (UNI) Steel baron Laxmi Narayan Mittal, his wife Usha Mittal and Rajashree Birla of Aditya Birla Group today gave a clarion call to all Indians to come together in eradicating the menace of polio from the country.

''Despite having all kinds of facilities and medicines, the children of our country are still becoming victims of this dangerous disease,'' Mr Mittal said.

The trio inaugurated a special free health care camp at a slum, Kusumpur Pahari, in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj area to provide complimentary health services to the slum residents.

Ms Mittal also said Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the two most polio endemic states in India. ''We must bear in mind that every child within the age group of one to five years must be immunised against polio or he or she could become a
potential victim,'' he reminded.

Pointing out that the number of wild polio cases in India has risen to 703 in 2009 from 559 in 2008, Ms Birla urged that every individual should spread the message in his or her areas of influence and beyond, influencing people who work
with them or under them and leveraging their connection to reach out to parents in the slums.

The day-long camp was organised by the South Metropolitan Club of Rotary International, a global NGO. A number of doctors and practitioners, along with lab assistants, including eye specialists, pediatricians, gynaecologists and
physicians, were also present to provide consultation to all the residents and walk-in patients.

Rotary's India National PolioPlus Committee chairman Deepak Kapur said, ''The health care support will further the cause of polio eradication in the country by creating goodwill and acceptance among community.''

In the camp, various Rotarians were also seen volunteering by manning the booths. The club president, Sayantan Sinha, asserted that polio was perhaps one of the
most ambitious projects ever taken by the NGO.

The event was part of an initiative, Integrated Education for Livelihood Project, taken by the club at Kusumpur Pahari that included programmes involving
non-formal education, remedial education, adult education, vocationl education, health camps, self-help groups, women empowerment, homeo clinic, garment production unit, livelihood programme, nutrition project to school children,
among others.

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