Ockbrook resident Greg Maskalick has just returned home following 7 days in India. This was to support the National Immunisation Day in India by travelling to the most at-risk areas in the country to immunise thousands of children against Polio.
Greg was part of District 1220 team of 5 and from the RIBI (Rotary in GB and Ireland) there were 105 in all. They were welcomed at the Royal Hotel in Delhi and were given details on how the next few days would proceed.
Back in 1985, along with its partners the WHO, Rotary were committed to the eradication of Polio but the group were informed that back in 1979 Polio eradication started in the Philippines.
In 1960 there were around 10 million worldwide Polio cases and in the first 2 months of this year there has only been 1 world wide which compares with just 17 in the same period last year.
The aim of this year’s National Immunisation Day was to vaccinate 172 million children under the age of 5. This involved teams at 709,000 booths throughout the country. Greg and the UK team were hosted by the Rotary Club of Bhiwandi and on the day Greg immunised between 300 and 400 children. The people really wanted it and came out in droves and this was followed up the next day by house to house visits to complete the task.
It has been a very powerful week in one of the poorest parts of India for the UK team and everyone involved were doing it at their own expense. At the end of the week the Bhiwandi Rotary Club put on a wonderful festival of thanks and presented Greg with several souvenirs and Greg presented them with 250 US Dollars for the running of their Poor School which covers a months costs.
Bhiwandi Rotary Club has 106 members and has a wide variety of projects including running the Poor School for Children, the local hospital and crematorium. They believe in the looking after the community from “Cradle to Grave”
Greg summed the experience up as “the most worthwhile thing I have done in my life”