Polio Walk & Carnival 2019

The Polio Walk and Carnival took place on the 26th of October 2019, to mark the International Polio Day, mainly organized by the Rotary District 3220 in partnership with the Ministry of Health, W.H.O Sri Lanka & UNICEF Sri Lanka. It is with immense pride the Rotaractors of Faculty of Management and Finance University of Colombo (RACUOCFMF)  along with many other Rotary, Rotaract and Interact Clubs participated in the event. The walk began at around 4 in the evening at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute and ended with a  Carnival organized by the same, at Green Path.

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Image Courtesy: Kaushan Fernando
-Rotaract District 3220
What’s Polio? It is a contagious viral infection caused by the Polio Virus (PV) which in the worst case can lead to paralysis or even death. Polio can be in two forms the mild form that is non-paralytic or the severe one, the paralytic polio. The former could be completely cured while the latter can lead to paralysis. This crippling disease was in the limelight at the 1950’s with its outbreak of about 58,000 patients being reported in the US alone of which around 21,000 were left permanently paralyzed and later after the polio endemic, a lot of attention was drawn on combating the deadly disease bringing about new scientific breakthroughs in the world.

Fortunately, today with the intervention of World Health Organization the endgame of polio is drawing near and the good news to us is Sri-Lanka is declared Polio Free, well for us that implies there aren’t any more babies born in Sri-Lanka with the lethal Polio. Much of the world has successfully achieved the goal, however the WHO together with many organizations are still thriving to ensure that Polio is eradicated in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, the last three of the entire world left with the ailment.

The ‘Polio Free Walk’ marks an important milestone achieved by Rotary International, in being one of the pioneering organizations that initiated the battle against Polio Virus. District Governor of the Rotary District 3220; Rtn. Sebastian Karunakaran, Chairman and Past District Governor Rtn. Imran Hassen and Past District Governor Rtn. Thariq Thulba were among the officials who were present.

The walk began with crowds of young and old, energetic faces of nearly 500 being gathered near the Foundation Institute Colombo-07 all set for the walk and at around 4 the Rotaractors lined up for the walk and so began the journey. As we trailed along the Independence Square with chatter and cheer, carrying the board ‘Keeping Sri-Lanka Polio Free’ and the papare blaring we also got to meet many fellow Rotaractors.

Then the parade trod along the Reid Avenue next towards the Kumarathunga Munidasa place and finally approaching our destination, Green Path. It was already dusk and then Lo and Behold! It was such a pleasant sight – ‘The Carnival’ dazzling with lights all the way and the soothing music enlivening the atmosphere along with the vivid stalls arousing our taste buds.

It was a good day with a good cause!

Moments of fellowship at the Carnival; (Photo Courtesy: Chathu Pilapitiya – Rotaract District 3220)

 

Written By:

Rtr. Amna Amjad
( Member – 2019/20 )

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