Celebrating 3-Years of Polio-Free India

It is a matter of great pride for all Rotarians worldwide that India has completed three years without any case of polio, qualifying it for the WHO certification for Polio-Free India, said Rakesh Aggarwal, District Governor of Rotary International District 3080, who was in the city today on his official visit to the Rotary Club of Chandigarh.
People positioned themselves in front of the giant Rotary wheel
in front of the Neelam theatre and clicked their heart out. 

He complimented Rotary Club of Chandigarh for celebrating this milestone by illuminating the Neelam city building in Sector 17 Plaza by Mr. Anil Kumar, IAS, Home Secretary, UT Chandigarh, in the evening, as also the Rotary House.  Buildings all across the nation including India Gate and Red Fort would be illuminated to mark the occasion, he informed.

People eagerly watched the Rotary's journey and efforts in
eradicating polio
Rotary worldwide has contributed more than US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication efforts since 1985 when Rotary mooted this project and later brought on board WHO, UNICEF, US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the national governments of countries around the world.
District Governor Rakesh Aggarwal, IPDG Manmohan Singh,
Pres. Hassan Singh Mejie along with other Rotarians of
Rotary Club of Chandigarh, and the Rotaractors 
The three-year achievement also sets the stage for the polio-free certification of the entire South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization in the first quarter of 2014 by the Regional Certification Committee.
UT Home Secretary, Mr. Anil Kumar IAS (third from right)
watches the video after illuminating the Neelam theatre building,
along with PDG Madhukar Malhotra, and Assistant Governor
Ajit Gulati at Sector 17 Plaza.
Rotary says the challenge now is to replicate India’s success in neighboring Pakistan (which is in a different WHO region), one of three remaining polio-endemic countries. Afghanistan and Nigeria are the others. Collectively, they create a reservoir from which the opportunistic disease can emerge to re-infect areas where it had been previously stopped. So-called “imported cases” are occurring now in Syria and several African countries.  In 2013, imported cases in non-endemic countries outnumbered the total in the endemic countries 224 to 145, underscoring the importance of stopping the virus where it remains endemic.
Rotary Governor Rakesh Aggarwal also presented hearing aids to children of Patiala School for the Deaf.
President Hassan Singh Mejie of Rotary Club of Chandigarh informed that Gift of Hearing project was launched last year in collaboration with The Rotary Foundation and the partner Rotary Club of Charlotte, USA of Rotary District 7680, to restore the world of sounds amongst children with hearing disorders. So far, he informed, 29 aids have been given to the deaf and mute children who are now being further rehabilitated by speech therapist to decipher sound and language.
Earlier in the morning, Governor Rakesh Aggarwal and President Hassan Singh Mejie alongwith members of Rotary Club of Chandigarh presented two wheel chairs to the Chandigarh Railway Station for the convenience of the physically challenged, weak and old passengers.

‘Light Up Rotary’: New Rotary 2014-15 Theme Unveiled

RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang chose Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-15. Huang was inspired by the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucious who said: "It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness."

"There are so many problems in the world, so many people who need help. Many people say, 'There's nothing I can do.' So they sit there doing nothing. Meanwhile everything stays dark," Huang told the 537 district governors and their spouses and partners who are attending the 2014 International Assembly in San Diego, California.

"The Rotary way is the Confucius way. The Rotary way is to light a candle. I light one, you light one, 1.2 million Rotarians light one. Together, we light up the world," said Huang, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei in Taiwan.

After announcing his theme at the opening session of the five-day training meeting, Huang urged club members to Light Up Rotary in the coming year by hosting a Rotary Day in their community and including local Rotaract and Interact members in their service projects.

"How you Light Up Rotary is up to you," Huang said. "You know where you are strong, you know what your community needs, and you know how you can help."

Huang also shared his membership development goals, including the need for more women and young adults and his goal to increase membership to a total of 1.3 million members. He asked Rotarians to invite their spouses, family members, and friends to join Rotary.

"We need to assume leadership for building strong clubs, and that starts with bringing in new members," he said.

Addressing the status of the fight against polio, Huang noted that with the current momentum Rotary is on track to achieve full polio eradication by 2018.

"When we eradicate polio — and we will — we will have proved ourselves an organization capable of great things. And we'll be even better equipped for the next challenge we choose to take on. We'll have given the world a gift that will endure forever," he said.

By continuing to fight against polio, setting an example in local communities, and growing membership, Huang hopes to see Rotary shine brighter than ever.

"Light Up Rotary is our theme, but it is more than our theme. It is how we live in Rotary, how we think in Rotary, how we feel, how we work," Huang said. "It is how we make a difference — every day, in every club, every district, and every country where we serve."

Download the 2014-15 theme logo and materials