A Rotary Passage to India

By Rotary International

By David Goodstone, Rotary senior writer

As a writer, I’m always looking for metaphors and similes, especially in unfamiliar places, searching for the right phrase to tell a story.

On my first Rotary trip to India with Rotary Polio Ambassador Minda Dentler, the story I was seeking to tell was the work of Rotary members and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. My task was easy. For in India’s sights, objects, and even signs, rich metaphors are abundant.

Take this sign on the back of a ubiquitous Tata truck: “Obey the Traffic Rules.”

Tata truck in India

As any traveler on India’s roads soon learns, vehicles routinely drive on the wrong side of the carriageway to overtake others or to use a stretch of tarmac not devastated by the monsoon rains, resulting in hair-raising face-offs with oncoming traffic.

But I saw rule-breaking in different ways. The rules of public and even expert opinion dictated that a country of India’s size, population, and sanitation challenges could never become polio-free.

Despite the odds, India achieved that milestone last year, and I had the opportunity in November to see the polio eradication program in action during a Sub-National Immunization Day.

I’ve written about Rotary’s work to eradicate polio for almost …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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