Rotary celebrates Indian milestone

South Delta Rotarians celebrated the official eradication of polio from India with a special celebration.

Sixty-three members and guests from Tsawwassen Rotary, including members of the Interact Club of South Delta Secondary, took part in the Meal to End Polio, a traditional Indian breakfast held at KinVillage.

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The fare was courtesy of Connaught Place Restaurant, a well-known local source of outstanding Indian cuisine. When restaurant owners Sukmvir Singh Bansal and his wife Satbir Kaur Bansal learned of the eradication of polio in their homeland, they offered the meal as celebration.

"The youth and citizens of South Delta actively joined people everywhere to achieve this excellent result," said John Charbonneau, organizer of the Meal to End Polio.

"Without pause, our efforts and this powerful partnership will continue until we immunize children everywhere from this crippling disease."

The billion people of India reached this critical milestone by being polio free for three years, leaving just Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria as countries yet to achieve such status.

With the meal generously provided by the Bansal family and Connaught Place Restaurant, Rotarians contributed the normal cost of their breakfast to the ongoing battle to defeat polio. The Gates Foundation and Rotary International matched the contribution with grants that will ensure another 5,355 children don't contract the disease.

"This campaign has been remarkable in connecting the youth of South Delta with those of India," said Rotary district governor Garry Shearer.

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