Polio Flame arrives at Evanston

R to L: IPPC Chair Michael McGovern, RIP Gary Huang, TRF Trustee Chair John Kenny, RID P T Prabhakar, RC Madras President S N Srikanth, Polio Flame ­Project Chair N K Gopinath and Rtn Rajesh Somasundaram at Evanston.
R to L: IPPC Chair Michael McGovern, RIP Gary Huang, TRF Trustee Chair John Kenny, RID P T Prabhakar, RC Madras President S N Srikanth, Polio Flame ­Project Chair N K Gopinath and Rtn Rajesh Somasundaram at Evanston.

The Rotary ‘End Polio Flame,’ created by RC Madras, D 3230, arrived at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, on April 14, on its ­journey from India to São Paulo, Brazil, for the RI Convention in June.

The torch has made its way through Colombo, Karachi, Kabul, Sydney, Taipei, Manila, London and Lagos, and will make an additional stop in Toronto before the Convention.

RI President Gary Huang lit the torch in front of the PolioPlus statue at One Rotary Center amidst cheering RI leaders.

“When we said we would eradicate polio in India, many people said it couldn’t be done. This Rotary Flame is proof that we were right to believe in our mission. We can help make a brighter future for billions across the world,” said Gary Huang.

Kenny noted the progress that has been made since Rotary launched the polio eradication campaign in 1985. “The fruits of our labour since that day are clear. Ninety-nine percent of the world’s population live in regions certified polio-free. The goal of eradication is closer than ever,” he said.

Prabhakar, who commended RC Madras for this unique project, also shared with the TRF Trustees, a three-minute film on the journey of the flame so far.

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