It seems to be standard practice that on the day before a National Immunisation Day, a Rally is held to raise awareness of what is to happen on the following day. Participating in a rally requires us to be dressed in our yellow uniforms,
yellow being the accepted colour for Polio workers.
Then it is off to the local Sikh Temple for a blessing before we start on the rally.
Shoes off and heads covered,
we can go inside.
As is always the case, a priest is chanting from the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh's holy book.
Having been blessed, we join the procession which has already formed up on a nearby road.
The procession is led by a loudspeaker - a very loud loudspeaker from which music plays together with various phrases advertising Polio Immunisation tomorrow. Click on the arrow
to hear a sample of the music played. You may not want to listen to it all !
Most of the pupils in the rally are nursing students.
Many of them proudly hold posters with pithy phrases on them such as
One has to remember that most of the people who need to know that there is a National Immunisation Day tomorrow cannot read and certainly cannot read english. Never-the-less, many people see and hear the rally and do learn that it is happening tomorrow.
Having assembled, we set off
to a certain amount of bemusement from some locals.
Our destination is some of the slums near this area of town and one of the local primary schools.
The housing around us starts to decline in quality and we move from proper street surfaces to puddles
and there is no easy route past them.
Having passed a bullock tied up in the street,
we head up an alleyway into the areas of real poverty.
where there is more mud than anything else.
Some of the houses are little more than barely furnished shacks.
Many people are simply carrying out their day-to-day lives and just regard us as a curiosity.
Rotary Polio Flags are very popular with children.
There are not as many polio banners around this year as we have seen in the past. In fact, we are coming to the opinion that less effort is being put into NIDs now than in the past.
We finish the rally in a local primary school
which in the typically indian way, is very tidy and organised. Compared to UK schools it is very bare but it seems to do what is required here.
Indian Schools are very fond of pithy phrases as mottoes for life
and it seemed that every pupil wanted to say hello to and shake hands with Pat.
or have their photo taken.