Bihar CM to join the elite group of Polio Champions | patna | Hindustan Times
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Bihar CM to join the elite group of Polio Champions

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would join the elite group of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former USA president Bill Clinton, former prime ministers of UK John Major and Tony Blair, Bill Gates of Microsoft Foundation and Rajeshwari Birla of Aditya Birla Group when he will be conferred with the Polio Champion Award in Patna on Sunday.

patna Updated: Dec 06, 2009 13:29 IST
HT Correspondent

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would join the elite group of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former USA president Bill Clinton, former prime ministers of UK John Major and Tony Blair, Bill Gates of Microsoft Foundation and Rajeshwari Birla of Aditya Birla Group when he will be conferred with the Polio Champion Award in Patna on Sunday.

The International Polio Plus Commission of Rotary International has decided to confer Kumar with this award for his ‘great support and encouragement’ in endorsing polio immunization for the children of Bihar. The award carries a citation.

Earlier, Kumar was given the ‘Politician of the Year Award’ in 2008 and the ‘Business Reformer Award’ in 2009.

“Established less than a decade ago, the Polio Champion Award is the most prestigious of the Rotary International awards, which is presented to highly distinguished people of international stature for their exceptional help, cooperation and support towards permanent eradication of Polio,” said Dr Bijay Narain Singh, member, National Polio Plus Society of India. “Bihar is one of the two Polio endemic states in the country still harbouring Polio virus and the Rotary International enjoyed huge support of the Chief Minister in its immunization drive,” he added.

“Chairman of the International Polio Plus Commission of Rotary International Robert Scott will be conferring this award to Kumar at a function on Sunday evening,” said Dr Pragati Sinha, chairman of the District Polio Plus Committee.

Others to be present on the occasion include Carol Pandak, Manager Polio Plus Committee of Rotary International and Ashok Mahajan, chairman of India National Polio Plus Society. Rotary International is one of the main fund provider for Pulse Polio drive. “From 1992 onwards, it has pumped more than Rs 600 crore for polio eradication in the country, 80 per cent of which has been distributed in Bihar and UP,” said Sinha.

The award to Kumar comes at a time when the state has reported 120 cases of Polio till October, particularly from the Kosi belt. “It ranks second to UP where more than 600 cases have been reported,” said Dr Sinha.