Windies spread message to help “Bowl Out Polio”
Kolkata, India - The West Indies team has come out to support the ongoing polio eradication drive in India called “Bowl Out Polio”. On Sunday members of the team took time out from their busy training schedule ahead of the Second Test match to join local officials to participate in the programme.
The event was organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and took centre stage at the historic Eden Gardens ground, venue for the match which starts on Monday.
West Indies Team Manager Richie Richardson and opening batsman Adrian Barath, were part of the immunisation process. Also participating were West Indies captain Darren Sammy and India opener Verinder Sehwag. Also present were officials of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Children from around Kolkata and neighbouring regions had polio vaccines administered by the players and team officials. Overall, the “Bowl Out Polio” programme hopes to see millions of children across India immunised in the coming months.
“The West Indies team is pleased to play a part in this programme and we are happy to assist in any way we can. We are ambassadors for the game and being here is one way of showing our support as India seeks to 'Bowl Out Polio’,” said Richardson, a former West Indies captain.
The 21-year-old Barath noted: “We see it as part of our duty as an international sporting team to support causes such as this which help to save lives and improve the quality of life. I am happy to play my part.”
The “Bowl Out Polio” campaign was started in India in 2003 by Rotary International, UNICEF and WHO, along with support from the Government of India. The campaign supports existing government efforts to protect children through special drives known as the National Immunisation Days.