Rotary Polio Eradication

Nominee-Black and White Spider Awards

Once again, it’s been awhile but believe me, behind the scenes I’ve been very busy..!!

I haven’t actually shot many pictures which is a bit frustrating but as many of you know, a lot of time is spent sorting out computer systems, archives, marketing, research and everything else that goes into creating a new business and organising foreign assignments so thankfully getting out there and doing what you are supposed to and love doing is just around the corner.

Good progress is being made and I’ll hopefully be posting about some very exciting new projects coming up in the near future so watch this space…!!

As for now, I thought I’d let you know that an image from a shoot I did last year for Rotary Jersey has been awarded Nominee status in the 5th Annual black and White Spider Awards. I’m certainly more of a color shooter and this was my first black and white project I’ve shot in quite some time so it was a pleasant surprise for it to be recognised. The picture was part of a series I did at Jaipur Foot in India. You can see the whole series and text here but basically Jaipur Foot is an incredibly inspiring Ngo set up by the highly energetic and dedicated D.R Mehta. Every day, hundred of people from all over India travel to Jaipur to receive artificial limbs and polio survivors are given tricycles or calipers. All of these services are given for free and it’s literally a lifeline for thousands of Indians who from here can start making a life for themselves with their new found mobility. I only had two days there after shooting the polio eradication story but found the atmosphere positively infectious. In a matter of hours you saw peoples lives transformed.

The image below was shot in the fitting centre where people wait for the limbs to be made. The guy on the left lost his leg in a train accident (most amputations are caused by train incidents) and on the right is an army officer with his new artificial limb next to him. What I liked is the fact all limbs and fittings are completed in an open room so patients can see exactly what is happening. You can see on their faces they are apprehensive but by having everything open the whole process is hopefully demystified.

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

Photo of the Day-Polio Eradication

One of the pictures from the recent assignment to India has been chosen as Photo of the Day by the editors of a New York based photography magazine PDN. Photo District News (PDN) is an award-winning monthly magazine for the professional photographer and has been covering the professional photographic industry for over two decades so it’s a great platform for more publicity on the polio eradication program.

To view the online magazine please click here PDN

 

A vaccinator gives polio drops to a child on a train in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India on February 1, 2009. During the NID throughout India, over 172 million children under five were given their life-saving drops of polio vaccine. The World is now 99.8% polio free following a 20-year eradication campaign let by Rotary International.

A vaccinator gives polio drops to a child on a train in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India on February 1, 2009. During the NID throughout India, over 172 million children under five were given their life-saving drops of polio vaccine. The World is now 99.8% polio free following a 20-year eradication campaign let by Rotary International.

Polio Eradication Multimedia

My world in the last week has pretty much been 24 inch with an Apple sign at the bottom..!! Thinking of how the whole story will fit together, what images match the hours of audio and speaking to yourself trying to narrate the story from 10am till 4am every day/night turns your world into a quite surreal place.! Once it’s finished though it all seems worthwhile so please find below the latest multimedia presentation about polio eradication in India.

So far the response from the story has been great with offers from the Rotary International HQ in America to pay for a traveling exhibition to raise funds and awareness which is the whole reason for doing these stories. If you feel your organisation can help in any way with the polio campaign please get in touch with me at [email protected] .

Please click on the picture below to redirect you..

Rich…

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Jaipur Foot

After another long night I’ve managed to put together the second story from India. It is linked to the polio story in many ways as a large number of patients receiving treatment at Jaipur Foot are polio survivors. The founder Mr D.R Mehta says the number of polio survivors seeking treatment has declined in the past few years but they are still fitting about 30,000 people a year with calipers and tricycles.

The link to the photo story is Jaipur Foot

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Polio eradication story uploaded

The Rotary Clubs of Jersey had a launch night of their polio eradication campaign last week at Government House in Jersey. This is the first step for the Rotary Clubs in Jersey to start raising money and awareness for the international effort to eradicate polio. The pictures we took on our recent visit to India are hopefully going to be used around the world to promote this endevour. Bill Gates recently donated over $255 million dollars to the campaign with the challenge for Rotary to raise $200 million by 2012 so the outlook is positive.

I’ve uploaded some pictures onto my website some please feel free to have a look there. I’m also working on a multimedia presentation so when that is finished I’ll let you know..

The link to the polio picture story is Polio Eradication

Rich….

 

India Assignment 4

The final day shooting today and back at the limb centre. Despite the fact hundreds of people turn up everyday, each with their own tragic stories having suffered from polio or traumatic limb amputations, the centre has an incredibly positive atmosphere. For many it is the end of a long journey from all parts of India having heard about the service the centre provides. For all it will mean a life changing moment. Many patients haven’t been able to walk properly for years as they enter through the gates in the morning then stroll out at the end of the day on new limbs.

 

The reception area where patients are fitted with new limbs. The translation of the centre's name means 'Society in name of Bhagwan Mahaveer to help Disabled in Society.'

The reception area where patients are fitted with new limbs. The translation of the centre's name means 'Society in name of Bhagwan Mahaveer to help Disabled in Society.'

 

Patients wait in line to be assessed by D. R Mahta the founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre

Patients wait in line to be assessed by D. R Mahta the founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre

 

Rajneesh Pandy (24) is from Nalanda in Bihar state northern India, one of the most polio affected regions. He caught polio when he was one and has remained unemployed despite going through school. Following his 27 hour train journey he hopes to return with a tricycle which will enable him to set up a mobile shop selling ciggarettes, biscuits and sweets.

Rajneesh Pandy (24) is from Nalanda in Bihar state northern India, one of the most polio affected regions. He caught polio when he was one and has remained unemployed despite going through school. Following his 27 hour train journey he hopes to return with a tricycle which will enable him to set up a mobile shop selling cigarettes, biscuits and sweets.

 

Polio patients and amputees leave the assessment centre to go for their limb fittings.

Polio patients and amputees leave the assessment centre to go for their limb fittings.

 

A prosthetic foot being being checked for accuracy before being finally shaped and fitted.

A prosthetic foot being being checked for accuracy before being finally shaped and fitted.

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Technicians fit a new limb to a double amputee patient.

 

Many polio victims end up on the streets. Unable to find employment they sometimes resort to begging. Anpurna (35) caught polio soon after birth and her parents died when she was two. She and her husband came to Jaipur as they were told a tourist was better for begging.

Many polio victims end up on the streets. Unable to find employment they sometimes resort to begging. Anpurna (35) caught polio soon after birth and her parents died when she was two. She and her husband came to Jaipur as they were told a tourist centre was better for begging.

India Assignment 3

The aim of the second part of the polio eradication story is to show what effect polio has on people and what will happen if the eradication program fails.

There over 350,0000 polio survivors in India, many with crippling limb deformities. The Jaipur Limb Centre is seen as a centre of hope for their future. An incredibly uplifting place, hundreds of people with all manner of limb trauma, polio and other debilitating injuries arrive every morning. They are all seen personally by the founder D.R Mehta, a tall, energetic 70 year old ex civil servant who saw an inadequacy in this area of health care for the poor following a life threatening car crash. Since founding the centre in 1975, over 1 million people have had their lives transformed by making them mobile, regaining self respect and their human dignity.

Within hours of reaching the centre, they are sized, fitted and taught how to walk again on their new artificial limbs. Polio survivors are given tricycles which can be seen all over India being used as tea shops or telephone booths making them financially independent, sometimes for the first time in their lives. 

The pics below are black and white as I feel that fits the situation but will look at that again after another edit. The last working day tomorrow then back home to prepare for the Jersey Rotary launch evening at Government House on March 3rd. I’ll try and post again but please feel free to check back for further updates and the full stories from both India and Mongolia in the next few weeks..

 

Founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre D.R Mahta talking to Pinod (36), a polio survivor. Since setting up the centre in 1975, over 1 million polio and limb trauma patients have been treated, usually from the poorest sections of Indian society.

Founder of the Jaipur Limb Centre D.R Mehta talking to Pinod (36), a polio survivor. Since setting up the centre in 1975, over 1 million polio and limb trauma patients have been treated, usually from the poorest sections of Indian society.

 

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

A Jaipur artificial limb stands between two amputees waiting for a limb fitting.

A double amputee in the overnight dormitary awaiting treatment the next mrning. Every day hundreds of patients from all over India turn up for treatment and not everyone can be seen that day.

A double amputee in the overnight dormitory awaiting treatment the next morning. Every day hundreds of patients from all over India turn up for treatment and not everyone can be seen that day.

 

Gajanand (35) caught polio as a child and suffered severe leg paralysis. He lives in Mumbai and travelled over 1,100km to Jaipur to receive a Tricycle to help him work. When he arrived with his wife and 2 children they had just 20 rupees left (about 30 pence).

Gajanand (35) caught polio as a child and suffered severe leg paralysis. He lives in Mumbai and travelled over 1,100km to Jaipur to receive a Tricycle to help him work. When he arrived with his wife and 2 children they had just 20 rupees left (about 30 pence).

 

Gajanand gives his daughter Pooja (5) some water whilst they wait to be seen by technical staff.

Gajanand gives his daughter Pooja (5) some water whilst they wait to be seen by technical staff.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand  hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor background in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

 

Gajanand waits outside the office dealing with the tricycles all day.

Gajanand waits outside the office dealing with the tricycles all day.

 

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

Gajanand (35), his wife Radha (30) with Pooja (5) & Sonu (2) come from a very poor backgrond in Mumbai. Radha earns some money by making tea but Gajanand hopes to make money selling cigarettes and other goods once he becomes mobile with his tricycle.

 

 

Gajanand tests out his new tricycle with the aid of his youngest daughter Sunu (2) pushing behind. The family will be given clothes, a small business start up kit and a train ticket back to their home in Mumbai to hopefully have a fresh start in life.

Gajanand tests out his new tricycle with the aid of his youngest daughter Sunu (2) pushing behind. The family will be given clothes, a small business start up kit and a train ticket back to their home in Mumbai to hopefully have a fresh start in life.

India Assignment 2

I’ve just arrived in Jaipur, Rajestan and it’s the first time I’ve had access to the internet so apologies for the delay in posting. The last week has been an incredible experience of Indian Rotary hospitality, long days and witnessing one the biggest medical logistical challenges happening in the world today. The full story and set of pictures will be posted when I’ve had time to edit upon my return to Jersey next week but below are some images from the last few days.

As explained in the previous post the aim of this trip is to report on the final push to eradicate Polio from the world and the work Rotary International is doing to make that possible. India is the most affected country and the story starts in Saharanpur, a city of over a million in the state of Uttar Pradesh, one of the poorest and most Polio affected regions. India held a National Immunisation Day on Sunday the 1st Feb and in Saharanpur alone, over 51,000 children under 5 were immunised that day. There were over 2,000 booths around the city manned by Rotary volunteers, Indian Government workers, WHO & UNICEF staff. The following 5 days involved ‘mop up’ operations where vaccinators visited every household in the district making sure each child received their 2 drops of polio vaccine. By the end of the week more than 110,000 children in Saharanpur will have received their drops. A massive logistical undertaking and amazing to believe that this takes place in every city, town and village throughout India with over 175 million children nationwide being vaccinated.

From here we will be visiting the Jaipur Limb Centre where people who have suffered paralysis from Polio come to seek assistance with surgical operations, calipers and tricycle bikes to help them continue live their lives. i’ll keep you posted…

 

The day before the National Immunisation Day (NID) posters, banners and street rallies are held around the city of Saharanpur to announce the polio vaccination day.

The day before the National Immunisation Day (NID) posters, banners and street rallies are held around the city of Saharanpur to announce the polio vaccination day.

 

Children line up at a school to receive their polio drops. Over 110,000 children under 5 will be vaccinated in Saharanpur alone over the next week. Over 175 million will be vaccinated nationwide.

Children line up at a school to receive their polio drops. Over 110,000 children under 5 will be vaccinated in Saharanpur alone over the next week. Over 175 million will be vaccinated nationwide.

 

A young girl receives her polio drops. Each child is given 2 drops.

A young girl receives her polio drops. Each child is given 2 drops.

 

The left little finger is painted with a purple dye indicating they have been vaccinated.

The left little finger is painted with a purple dye indicating they have been vaccinated.

On the NID over 2,000 booths are set up around the city. There are also hundreds of vaccinators on railway staion platforms and bus stations to catch any children travelling that day.

On the NID over 2,000 booths are set up around the city. There are also hundreds of vaccinators on railway station platforms and bus stations to catch any children traveling that day.

 

Vaccinators during the Mop up days visit every house with children to ensure 100% coverage is attained.

Vaccinators during the mop up days visit every house with children to ensure 100% coverage is attained.

Every household with a child is marked during the Mop Up days showing either all children have been vaccinated or there is still some missing. Here this complex houses multiple families, with a P indicating all have been done and a X showing some children still need to be seen.

Every household with a child is marked during the mop up days showing either all children have been vaccinated or there is still some missing. Here this housing complex has multiple families, with a P indicating all have been vaccinated and an X showing some children still need to be seen.

 

A girl from the muslim community looks out from her house to talk to a Mop Up team. Some members of this community have put up resistance to the polio eradication scheme believing the drops make children infertile.

A girl from the Muslim community looks out from her house to talk to a mop up team. Some members of this community have put up resistance to the polio eradication scheme believing the drops make children infertile.

India bound…

I arrived back on time from Mongolia, downloaded and backed up all the pictures and I’m now preparing to go to India this afternoon. It’s very unusual to have two foreign assignments almost back to back but this one was dictated by a specific date. It’s going to be quite tiring but I’m certainly ‘in the zone’ from the Mongolia trip and ready for another challenge. 

Eradicating Polio: The Last Hurdle

The story is for Rotary Jersey and their part of the international effort to eradicate Polio. India is one of just four countries now endemic with Polio (Pakistan, Afghanistan & Nigeria being the others). The Rotary polio eradication campaign, Polio Plus, started over 20 years ago and the aim now is to give the final push to free the world completely of Polio. It has been a huge logistical and financial undertaking that so far has been a massive success. If you want to learn more about the situation have a look at this website:-  http://www.rotary.org/en/serviceAndFellowship/Polio/Pages/ridefault.aspx

With just under 1,700 cases being reported worldwide in 2008 down from 350,000 in 1988, over 99% of the job has been completed but as the Rotary mission statement quotes, it is not over just yet. ” As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.”

I’ll hopefully start blogging and posting some images in the next few days. The main NID or National Immunisation Day is Sunday February 1st when over 172 million children under 5 will be vaccinated throughout India. A quite mind boggling statistic…!!