The beds in Milton Gardens alongside Station Road and those in the Sensory Garden in Alsager will be a vision of purple as crocuses start to bloom this Spring. Last year local Rotary members planted over 3500 crocus corms in support of End Polio Now, Rotarys programme to wipe out polio all around the world.
Alsager Rotary also supplied 500 crocus corms each to local primary schools in Alsager and St Mary Magdalenes church for planting in their grounds.
These beautiful purple crocus here in Alsager are just one group of the millions of corms planted across Great Britain and Ireland as part of Rotarys Purple4Polio campaign.
The warmer weather is starting to wake the crocuses from their winter snooze, encouraging them to transform the gardens into a sea of vibrant purple.
The purpose of planting the crocus was two-fold: to share the story of Rotarys promise to wipe out polio; and to enhance the gardens for all to enjoy.
Rotarys Purple4Polio campaign raising money for Rotary End Polio Now is so-called because purple is the colour of the dye placed on the little finger on the left hand of a child to show that they have been immunised against polio.
Rotary has helped immunise over 2.5 billion children against polio since 1985, reducing the number of countries where the disease is prevalent from 125 to just 3.
The incidence of polio has plummeted from about 350,000 cases a year to just 156 cases in 2019.
Children can now look ahead to lives full of possibilities instead of one filled with the pain causes by deformed limbs, paralysis and other polio effects.
Whilst tremendous progress has been made, the final steps on any journey are often some of the hardest, with 2019 having provided many obstacles which we have to overcome to make eradication happen. This can only be achieved by all working together and without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk, including the UK.
Extensive global environmental sampling around the world has made highlighting and mobilising against threats to eradication easier, more targeted and often more effective. There needs to be three years of no new cases anywhere in the world and no trace of the virus in any environmental samples to declare the world polio-free.
© Rotary News