South Delta, a billionaire and a billion people all celebrated the official eradication of polio from India! Delaney Griffiths, Erin Turko and Will Shelling, members of the Interact Club of South Delta Senior Secondary were leaders of the youth of South Delta that helped achieve this historic milestone!

They were among 63 members and guests from Tsawwassen Rotary that shared an exotic, wholesome, satisfying and taste bud pleasing traditional Indian breakfast. All in gratitude and celebration of the end of polio in India.



The delicious fare was courtesy of Connaught Place Restaurant, our locally well known source of outstanding Indian cuisine. When restaurant owners, Sukmvir Singh Bansal and his wife, Satbir Kaur Bansal learned of the defeat of polio in their homeland they offered the meal as celebration. Kin Centre offered to host the ‘Meal to end Polio’.

Efforts of the SDSS Interact Club, Rotary and matching funding generously provided by the Gates Foundation contributed the resources that joined in the on-going worldwide campaign to eradicate polio.

Bill Gates Continues Efforts to Defeat Polio

“I am excited that the Gates Foundation has joined Rotarians to fight against polio” said Bill Gates, “polio eradication is something that you can’t just get around to when you feel like it...this is time critical.”

The Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist committed generous matching funds over multiple years to reach this milestone. His commitment continues along with that of John Charbonneau, organizer of the Meal to End Polio.

John said, “the youth and citizens of South Delta actively joined people everywhere to achieve this excellent result! Without pause, our efforts and this powerful partnership will continue until we immunize children everywhere from this crippling disease.”

The billion people of India reached this critical milestone by being polio free for three years. That means India achieves the polio free status of everywhere in the world except Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

With the generous contribution of the meal prepared by the Bansal family and Connaught Place Restaurant, Rotarians contributed the normal cost of their meal to the on going battle to defeat polio. The Gates Foundation and Rotary International immediately matched the contribution with grants that provide enough total funding to give another 5,355 children freedom from the risk of contracting polio.

“This campaign has been remarkable in connecting the youth of South Delta with those of India” said Garry Shearer. The Rotary District Governor explained, “South Delta youth undertook ‘purple pinkie’ campaigns to raise awareness and funds to help their contemporaries in unprotected nations battle polio.”

Purple dye marks the pinkie finger of immunized children when polio prevention workers campaign in a polio afflicted regions. “South Delta parents can be proud of our youth for taking this initiative and reaching out across our world,” said the visibly moved Rotary leader.

About Tsawwassen Rotary:

Tsawwassen Rotarians volunteer to support local, international and youth projects. They are business owners, managers and professionals who enjoy fun, fellowship and live or work in our community. They invite like minded men and women to join.