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To convince people for polio vaccination, he helps them get AADHAR

Friday January 13, 2012 05:25:15 PM, Aleem Faizee,


Malegaon: For once, the Malegaonians - supposedly the most religious people in Maharashtra, were reluctant to allow polio vaccines to their children. They relented a bit after the government, backed by the campaign run by local clerics, reassured them about its need and advantages. Malegaon’s Health Officer however is volunteering a new job to convince the local lot about the immunisation campaign run by the government to eradicate the deadly disease.

Dr. Bharat Wagh, the local Health Officer, is issuing around 200 certificates every day to the people to confirm their identities - mandatory for getting the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Aadhar. While speaking to he says, it all began when a corporator few months ago came to him and requested to sign a certificate stating that he knew the person and that the person was a native of Malegaon.


Dr. Bharat Wagh, the local Health Officer, is issuing around 200 certificates every day to the people to confirm their identities - mandatory for getting the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Aadhar.

“Soon it became a routine. People from far away places would come to me with the request to sign their certificates. Since I have served in Malegaon in various capacities for more than fifteen years, it is not a problem for me to recognise them”, he says.

However it is this incident which motivated him to issue the certificates to more and more people. “On a polio vaccination drive one day, we were visiting a high risk area where a woman after spotting me requested to sign her son’s certificate. I signed but not before taking the pledge from her to support us in the polio vaccination drive”, recalls Dr Wagh.

The incident had occurred in Devi ka Malla and Abbas Nagar areas of Malegaon where two of the four polio cases were detected in August 2010. Various attempts by top officers including those from the World Health Organisation (WHO) had failed to convince the people about the anti-polio drive.

“However, the small favor I did to the woman helped us a lot and we could succeed in doing 99% vaccination in the area which was in the news ever since the detection of the two polio cases”, says Dr Wagh.

Dr Wagh has so far signed more than 50,000 certificates and the number is increasing with every passing day. Impressed by his extraordinary efforts, the organisers of the Malegaon Mahotsav 2012 felicitated him on January 08 with an award. But more than the award, it is the affection of the people that keeps him motivated.

“Few days back a woman came in the corporation asking for me. She had come walking from far end of the city to get her certificates signed. She said that since it was difficult for her to remember your name, she told her son to write it on his palm. I was so moved by her gesture that I could not stop myself from capturing the image in my cellphone”, Dr Wagh says while showing the snapshot of his name written on the palm of the little kid.


An edited version of the above article appeared in

The Times of India Mumbai/Nashik edition on January 12, 2012





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