Rotary Focus on The Crocus

4000 bulbs planted locally in support of end polio campaign

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Purple Pinkie Project


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October has been a busy month with Rotary Clubs across London and the UK in general preparing for next year’s “Thanks for Life / End Polio Now” campaign by planting 1000’s of Purple Crocus bulbs. The idea is that come next January and February when Rotary will once again be launching its annual campaign the crocus will be in full bloom.

The reason that the purple crocus was chosen is that in countries were Polio is endemic; Rotary’s “End Polio Campaign” is often referred to as the “Purple Pinkie Project”. It is known by this name due to the fact that when a child is vaccinated against Polio their Pinkie finger is dyed purple, this is to allow easy differentiation between children who have and children who have not been vaccinated. Rotary has joined up with The Eden Project and the Netherlands Flower and Bulb Centre to hopefully carryout the biggest every planting in support of a charity with a planned 5 million bulbs being planted during October.

As you may be aware Rotary International has been working for some 25 years to try and rid the world of Polio. When we started there were some 350,000 new cases every year, today there are less than 1,000 and Polio is now only endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria, and indeed there have been no new cases in India, and a drop of 99% in Nigeria so far this year.

On the 1st of October The Rotary Club of Hanwell and Northfields joined together with some of our local schools to plant 4000 Purple Crocus bulbs, the schools that were chosen to be part of the project were Springhallow School, Castlebar School, St Saviour’s School, Christ Church C of E School. As well as the local 4 local schools we were also supported by the staff of Waitrose West Ealing who also planted 1000 bulbs outside their store in support of the campaign.

We were joined on the day by local MP Steve Pound and Rajinder Mann, Mayor of Ealing, despite the weather it was a great success with everyone enjoying the experience.

Ruairi Prendiville the President of the Rotary club of Hanwell & Northfields said “We would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported us in our efforts to eradicate Polio, without local support Rotary would struggle to carry out its vision of the total eradication of Polio”


October 20 2010