Big B’s angry young man act effects a dip in polio cases

Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is elated that his angry young man act for the polio campaign has led to a decrease in the number of polio cases this year.

Happy with the response to his polio campaign, the 69-year-old actor urged people to make India polio free. He has been serving as the goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since a decade, in eradicating polio.

According to UNICEF, only one case of polio was reported in India this year, as against 41 cases last year. In 2009, there were 741 cases of polio.

"I am happy and proud with the remarkable progress... we are close to eradicating polio in India. But despite all this, Polio still remains a threat. Everyone must continue to immunise their children upto five years," Bachchan told reporters here.

"The design and campaign team felt that we were too soft in our attitude. They wanted me to adopt the angry young man image that I had in films. And I told them if it works then I will do it. And I am happy that my scolding, shouting has worked in a better way," he said.

The only case of Polio this year was reported from Howrah in West Bengal in January. Since then there have been no cases. For the first time, polio endemic states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are concurrently free of polio for over a year. Both the states have not reported any case since April and September 2010 respectively.

"We are very close to eradicating polio in India, now no child will be paralysed needlessly by polio. We must try to make polio history in India," Bachchan said.

The megastar, speaking on the baby girl born to Aishwarya and Abhishek, said, "Lakshmi goddess has arrived in our home and we will immune her with polio doses."

When asked which other cause will he promote, Big B said, "UNICEF has approached me for save girl child campaign...we want to stop female foeticide."

PTI

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