Alonso appeals for a polio-free India

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011, 17:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso on Thursday appealed for a polio-free India after visiting an institute, where he met children affected by paralysis, here.

"Every child deserves the right to run, to play and to live a healthy life without polio," Alonso, also the UNICEF brand ambassador, said during a visit to Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya (CNBC) in east Delhi.

"Polio is a terrible, crippling disease of children which we can and should eradicate from the planet."

Hours after landing in India for the country`s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix, Alonso spent hours interacting with the children.

He also distributed Diwali gifts to the kids in the wards and those undergoing physiotherapy for paralysis in the hospital`s Child Development Centre.

Administering oral polio drops to five infants, the Spanish racing driver said, "It is critical that all Indian children continue to be immunised against polio until this disease has been eradicated all over the world. We all hope that happens soon."

Stating that India has recorded just one polio case -- from Howrah in January 13 -- this year so far, Alonso appreciated the country`s efforts in eradicating the disease completely.

PTI