A Tale of Two Drops

‘A Tale of Two Drops’ (‘Kahani Do Boondon Ki’ in Hindi) details the inspiring story of the visionary campaign to rid India of polio, which was visualised, helmed and brought to fruition by Dr. Harsh Vardhan. This was the first instance of the initiation of a mass movement to address a public health issue. Both editions of the book were released at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on December 7, 2004 by former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with former Deputy PM Shri L.K.Advani, Shri Mohan Bhagwat and Smt. Sushma Swaraj in attendance. Also present was the former Regional Director of the WHO (SE Asia) Dr Samlee Plianbangchang.

The book tells the inspiring story of the trendsetting campaign for polio eradication, which ensured that this malady was wiped out totally from the country. It relates how individuals and organisations in diverse fields––religion, sports, film industry, art and culture, social service and even politics––were roped in, motivated and participated wholeheartedly in the movement. It details the innovative and imaginative methods that were used to achieve quick and effective results.

DO BOOND AUR CHAAR MAHAAN HASTIYAAN: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. L. K Advani, Mr. Mohan Bhagwat and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj at the book release function in New Delhi on December 7, 2004.

In his preface to the book, Dr. Harsh Vardhan says “Why should this story about the fight against polio be told at all? Why should the task of narrating this story fall on me? These two questions can rightly be asked from a person who is a doctor by profession … social worker by spirit and politician with a mission. The simple answer would be that it is a story worth telling and who else but a soldier in this battle should narrate it?”

The book serves as a ready reference manual for medical professionals, health authorities and non-governmental organisations engaged in public causes about how a mass campaign can be organised to tackle any problem––be it a health issue or an environmental issue––on a nationwide scale and achieve success in the enterprise.