Masooma Qurban, Communication Officer, UNICEF Balochistan


Community gathers under the Night sky in district Killa Abdullah to support local wrestling and raise polio awareness.

In the rugged terrain of District Killa Abdullah, where the sun paints the towering mountains in hues of amber, a unique spectacle unfolded. The air crackled with anticipation as 264 wrestlers, hailing from four districts of Balochistan, converged for a monumental clash of strength and skill. The arena, surrounded by a sea of expectant faces, echoed with the thunderous cheers of more than 2500 spectators. Among them, banners advocating for polio vaccination stood tall, their messages booming through the air.

As the fights commenced, each match lasted a mere two minutes, but within those fleeting moments, battles of indomitable spirit unfolded. Wrestlers, their bodies shimmering with sweat, engaged in a dance of power and strategy, each move a testament to their training and determination. Round after round, the contenders faced off, their resolve unwavering despite the grueling nature of their sport.


In the massive crowd, wrestlers grapple intensely as one fighter tries to pin down their opponent, all to raise polio awareness.
Among them, one wrestler named Jamal, a son of Chaman, emerged as a beacon of resilience. With each victory, his name echoed through the arena, a source of pride for his hometown. "One of the children in my district was recently crippled with polio, and I want to send a message to my community that all fights can be won if your health is good. I fought the bouts with the aim not only to defeat my opponent but also to defeat the polio virus," said Jamal after receiving the winning trophy.

But amidst the fervor of the matches, another battle raged on—a battle against polio. The banners lining the arena served as a reminder of the importance of vaccination, urging parents to protect their children from the debilitating disease. Throughout the event, key messages advocating for polio vaccination echoed among the crowd, intertwining with the cheers and applause. It was a reminder that even in the midst of competition, the health and well-being of the community remained paramount.

As the matches continued, Doulat Khan, the Community Communication Officer, took to the stage to address the crowd. "Today, we've witnessed the power of sports to bring communities together," he began, his voice carrying across the arena. "But let us not forget the link between sports and health. Just as these wrestlers train their bodies to compete, we must also ensure that our communities are healthy and protected against the polio disease."

Doulat Khan paused, his gaze sweeping over the audience before continuing. "In Balochistan, we face a challenge with polio. Despite our efforts, there are still children who are at risk of contracting this debilitating disease. But today, gathered here, we have an opportunity to make a difference. By coming together, raising awareness, and ensuring that every child receives the polio vaccine, we can protect our future generations and ensure a healthier tomorrow."


Layered across the mountain decorated with polio banners, a huge crowd gathers to watch the wrestling matches.
 Amidst the celebratory atmosphere, the wrestling match served as a joyful part of the Eid celebration, bringing communities together in a spirit of harmony and festivity. At the end of the fights, influencers and notables from the districts came forward to distribute turbans among the wrestlers, symbolizing honor and respect for their dedication and prowess in the ring.

In the end, as the dust settled and the cheers subsided, it was not only the victors of the wrestling matches who emerged triumphant, but also the community united in their resolve to safeguard the future generation against the threat of polio.