Quetta, Balochistan province - February 1, 2016: Volunteerism is a phenomenon that is perhaps alien to societies like ours. But its exemplary revival can be seen in Levis Risaldar Muhammad Ikram who has achieved an outstanding and unmatched success in his Union Council Aghberg in combating polio menace by making it a 100 per cent polio free Union Council (UC) through active volunteerism.

Aghberg is one of the UC of polio high risk district Quetta having target population of under five children around 3800 to 4000. Once 700-800 refusals used to be reported in the UC but now there is no refusal and polio vaccination coverage is almost 100 percent as per the survey after recent polio campaign. It’s all because of the collective efforts of COMNet staff, District Health Management Team, partners and other stakeholders. But of course the major credit goes to Risaldar Muhammad Ikram.

Muhammad Ikram, 35, had been working with the Balochistan Levis Force for the last 5 years as Risaldar. He is also an active volunteer and uses all the available security apparatus in the entire area during the polio campaign. He has a 30 personnel contingent of Levis force whose members are active under his command in combating against polio.

Keeping in view the current security situation and possible threats to the life of polio workers, Muhammad Ikram stated that “providing security itself is a challenging task, not only polio workers but also the security personnel lost their lives while guarding the polio teams in field”. He further said that “we face such challenges as part of routine but my objective is to fulfill my responsibility satisfactorily in every campaign and want to make Pakistan polio free for our future generations.

He is a unique story of determination and uprightness as he has left no stone unturned to stand steadfast against the virus in his area. With being a government employee, he is also a tribal elder which has given him an edge in his area to combat the contagious disease. Muhammad Ikram has also convinced Ulema, community elders and other notables of his area to administer drops to their children due to which his UC is polio free now. The social elites and scholars of his area are also seen active along with him to play their role for combating polio virus in the town.

He has been awarded best performance award twice in this regard, one from Shaheed Deputy Commissioner Mansoor Kakar while the second from Deputy Commissioner Quetta Dawood Khilji. These awards were bestowed on him for his active volunteerism in polio campaigns. His union council has become an exemplary UC on account of giving 100 percent results in polio campaigns.