Rawalpindi - Female polio vaccinators are allegedly being harassed by unknown persons in several areas of Adiala Road while the district administration has turned a blind eye to the issue that may hamper the polio campaign in the district.

The incidents of harassment have been reported to higher authorities by the female polio workers but no action was taken against the accused which created unrest among several other female workers.

According to sources, some young boys are allegedly involved in harassing the polio workers who visit door to door in streets of Adiala Road to administer polio drops to children less than five-year-old during the polio drive .

They said the district government has not provided the female polio workers with police security despite complaints and reservations expressed by them in meetings with the authorities concerned.

Sources said an incident of harassment of female workers also took place in WASA Wali Street, suburbs of Munawar Colony on Adiala Road.

The incident, they said, also panicked other workers who have been engaged in other parts of Adiala Road. “We are stopped and harassed by a group of men when we enter the WASA Wali Street for administering polio drops to children,” said two female workers while talking to The Nation seeking anonymity.

They said they had lodged complaints with their supervisor and other high-ups regarding the happening of unpleasant incidents but in vain. “We need police security but the government is not giving us protection. In these circumstances, it has become difficult for us to continue our job,” said a worker.

They requested Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif to order district administration to take steps for shielding the female polio workers busy in vaccinating polio drops to children less than five-year-old.

Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Talat Mehmood Gondal, however, when contacted by The Nation for comments over the issue, replied: “I am about to hold evening polio meeting in my office and will get back to you later,” But later, DC had not contacted to offer his point of view.

Meanwhile, a five-day anti-polio campaign launched at the Union Council-91 Girja. PML-N Chairman UC-91 Girja Raja Altaf Qadir kicked off the campaign by administering polio drops to a child. Earlier, a meeting was also held at the Basic Health Unit (BHU) Girja under the chair of Raja Altaf Qadir.

The meeting was attended by officials of District Health Department, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and local political leaders and members of local bodies. During the meeting, the chairman assured the WHO representative and other officials of health department that the area people would fully cooperate with anti-polio teams and get administered their children with polio drops. He also urged the party workers to make the polio campaign a success.