She was wearing small gold earrings and a yellow and brown checked dress. She squirmed in her mother’s arms, but her legs only dangled beneath her dress. Her mother wore an impassive expression as she stood before us in the sun, holding her paralysed child. Pankaj gently asked her if the girl had ever received polio drops – perhaps she’d got the vaccine but it had not taken. The mother said that a health worker had, with polio drops a few weeks before her daughter became sick. But she heard from other villagers that children were getting fevers from the drops. So she refuse the vaccination. A look of profound sadness swept over her. She had not understood.



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