Get ready for Purple Madeira Cake!

Get ready for Purple Madeira Cake!

Madeira Cake is the latest product which it is hoped will capture the public’s imagination in the campaign against polio. It’s an initiative being led by District Governor, Manoj Joshi, who has also been elected as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

We’ve had purple gin and purple ice cream, and now the latest imaginative polio promotion is Purple Madeira Cake!

From purple lights to purple cakes, Rotarians all over Great Britain and Ireland continue to tell the story of Rotary’s pledge to save the children of the world by eradicating polio.

Now the 102 clubs throughout the Rotary District 1040 (Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire) have been energized into promoting Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

Bradford Rotarian, Manoj Joshi, has teamed up with local business champion Younis Choudhy, Chief Executive Officerof Regal Food Products PLC Bakery to launch a purple version of its bestselling Madeira Cake.

Mr Choudhy said: “We are delighted to support Rotary’s efforts to eradicate Polio from the world.”

Proceeds from the sales of the cakes will be donated to Rotary International and the cakes will be on sale in retail outlets nationwide.

This is the latest initiative to promote Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

Last year, Africa was declared polio-free following a three-year respite in Nigeria. Today, there are only two countries left with endemic polio outbreaks – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“It’s a huge accomplishment and Rotary’s greatest gift to humanity,” said District 1040 Governor, Manoj Joshi representing 102 Rotary Clubs throughout Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

To provide context, he said, in 1987, 1,000 children a day were contracting the diseases in 125 countries.

Over the past 32 years Rotarians all over the world have collectively raised more than $1.7 billion in essential funds to deliver vaccines, and volunteered countless hours conducting mass polio immunisation programmes in more than 122 countries and raising awareness of the disease.

Manoj is this week flying out to Amritsar in Northern India to take part in one of the National Immunisation Days across the country.

Rotarians from across the world are flying to the country to help the vaccinators deliver the immunisations to children to keep India polio-free – something it achieved in 2014.

Reflecting on my life, I have derived so much joy and satisfaction from voluntary service and as a Rotarian, therefore it’s extra impetus to do more!”

In a separate development, Manoj has been appointed as Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. This comes on top of also receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford.
It has certainly been an action-packed past 12 months for the man with the biggest moustache under the widest smile, and the longest name in Yorkshire – Manojkumar Narottam Liladhar Joshi DL.

Manoj, who has been in Rotary since joining Interact as a teenager in Jinja, Uganda, before fleeing to England in the 1970s as a refugee during the infamous Idi Amin regime.

He said: “I feel very honoured to have another platform to continue practising ‘Service Above Self’, which has been my life’s ethos since joining Interact.

After arriving in England as a refugee, Bradford became my home where I was able to transform my circumstances and help others to do the same.”

Manoj first joined the Rotary Club of Bradford in 1983 – he was then the youngest, and only south Asian member out of over 120 Rotarians. “I felt very proud to be part of one of the world’s most prestigious organisations and be surrounded by so many illustrious personalities,” he reflected.

Manoj has even branded his car which is known as the Rotarymobile!

He has served twice as club President, the second term during 2015-15 when he became acutely aware of the rapid decline in membership.

Manoj explained that he has always felt that by increasing public awareness about the impact of Rotary in society, this would generate a lot more engagement as an organisation.

“I was correct,” added Manoj. “That year, membership grew by 30% and included members from a variety of cultural backgrounds representing our communities.

“I have even branded my car which is now known as the Rotarymobile!”

As Deputy-Lieutenant, Manoj’s main function will be to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his duties to represent Her Majesty the Queen in West Yorkshire.

“I believe the role dovetails my long-standing passion for supporting so many different communities, charities and businesses contributing to the growth of the region,” said Manoj.

“Reflecting on my life, I have derived so much joy and satisfaction from voluntary service and as a Rotarian, therefore it’s extra impetus to do more!”