Howrah District, India (CNN) — Rukhsar Khatoon is too young to fully grasp the significance of her life: that she is a last in a country of 1.2 billion people.
She has become the greatest symbol of India’s valiant — and successful — effort to rid itself of a crippling and potentially deadly disease. Rukhsar, 4, is the final documented case of polio in India.
Her face has appeared in newspapers and on television. She’s been invited to national events by Rotary International, the organization that led the effort to rid India of polio. She is a literal poster child, an inspiration, a symbol of a feat that no doctor or health official thought possible even a few years ago.
Apart from the publicity, though, Rukhsar’s life has hardly changed, her future still a question mark.