My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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PHOENIX—In Lubbock, Texas, the other day, during the part of the program dealing with community participation, I learned of a Texas town called Sudan, where, for the past four years, a most extraordinary amount of interest has been shown in the United Nations and a remarkable festival has been put on every year.

There is always some one person responsible for an interest of this kind, and in this case it is Mr. Joseph Salem. He and his wife have two children, a boy, who is now a doctor and who has a little daughter, and a daughter, who is teaching home economics in another Texas town.

Sudan has 1,400 inhabitants and 1,000 of them take part in the United Nations festival.

Mr. Salem has given up his business and his chief interests are his church, the United Nations because it holds out the hope of peace and brotherhood on earth, and the Boy Scouts.

He is one of those retired people who is busier than he was when he had to go to business every day. He travels to New York to visit the United Nations, and he was in San Francisco during the celebration of the writing of the U.N. charter this year.

He described what the people of Sudan did with their parade and their floats and their music, and I think everybody in the audience felt a desire to see what this small community had achieved.

If this same participation could be achieved in bigger cities and if it would spread out into the countryside, how quickly everyone would know about the United Nations and how quickly people would find ways in which to be useful!

Also they had such a good Halloween program in Sudan that the town handed over $700 to a representative of UNICEF several years ago who attended the festival. Sudan also has made clothes collections for different areas of the world.

It all goes to prove that once you have aroused interest it is not hard for each individual to find something they can do for someone else in the world.

If you have not seen the January number of the World Health Organization newsletter I think you would be interested to read the Indian Minister of Health's report to the nations.

These are some of the facts he gives: every child born in India today has a greater expectancy of life by five years than a child born only 10 years ago. India has a health insurance scheme called the Employee's State Insurance Act, which was passed by Parliament in 1948. This operates a medical-care program which embraces about two million industrial workers. India now has before it the proposal that the inclusion of the families of these workers should be effected at an early date. This legislation also provides for gradually bringing within the scheme of workers all types, including commercial and agricultural labor.

When this is achieved it probably will mean that about 75 percent of the total population of India will be covered by health insurance.


(Copyright, 1956 by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Phoenix (Ariz., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 28, 1956

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.