Meerut, Jan 31 (Agencies): Munzareen Fatima’s joy knew no bounds when she was featured as a dedicated polio worker in Oscar-nominated documentary "The Final Inch" in 2009. The 40-year-old woman awaits the day when India will be declared a polio free country.

Munzareen, who is a Unicef community mobiliser in her real life as well, is part of an over 5,000-strong team of workers, majority of them women, in polio-endemic Uttar Pradesh who work tirelessly to ensure successful implementation of the polio eradication plan.

The Final Inch, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, is a 38-minute documentary about India's efforts at eradicating polio. It was nominated for Best Documentary (Short Film) Feature at the 2009 Academy Awards.

"The movie inspired me to take the work of polio eradication more seriously. It is necessary that we fight against polio as the disease cripples young children who are the future of the country," Munzareen said.

She feels proud to be a community mobilisation coordinator (CMC) of Unicef-led Social Mobilization Network (SMNet) -- the army of front line workers who visit house-to-house to ensure every child under five receives the oral polio vaccine.

"I faced a lot of resistance from the family when I started working as CMC a decade back. I fought all odds as I wanted to work for the humanity which, according to the Quran, is the biggest service to Allah," she said.

The efforts of CMCs brought down the rate of infection in Uttar Pradesh from 602 cases in 2009 to 10 cases last year.

"The community mobilisers are at the heart of the communication effort for polio. Without them, the eradication of polio simply will not happen. They work tirelessly to make sure every family knows the importance of vaccinating their child every round," Lieven Desomer, Unicef's Chief of Polio said.

There are two types of polio virus prevalent in India - P1 and P3. The transmission of the most dangerous virus P1, which caused 95 percent of polio cases in India till 2006, was at a record low level in 2010.

Uttar Pradesh, the most endemic state and the epicentre of most polio outbreaks in the country, has not reported any P1 case since November 2009.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are two polio-endemic states in the country. Polio is a crippling disease that affects children under five. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are four polio-endemic countries in the world.