Ninety years ago, as members of RC Calcutta, D 3291, concluded their regular Tuesday lunch at the Grand Hotel, children from poor families queued outside the gate of the hotel to run behind their cars, begging for money, recalls Rtn Amit Ghosh. “The club received an anonymous letter on November 17, 1925, that spoke of the cars of Rotarians seen outside the Grand Hotel every Tuesday and went on to say that if these cars were parked outside an orphanage or an old age home, it would be a better sight. It also suggested that Rotarians could contribute some amount and perhaps their wives could arrange for a sumptuous tea for the less-privileged people. We guessed the letter to be from a Rotarian,” says Ghosh.
Next month, the first Sunshine project was executed and 200 underprivileged children from five institutions in Kolkata were picked up in Rotarians’ cars and driven to the Chandpal jetty and the Botanical Gardens. A day of feasting and sports ensued. From then on, the ‘Annual Children’s Treat’ became a tradition of the club. This year Rotaractors and Interactors helped in picking up children from various schools and institutions and escorted them.