As Rotary approaches its centennial year and the world experiences increasing conflict between countries and communities, it’s an appropriate time to commemorate Rotary’s contribution to World Peace through peace fellows who serve as catalysts for peace and conflict resolution. TRF Trustee Sushil Gupta, a member of the Rotary Peace Committee, who is spearheading the Peace initiative in India, was instrumental in organising a Centennial Peace Symposium in Bengaluru recently.
District 3190 and its DG K P Nagesh got sponsorship from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and financial support from Prestige Group, owned by AKS member of the District, Rtn Irfan Razack. The planning and financing of the event was managed by the organising committee led by Rtn Suresh Hari.
The agenda focused on challenges and impact of Rotary’s programmes. Local artistes and spiritual leaders participated. The result was a kaleidoscope of colourful and informative action — on the relevance of peace in today’s world of conflict. Cultural events on the theme of ‘Peace,’ sharing of experiences by Rotary Peace Scholars, highlights of the Rotary Peace programme and its impact on world community were part of the agenda. While the initial phase of the event was meant to address the knowledge gap in Rotary Peace programmes, the following dinner event was more focused on bridging the funding gap for the programme and was attended by TRF Trustee Gupta, RID Manoj Desai, distinguished donors, corporate heads and district leaders.
- During the dinner event, a fundraising drive was started and DG Nagesh led by example by establishing a Peace Endowment of $25,000. Total funds generated: $200,000 by outright gifts and commitments.
- Following the event, D 3131 have scheduled a Peace Symposium in February 2017 at Pune.
- The impact of the Rotary Peace Programme has appealed to corporates and a ripple effect can be expected.