On a strong growth curve, RI District 3000 has chartered 40 Rotaract clubs and will have to set up 60 more to achieve its target for the year 2016–17. Spearheaded by DG M Muruganandam, the district has already surpassed the target of initiating 100 each of Interact club and Rotary Community Corps. And the message was loud and clear at the two-day District Conference titled Beats held at Chennai: Keep giving and God will ensure your continued prosperity.
But the spotlight was on the 100th year of The Rotary Foundation and how all the 117 clubs in the district are striving hard to achieve the ambitious targets of DG Muruganandam in domains such as membership drive, service projects, WinS and Literacy and TRF contributions.
‘Service above self’ has enabled the 111-year-old Rotary to outlive other NGOs, while its charitable arm TRF has crossed 100 years with liberal donations from large-hearted people across the world, said RIDE C Basker. Perhaps, this was the one-of-its-kind NGO that cuts across caste, religion, linguistic and national barriers to forge global partnerships for a better world, he noted. He called upon Rotarians to contribute liberally to TRF and fulfill all the commitments made by DG Muruganandam. Rotary was honoured to have such a dedicated team like D 3000 whose members were a ‘gift to the world’ as they were fine examples of doing good in the world and serving humanity, said Dr Janice H Kurth, representative of RI President John Germ and PDG of D 5340, US. In her inaugural address, she recalled the RI Convention in Utah, Salt Lake City (2007), during which she was inspired by the account of an Indian village of 325,000 people, who were grappling with severe water scarcity but were able to tide over the crisis with the help of Rotarians. “Through a matching grant of TRF, a dam was built which solved the water problem of the villagers once for all. This is one instance of doing good in the world,” she said.
Over the decades, Rotary has built up its credibility in acccountability which has triggered funds pouring into TRF “as people trust us and our enviable record of serving humanity”. Noting that just 71 members from the district had registered for the 2017 TRF Convention in Atlanta, she hoped that more from this region would attend the cetennial showcase.
DG Muruganandam said the district had surpassed the growth target of 10 per cent in new membership by enrolling 650-plus Rotarians. “This is a 13 per cent increase over the previous year. We have chartered three new Rotary clubs and seven more are on the anvil,” he said.
While the target for TRF contribution was $1 million for 2016-17, till now $.25 million has been collected. On the WinS and Literacy fronts (Happy Schools), he has directed each of the 117 clubs in his district to install an RO plant and one incinerator in schools for girl students.
Public image through Guinness
He added that District 3000 is the proud recipient of four Guinness Records, and seven more are on the adjudication process by the jury. “We are keen to build our public image through world records and our efforts will continue in this direction,” said Muruganandam. Already, the district had received Asia and India Book of Record certificates for all its 11 attempts as part of an image building exercise.
Target 3 billion
Addressing the DisCon, RRFC Raja Seenivasan said it wasn’t enough to be just a Rotarian by subscription. All Rotarians should donate through whatever little means or make efforts to make the world a better place. Citing former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s book Target 3 Billion, he said this was the number of people living below povery line, almost half of the world’s population when the book was written. Moreover, 5,000 kids died everyday and 240 crore people in the world were earning less than Rs 70 per day. Hence, it was the duty of every Rotarian to keep giving by whatever means possible to make a qualitative difference in the world.
On the sidelines of Beats meet, 970 Rotarians attempted the district’s 12th Guinness Record through a mega signature campaign on a huge scroll. The exercise lasted for two hours and the bid was to create awareness on polio eradication and literacy. A commemorative postage stamp and First Day cover were released to mark the TRF Centennial Year in the presence of Postmater General (Chennai City Region) Radhika Chakravarthy.
A medley of cultural shows, entertainment and celebrity talks regaled the 2,000-plus Rotarians and their families who had travelled all the way from Madurai, Trichy and their surrounding towns that comprise District 3000.