An Interactor evolves into district governor
When he was in Class 8, he was upset by the fact that his best friend could not attend school as his family couldn’t pay his fees. Having heard of Rotary and its “noble work, I ran to Rtn Nanda, then president of RC Moga, for help. His club paid the fees and sponsored the entire school education of my friend,” recalls Parveen Jindal on a watershed event of his life in 1986. Inspired by this gesture, he became an Interactor and then Rotaractor in 1990, led his district as DRR in 1996–97 and finally joined Rotary in 2000.
Five clubs in his district have achieved the ‘Each one bring one’ (EOBO) target, and one on its way to bringing two members each. “I have plans to start 16 new Rotary, 32 new Rotaract and 64 new Interact clubs, besides 128 RCCs, during my tenure,” he says. He aims to add 1,000 new members to the existing 2,000-plus (July 1). An MoU was signed with Tech Mahindra and Vaish Trust with the help of RILM to conduct adult literacy classes in Bhiwani district of Haryana. “We are reaching out to over 5,000 adult learners and also taking up relevant TEACH projects. Gradually, we will expand this dream project to select villages in our district,” he explains.
Project Prayaas Ek Muskan (attempt one smile) will fulfil the basic needs of children who have lost a parent to Covid by giving them cash assistance. “This project will provide students with stationery, healthy diet, medicines etc and help them complete their primary education.” In a novel initiative, 16 school toppers from poor families will enjoy a flight, along with a 4-day stay, in a grand hotel under Sapne Such Hue (A dream come true) Project which, he hopes, “will boost our public image and earn goodwill.” This PR project will be done by November. His clubs will distribute 50,000 seeded pencils to students who, after using them, can just throw them and “they will blossom into trees in the next few years.” Jindal plans to create 50 Miyawaki forests in the urban clusters of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The clubs will also plant over one lakh saplings across the region. His TRF target is $150,000. His spouse, Rtn Nalini, got RI’s Best Spouse Award in 2014–15, and two children — son Rtn Mayank Jindal and daughter Ishika, a former district Interact representative — are quite active in numerous projects. Theirs is a PHF family.
Top priority for environment, health and literacy
With focus on environment, health and literacy, Ashok Mangal has instructed his clubs to take up tree plantations and health camps across Rajasthan and Gujarat, to improve Rotary’s PR in rural areas.
Over two lakh saplings will be planted by clubs and at least 50 PET bottle crushing units will be installed to clean up the plastic litter in residential zones. “We will hold more than 500 mega health camps in which the public will be sensitised through handbills, pamphlets and banners on the importance of leading a healthy life. Our members will reach out to the larger society through a sustained campaign on social media. At the medical camps, health parameters such as BP, obesity and diabetes will be tested and consultation given,” he adds.
Five global grant projects are in the pipeline including the distribution of medical equipment and oxygen concentrators (GG: $300,000) to 15–20 district hospitals. Under Literacy, “our clubs will take up projects across all the TEACH verticals reaching out to government schools.”
Mangal has set a target of $800,000 for TRF giving. He is confident of adding 1,000-plus members to the existing 7,000-plus, registering a 10 per cent growth in clubs. “I will be starting a number of satellite, passport, and cause-based clubs as hybridisation will be the norm in the coming years.” In the next 10 years, he says, “Rotary will be on top of the world as the no 1 NGO with Indian clubs leading from the front.” He joined Rotary in 1998 influenced by Rtn Nirmal Jain.
Rahat camp to screen villagers
One of his thrust areas will be shoring up Rotary’s public image by “involving a large number of non-Rotarians in service projects. Such a move will boost membership and help us to start new clubs in unrepresented areas in our region,” says Ramesh Meher.
A 5-day Rahat medical camp in Gondiya district, a Naxalite belt near Chandrapur, will be conducted. “Around 2,000 Rotarians will be taking up responsibilities in this medical project to be held in January or February, for screening over 25,000 villagers for general ailments and performing minor surgeries,” he explains. To mark the birthday of RI President Mehta on Oct 14, a four-day blood donation camps will be held across the district.
At least four dialysis centres (₹30 lakh each) will be set up at government hospitals. Likewise, four neonatal ICUs (₹50 lakh each) will come up at various hospitals. To empower girls, self-defence techniques will be taught to them in workshops. Five new clubs will be started in unrepresented areas such as Ozar, Niphad towns in Nashik district and remote areas in Jalgaon district. “I want to form at least 10 new clubs and add 750 new members to the existing 4,900 Rotarians.” Over 120 paediatric heart surgeries and 2,000 cataract operations are on the anvil through GGs and member contributions. His TRF target is $500,000. As Rotary meetings and fellowship events were regularly held at his popular hotel in Nashik, Rtn Jayant Sthalekar urged him to join Rotary and he became one in 1991.
He will expand service projects in villages
Following the drastic cuts in governor’s expenditure and allowances by the RI board, “it has become tougher for us to visit rural areas to launch service projects and motivate people to join Rotary in far-flung remote areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” says K Prabhakar. Unless the DGs travel to villages frequently, service projects will be hit in these areas, he says.
“I can only think of shifting the funds allotted for GML and other admin heads to our travel needs and related expenses which are critical for giving a push to impactful programmes in villages.”
His goal is an increase in membership by 1,500, and adding 30 new clubs, to take the total to over 5,400 and 114 respectively. A mammography van (GG: ₹1.5 crore) in Telangana and a mobile eye clinic (GG: ₹1.5 crore) in Guntur will be flagged-off shortly. Each project will reach out to 1,500 rural beneficiaries and the vehicles will be manned by skilled paramedical staff for proper diagnosis. “I will strive to induct at least 1,000 new Rotaractors across Telangana and two revenue districts of Andhra.” His target for TRF is $1 million.
But his biggest worry is the pandemic badly affecting Rotary projects in villages and “we have to resume our work there to sustain our public image in far-flung areas.” Another challenge, he says, is some Rotarians find the annual dues high and “it will be tough to retain the existing members.” To induct new Rotarians,
“I have to travel regularly, but with limited funds to accomplish this task.” In July alone, he attended 30 club installations. “They seek my presence to induct new members to boost their morale.” He joined Rotary in 1995 inspired by Rtn Vijayalakshmi Shekawat.