Sanitary napkins & Happy Schools, his priority
Empowerment of girls is the top focus of his district’s clubs. “RC Gulbarga Midtown will be setting up a sanitary napkin plant in Gulbarga with a production capacity of 2,500 units per month, costing ₹10-12 lakh. We will distribute sanitary pads at our MHM awareness sessions in schools and special camps,” says Thirupathi Naidu. Next in his priority list is Happy Schools; at least 25-30 government schools will be refurbished and given a range of amenities such as handwash units, toilet blocks, and classroom furniture. “Here also we will concentrate more on girls’ schools in rural areas and taluks.”
Two pathology labs will be set up at Hospet and Sandur taluks (GG: ₹25–30 lakh each). The technicians manning these labs will forward the reports to doctors at the referral hospitals and get consultations for patients, says Naidu. With growing demand in Hospet, a blood bank will be constructed through a Term Gift. “We will be flagging off an ambulance worth ₹25 lakh consisting of ICU and modern life-support systems that will provide emergency medicare in this region.”
Comprising 12 zones, the district has 76 clubs with 2,400-plus members. Naidu is confident of inducting 500 new Rotarians and chartering at least 12 new clubs.
Each club will hold 4–5 medical camps for underprivileged families in rural and urban areas. On the Rotaract front, “according to official records, there are only 117 Rotaractors in 17 clubs. I will be chartering at least 34 new Rotaract clubs and hope to induct 500 Rotaractors through the year,” he adds. Already a number of clubs — RCs Gulbarga South, Raichur Krishna Tunge, Koppal, Kavali and Rajanpet — have exceeded the EOBO target for the year, he says, adding,
“RI President Mehta’s Do more, grow more is critical to increase our global number from 1.2 million. Rotary districts in India can easily double their membership to 100,000 by the end of this year.” His TRF target for the year is $500,000. Influenced by Rtn N Seshagiri, his builder-friend, he joined his home club in 1991.
He aspires to be a ‘membership champion’
To add 2,000 new members is a challenge, says Santanu Pani, who has already formed 10 new clubs against the target of 60. “I’d like to be known as membership champion. We will induct 500 women members and form seven all-women’s clubs,” he says. Set up at the district camp office, the Rotary Training Academy imparts basic knowledge about Rotary and its hierarchy to new Rotarians and updates old members and PDGs about the latest developments at RI. District trainer PDG Sibabrata Dash heads this centre.
Soon, 10 satellite vison care centres (GG: ₹80 lakh) will be attached to the four Rotary Eye Hospitals (REH). The satellite centres will function as OPDs to Rotary and government hospitals. Pani has identified 98 unrepresented rural areas across Odisha to set up clubs and find members. He chartered RC Sunrise Arunachal, RID 3240, in October. Two dental-screening vans (Rs 1 crore) and a mobile cancer detection unit (Rs 1.5 crore) will be launched shortly through a GG and CSR funds. A dental clinic was attached to the Balasore REH recently.”
He plans to start 50 new Rotaract clubs, 500 Interact clubs and 100 RCCs, and add 500 new Rotaractors. For TRF, he is striving to collect $100,000, “but it is really hard to convince our members to contribute more to the Foundation,” he says. About 20,000 government school teachers will be trained, and 12 Swabhimaan centres will reach out to 10,000 adult illiterates this year. A former Rotaractor, he joined RC Jeypore in 1998, moved to Delhi in 1994 and returned and joined RC Balasore in 2003,” he adds.
‘Bifurcate the district for better administration’
Due to the vastness of the Northeast region and its diversity, Rotary clubs are “far and few here, giving poor visibility. My focus is to have at least one club in each town of Assam for, at present, more than 50 per cent of district headquarters don’t have a representation from Rotary,” says Dr Mohan Konwar. He wants the RI district to be bifurcated for effective administration. With 101 clubs and 3,500-plus Rotarians, he wants to net a 15 per cent growth in membership and charter 15 new clubs. “A new eye clinic (GG: $200,000) will be opened soon at the Kuntal Goswami Memorial Trust Hospital in Guwahati which already has a Rotary blood bank and physiotherapy unit.” The district has applied for a global grant to set up a mega blood bank at Sibsagar. At his home town Tinsukia, the Rotary Community Centre will house a physiotherapy unit. Konwar has instructed clubs to implement at least one Happy School project. His target for TRF giving is $400,000.
During official club visits, he says, “I have to travel 3–4 days to reach the destinations as connectivity is an issue in the NE region. It took me three days to reach Durgapur, West Bengal, from my place, Tinsukia.” The chartering of RC Sunrise Arunachal has opened new opportunities for Rotary, he says. “The first attempt to start a club in Arunachal 7–8 years ago was not successful, as it was shut down within a few months.” PDG Kirti Ranjan Dey inspired him to join Rotary in 2001.
From Annett to district governor
As a 15-year-old Annett, Nirmal Raghavan was exposed to Rotary values when his father Mahendra Varman joined Rotary in 1996. Now at 40, as district governor “I’m inspired by RI President Mehta to take up ambitious projects such as creating 100 urban forests based on Miyawaki technique; setting up one lakh RWH pits at schools, hospitals and public buildings; and Project Vidiyal (change) in which 500 vendors will get push carts.” Fifteen lakh saplings and one crore bamboo seeds are being used for creating social forestry. Both urban forests and RWH units are being funded through member contributions, DDF and sponsorships. Push carts have been bought through a mix of GG ($60,000), DDF and member contributions. All the 97 clubs with 3,650-plus members have resumed in-person meetings and field projects, he says. Raghavan will induct 1,500 new Rotarians and charter 30 new clubs. “We are having only 28 active Rotaract clubs with around 400 Rotaractors; I will double the number of Rotaractors and form 50 new Rotaract clubs.”
A two-day badminton tournament saw the participation of 80 teams from seven RI districts at the Ranipet Sipcot complex. His target for TRF giving is $500,000. His father, a charter member and current president of RC Walajapet, and mother Mallika, past president of Inner Wheel Club of Ranipet, have “deeply etched the spirit of social service in me since childhood,” he says. His spouse Nandhini is a charter member of Rotary E-club of Ranipet. Raghavan is also a board member of RILM and “I am very much attracted to this noble initiative of Mehta to usher in 100 per cent literacy in India.” He was influenced by PDG C R Chandrabob to join Rotary in 2009.