A Charter Night with cultural shows, a medley of Bollywood musicals and traditional dance, and the honouring of 10 charter members by DG Santosh Pradhan excited members of RC Surat Roundtown, RID 3060. “All our 63 members were given a specially-designed Rotary pin to mark our golden jubilee,” said club president Dr Bhavin C Jariwala.
A successful CPR training session for Rotarians and their families will be replicated at the other 15 Rotary clubs in Surat. A massive celebration is planned in Sep 2022 with delegates from RI headquarters, district and Rotary leaders.
Down memory lane
Formed on Sep 8, 1972 with 40 charter members and Raojibhai Patel as charter president, the club has given two DGs and done impactful projects.
A double decker vehicle with an OT for eye operations and family planning procedures was received from UK Rotarians, RID 1020, in 1984, to help rural families. Under a matching grant with RC Stone Mountain, RID 6900, US, the club implemented a year-long medicare project (1996–97) that distributed nutritious food to 540 children and 59 lactating women at a slum colony in Adajan.
Through Project Mamta, the 40 students of Mamta School for special children get their monthly rations, uniforms, books, footwear, etc.
From 1996, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, footwear and oral hygiene products worth ₹2.5 lakh are being donated every year to government schools in Dang and Vyara districts of South Gujarat. Through various GGs, equipment worth ₹1.4 crore was donated to the Tejas Eye Hospital, Mandvi. This July, under a GG, devices worth ₹40 lakh were donated to vision centres in rural areas and the club sponsored over 100 cataract procedures.
Adoption of a slum near Surat; distribution of food and books; upkeep of anganwadi; sewing classes for women; donation of sewing machines; and setting up a computer centre are other club projects.
The 50-year-old iconic Dilip-Paresh Rotary Hall has been renovated at a cost of ₹7 lakh donated by members. DG Pradhan inaugurated the renovated premises. A kitchen garden is being created for the Savita Sharda Girls Hostel for working women and college girls. Organic farming will be done here that will benefit 35 hostellers, said the club president.
Under the district’s Red Revolution Project, the club is holding MHM awareness sessions at government schools and for rural women. “We clear myths and wrong notions about using sanitary pads. We will be distributing 600 sanitary napkin packs at these hygiene workshops.”
A 10-member Golden Jubilee Programmes Committee, led by PP Prashant Desai, is in the process of chalking out year-long events that will culminate in a gala in September 2022.
Projects on drawing board
A computer training centre for students of government schools without one; a Kala Mahotsav art festival; and adding more members are all on the cards, said Prashant Desai, head of Golden Jubilee Committee.
Recalling one of his memorable projects, PDG Bharat Solanki (72) said he was instrumental in setting up a polio rehab centre at the DKM Hospital in Surat as club president in 1974. “Taking charge as DG in 1984–85 as the youngest governor at 25 is an unforgettable experience for me and so is, getting the Service Above Self Award from the then RI President Richard King in 2000.”
For PDG Kulbandhu Sharma “hosting a three-day district conference by the club in Dec 2003 when I was DG was a great occasion and I still recollect that event now and then.”
‘Go Green’ is the mantra
Down south in Tamil Nadu, the Anns at RC Coimbatore Midtown, RID 3201, led by Vani Krishna Kumar, spouse of club president R Krishna Kumar, visited the Bethada Amman Tribal Colony and donated grocery bags to 14 families to mark the club’s golden jubilee year.
The club, in partnership with ESRAG South Asia, gifted over 50,000 saplings to Rotary clubs and other NGOs in Coimbatore for distribution under its Go Green Project. “We are planning to create a biodiversity park, a one-acre Miyawaki forest at Chinniyampalayam village, with contributions from our members,” said C V Sriram, club secretary. Reaching out to farmers, a one-day workshop on organic farming saw over 100 participants from Dharapuram, Tirupur, Pollachi, Udumalpet and Madurai who were given a crash course on preparing soil-friendly manure and traditional farming.
Plans are afoot to set up a dialysis centre at a private hospital and distribute 50,000 PPE kits to ambulance drivers through global grants. “Right now, we have a strength of 71 Rotarians. We plan to induct 15 new members, though we would love to take the membership close to 100 during our golden jubilee,” said Sriram. A traffic circle on Race Course Road was adopted by the club to boost PR. “We have planned a slew of programmes and events to mark the golden jubilee year,” said C T Thiagarajan, chair, International Service. A golden jubilee building (₹40 lakh) will soon come up, to house two tailoring centres and a limb fitment centre of the club.
Artificial limbs camp
Even during the pandemic, the club hosted the artificial limb fitment camp which is a major feature of this 50-year-old club. Around 20,000 amputees have benefited from the Project Walk Again which is conducted at the club’s Limb Fitment Centre on a regular basis since 1990. DG Rajasekhar Srinivasan inaugurated one such camp.n