With a growth of 4,000 members a month so far this year we are doing much better than the past ten years when it used to be an annual net growth of 4,000 members,” said RI President Shekhar Mehta, addressing the DGs at their mid-year review session. The four zones have together added 15,553 new members between July and December, in true spirit of his EOBO concept.
But Mehta was unhappy that 400 Rotary clubs in India have not paid their dues even past the deadline. “Sack the assistant governors in charge of these clubs. It is a shame if an AG cannot look after 2–3 clubs. It was heart-wrenching when RI pointed out that 400 clubs from India are defaulters,” he said, and added that the AGs in charge of such clubs should not be considered for any district recognition.
Mehta was filling in for RI’s membership committee chair PRID Kamal Sanghvi who was mourning the loss of his mother. The session was participative with governors sharing best practices on membership growth, TRF contribution, roping in CSR participation and doing community-oriented service projects.
Mehta urged the governors to promote Rotary Days of Service and projects directed at empowering girls in their districts, and ensure that the programmes are promptly uploaded in the Rotary Showcase website. “Only then your district will be considered for recognition.”
Success stories shared at the session included forming a club in Jodhpur with officers of a branch of HDFC bank as members on a suggestion from RID 3053 DG Sanjay Malviya. RID 3262 DG Santanu Kumar Pani related how he helped form an e-club with NRIs working in the Middle East. “It gives them an opportunity to get together to do service projects in our country,” he said. Mehta suggested the forming of corporate Rotary clubs as CSR participation in Rotary projects is commendable, and Rotary clubs in gated communities.
“Nothing will be as significant as getting a landmark figure in membership this year. Adding 40,000 members in a 10-year span does not justify our potential. For a country with a population of 1.3 billion we can do much more than a 1.7 lakh membership,” said institute convener RID A S Venkatesh.
He spotlighted RC Madras Capital City which had a membership of 94 past Round Tablers. The club is soon chartering another Rotary club with 60 past Round Tablers. Inviting past Rotaractors, children of Rotarians and encouraging dual membership of Rotaractors were other suggestions he gave for membership growth.
RID Mahesh Kotbagi, who chaired the session, announced bifurcation of districts 3190, 3054 and 3170.
Rotaract Committee chair Ravi Vadlamani and TRF Trustee Aziz Memon also spoke.
Picture by Jaishree