GG projects will boost our public image
Comprising parts of MP, Odisha and the whole of Chhattisgarh, this district poses a big challenge in membership growth as “most of the areas are remote, tribal habitats with the people having no awareness about Rotary,” says Sunil Phatak. But he is hopeful that the GG projects “we are doing will boost our public image, and help us to grow.” His vision is to start 20 new clubs, of which 12 are already formed, to take the strength to 100 by June 30.
He is confident of a net membership growth of 350 this year, taking the total to over 3,300. A dialysis centre (GG: $40,000) with five machines will be set up at the Sindhu Netralaya, Jabalpur. By May, a 50-bed maternity-cum-paediatric ward (GG: $150,000) will come up at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Raipur, to boost healthcare facilities for mothers and newborns. A Covid testing centre (GG: $40,000) at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose GH, Jabalpur, installed last year, “is functioning effectively earning us a good name,” he says. A mobile eye clinic (GG: $35,000) flagged off in January is offering ophthalmic care in remote parts of Odisha.
His target for TRF giving is $100,000. “The annual dues should not be based on the exchange rate, but should be fixed on rupee value. Also, the GST rate of 18 per cent is too high and must be reduced by the government to make the club fee affordable,” he says. Phatak joined Rotary 13 years ago, motivated by his childhood friend Rtn Jitendra Kulkarni.
Biodiversity forest coming up in Shimoga
Environment protection is top priority for him and a mega Rotary Biodiversity Forest is being created over an eight-acre area in Shimoga. “We have already planted 1,800 saplings and the work is on in full swing,” says Ramachandra Murthy. A GG valued at ₹48 lakh is under process for rejuvenating 12 lakes; and the clubs are sensitising the public on proper, scientific disposal of electronic waste.
He plans to add five more clubs to take their strength to 90 by June-end. “I am targeting a net membership growth of 33 per cent which will raise our headcount to 4,000-plus.”
Eight Happy Schools are on the track; the clubs are donating 2,500 computers to polytechnics and colleges in rural areas in association with Infoys; 22,000 books worth ₹22 lakh were distributed to students under Project Vidya Sethu; and two dialysis centres, one attached to the GH, Balehonnur, with three machines (GG: ₹23 lakh), and the other at the Rotary Blood Bank, Thirthahalli, with two machines, will extend affordable care. “A third dialysis centre (GG: ₹35.5 lakh) will be set up by RC Brahmavara in Udupi shortly.” RC Shimoga Midtown will donate a bus, furniture and computer (GG: ₹30 lakh) to an orphanage. His TRF giving target is $200,000.
Milch cows are being given to 100 rural women (GG: ₹24 lakh). More professionals will join Rotary as service projects are enhancing its public image, says Murthy who joined Rotary in 1992 influenced by PDG Dr Narayana and past president Dr Shivaramakrishna.
Livestock, bicycles to empower women
A clutch of projects is empowering women and helping them sustain their families with secure income. Already, 300 women were trained in making home-made products such as masala mix, turmeric, chilli powder, pappad and milk-based snacks. “We will train 700 more women through club funding,” says Omprakash Motipawale. Reaching out to those in remote, hill areas, the clubs are providing five goats to each of the 127 families through a global grant. “We have donated livestock to 35 families till now, 92 more will be covered under this project.” In a similar project, 90 milch cows are being given to rural families.
Bicycles will be given to 2,000 schoolgirls in remote areas and a global grant has been sanctioned for the project, says Motipawale. His target is to add 10 new clubs, of which five are already formed, to take the total to 95 by June-end. “We will induct 400 new Rotarians to raise our membership to 4,000-plus. So far, we’ve added 600 new members.”
The clubs have organised three mega artificial limb fitment camps (Jaipur foot, LN-4) and three more camps will be conducted shortly. “We will reach out to at least 1,000 amputees at the prosthetic camps funded by our members,” he says. Around 600 surgeries (hernia, cataract, hysterectomy, hydrocele etc) were done at the mega medical mission in Jalna with the support of the state health department in January. His target for TRF giving is $110,000. A former Rotaractor, Motipawale joined Rotary in 2001 as “being a journalist, I was inspired by Rotary’s activities in the country.”
Spotlight on ‘Our Lovely Planet’
Under the district priority theme Our Lovely Planet, all the 153 clubs are taking up more than 500 service projects that have positive impact on the Earth, water and humanity through diverse field activities. “I have drafted my primary objectives as ‘Seven wonders of Rotary’ in which our annual goals are listed,” says Rajasekhar Srinivasan. He is starting seven new clubs; forming 70 new Rotaract and Interact clubs; setting up 700 RCCs; raising the membership to 7,000 (he started the year with 5,700); reaching out to 7,000 youth through RYLA, Rotaract etc; providing support to seven lakh farmers; and giving ₹7 crore ($1 million) to APF as part of TRF contribution of $1.5 million.
Srinivasan was one of the new AKS inductees who were felicitated at the Mahabs 21 institute. “We want to extend all support to farmers as they are being neglected. During the pandemic, they are the ones, apart from the medical fraternity, who toiled the in the fields without a break to ensure that we have food.”
Free breast cancer surgeries (GG: $120,000) will be done in tie-up with the Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, for women. “We will be renovating the ICU ward ($140,000) at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital very soon.” At present 68 GG projects are under various stages of implementation and “we have applied for 20 more global grants for the year.” People want to join Rotary as they have seen our projects, he says. He joined Rotary in 2001 inspired by his family friend Rtn Baboo Kannan.