Public image building at new high in Chennai
Public image building is at the forefront of club activities as “our mega Covid vaccination camps across the city on Sept 12 and World Polio roadshows have created good impact among the people,” says J Sridhar. All the clubs have been supporting the efforts of Greater Chennai Corporation in holding vaccine camps through material and logistics support and “we have received a certificate of appreciation from the civic body for our partnership.”
A series of programmes such as roadshows, rallies, flash mob at malls, and poster and awareness campaign through autorickshaws has raised the club’s public image, says Sridhar. With 164 clubs and 8,025 Rotarians, “I am confident of a 10 per cent growth in RID 3232 over the next few years.” This year, he is targeting a net membership growth of 1,200 and “we have already formed 19 new clubs and three more will be chartered soon.” Sridhar aims to induct 2,000 new Rotaractors, taking the tally to 32,000 and add 20 new clubs, of which 16 are already formed, taking the count to 140 active Rotaract clubs.
“We are partnering with the Chennai Corporation to do a number of sustainable projects across the city,” he says. An MoU was signed with the Cambridge University, UK, to improve the English language skills among youth through an app for a nominal fee. “Job fairs are being held to provide employment to 10,000 fresh graduates.” Around 12–14 dialysis centres (100 machines) will be set up at government and charitable trust hospitals through GGs worth ₹7.5 crore. His target for TRF giving is $1.5 million. “We are creating fellowships to attract new Rotarians and provide existing members avenues to bond and network. Restoration of water bodies and lakes and building recharge wells to improve the groundwater table are our priorities,” says Sridhar. He joined Rotary in 2000 inspired by its motto ‘Service Above Self’.
Mega recycling plants to conserve water
In a push for water conservation, 10 recycling facilities (STP units) will be installed at government hospitals and defence cantonments by tying up with a Japanese and an Indian firm. “The Jal Shakti ministry has okayed the project, a mix of global grant and CSR funding, the latter accounting for 60 per cent of $100,000 per unit. The water recycling unit can be upgraded further,” says Gaurish Dhond.
The district will add eight new clubs, four already formed, to raise the tally to 143. “We aim at a net membership growth of 1,000 to push up our strength to 6,700-plus.” A mother’s milk bank (GG: $100,000) will be set up by RC Seven Hills Dharwad for those who can’t nurse their babies.
Under the Ujjwal Drishti Abhiyan, Dharward clubs screened over 33,000 children for eye disorders and free spectacles were given under the GoI’s Vision India programme. “We tied up with the Goa government to build 32 houses (`5 lakh each) for flood victims. In the first phase, five houses are under construction. While ₹2 lakh comes as government subsidy, the rest is raised through club funding.” The paediatric department at the Goa Medical College Hospital is being upgraded (GG: $60,000). For TRF, his target is $1 million. Dhond has been into social work as a member of Round Table India. “I had many Rotary friends in Bengaluru then. As one can’t be a Round Tabler after 40, I joined Rotary in 2000.” He is the chairman of the Goa chapter of the Indian Red Cross Society.
‘Ente Gramam’ creates big impact
Each of the 150 clubs has taken up at least one village adoption programme in which many projects are being implemented under the district’s flagship Ente Gramam initiative. “Our village projects include building houses, providing equipment to PHCs and hospitals, revamping schools with facilities such as toilet blocks. The funds are raised through member contributions,” says K Srinivasan. In February, a project to build 10 houses (`60 lakh) on 50 cents of land donated by the local MLA and a landowner was launched at Koottickal village, Kottayam. “The beneficiaries are those rendered homeless in the recent floods. In all, we will build 50 houses this year,” he says.
His target for TRF giving is $1 million. Six dialysis centres will come up at government and charitable hospitals through GGs, each valued at $36,000; while a blood bank will be set up in Kollam ($33,000). Recently, two hearing check-up camps were conducted in which 400 hearing aids were distributed. So far, 240 general health camps were held and “we will do 200 more in villages.” He is confident of adding 1,000 new members taking the strength to over 5,500. Fifteen new clubs, eight already formed, will take the total to 157. Having joined Rotary in 1991, influenced by his father’s friend Rtn P A Subramanian, the DG says, “Ente Gramam will create growth opportunities for Rotary as our efforts in building village infrastructure have boosted our
A ₹60 crore-cancer hospital in pipeline
Setting up a 400-bed Covid hospital within the premsies of the Government Hospital, Perundurai, in Erode in a record time of 45 days at ₹20 crore at the height of the pandemic is a model healthcare project which got high praise from RI President Shekhar Mehta.
As the maiden DG of the newly-carved district, Shanmugasundaram aims to form 20 new clubs to take up the tally to 103. “Our target is a net membership growth of 1,000, taking the strength to 5,000-plus by the year-end.” Two dialysis centres will come up at the Udumalpet GH and a private hospital in Tirupur (combined GG: ₹1.1 crore); a mobile heart-screening clinic will be flagged off by RC Tirupur Gandhinagar (GG: ₹1.5 crore) and “this fully-equipped bus will do angiogram and angioplasty for free.” A derelict 90-acre pond at Samalapur village was rejuvenated (`2 crore) by RC Tirupur West.
His target for TRF giving is $1 million. RC Mettupalayam has developed a digital app ‘I Rotree’ with the help of Rotaractors. This app will record the number of trees planted by Rotarians across the world to maintain digital data. “The work on the ₹60 crore-cancer hospital at the Tirupur GH will begin soon under the mentorship of PDG Dr Muruganathan,” he says. He joined Rotary in 1985 influenced by charter member P Karuppanan. He hopes to complete all the 14 GG projects (directed gifts: $473,000) in time before he demits office.