For more than 25 years, the members of RC Deonar, RID 3141, have nurtured the concept of Rotary Community Corps (RCC) in the Karjat taluk of Raigad district, Maharashtra.
The work at an RCC is always a joint partnership between the Rotarians and the RCC team comprising the villagers residing in the area. The villages near Deonar have seen considerable development since the club’s intervention.
It all started with Shelu, a village in Karjat taluk where the club installed its first RCC. Today the club has installed five RCCs covering 46 villages in this taluk, transforming the lives of over 100,000 people.
The journey began with a focus on polio eradication in the village where several children were affected by polio.
With the help of the RCCs the club had sponsored 130 polio corrective surgeries across the villages and this helped in deepening the bond with Rotary among the locals.
The RCCs helped in identifying a group of villagers for a vocational training (VTT) programme to Israel that was done with an intent to understand agricultural practices and improve crop yield. Over the years, the learning has immensely contributed to enhancing the local produce.
Other areas where the RCCs have helped in uplifting the lives of people include encouraging organic farming and women’s empowerment programmes. Village development initiatives include check dam projects, providing drinking water for village communities and schools, public utility toilet blocks. medical facilities, upgrading infrastructure in schools, promoting sports in the villages and vocational training for youth and women.
While the above may not be an exhaustive list, what is crucial is consistency in ideation leading to implementation and ensuring sustainability is monitored.
Club members Kulbhushan Jetly, Satish Lamba, Jhankar Gadkari, Ajit Pappu, Nagesh and Kannan have contributed immensely to the ongoing development. With the change of guard every year, each president has given strong support to the continuation of projects and initiatives that have been running for years.
The development of leadership at the local level plays a significant role and that is where leaders like Arjun Tare, Sitaram B, and many such pillars have made the RCCs what they are today.
One of the remarkable transformations that has come through this dedicated work is building new lines of leadership. In Oct 2021, RCC Bhivpuri appointed its first woman president, Archana Deshmukh.
The writer is member of RC Deonar, RID 3141