Letters to the Editor – August 2022

RID A S Venkatesh’s message offers new hope at the dawn of new Rotary year as he says past successes have given rise to a new thinking process and thus opens up new opportunities. His views are simply inspiring.

Mukundham Singam, RC Tiruchirapalli, Diamond City — D 3000

Transformation in Pere, Nepal

The word ‘hope’ has so much depth that it comes out so loudly with the work done in Pere village of Nepal. I feel that this is a story not just for this country but across the world. Rotary has ushered in a transformation in that Nepal village.

I loved the idea shared by RI Director A S Venkatesh on the ‘reputation of excellence’. The story of empowering girls by RI president Mehta left me spellbound with the kind of work done across the world. I feel that this is something that will only grow stronger since the foundation has already been built on a solid ground.

The story on Rotary’s ­Solidarity Walk was inspiring and showed how our organisation contributes towards the upliftment of the nation. The articles on the RI ­Presidential ­Conference were awesome — ­pictures came alive speaking a thousand words. The article on health served as a ready reckoner and a good reminder.

Vivek Khandelwal, RC Deonar — D 3141

Two big achievements

Empowering girls and membership growth have been the two big achievements of RI President Mehta last year. Hats-off to him for leading Rotary in a commendable manner. His visits to different countries and meeting heads of state have been detailed by editor Rasheeda. Rotarians led by PRIP K R Ravindran marched in Sri Lanka demanding good governance as the island nation slipped into political and economic crisis.

TCA Srinivasa Raghavan’s article on his extended family who has settled in many parts of the world and speak different languages is interesting to read as it is laced with subtle humour.

S Muniandi, RC Dindigul Fort — D 3000

In his year-end message, President Mehta has nicely summarised his work. We are happy to hear that the year gone by has witnessed many life-challenging projects. Many clubs did projects to empower girls, improve the environment and promote literacy and health. Mehta has proved that the top leadership in Rotary is not only a status but an opportunity to serve and project the great image of our organisation among the public. The special effort taken by PRIP Ravindran with the help of Rotarians, Rotaractors and Anns, to take out a procession in Sri Lanka, demanding good governance and create an awareness, when the island nation has descended into a deeper chaos, is noteworthy.

R Srinivasan, RC Madurai Midtown — D 3000

May Lord bless our new President


Finally, Rotary is having its first ­woman president — Jennifer Jones from Canada. This is certainly going to be a landmark year for all of us. The article Storyteller in Chief details her journey including her tryst with breast cancer, and her jigs on the dance floor. We are lucky to have her as our leader.

As our former President APJ Abdul Kalam said, “Think big and strive to achieve it.” May the Lord bless our new President Jones and Rotary.

The article Preventing cardiac arrests by Bharat and Shalan ­Savur must be read by all ­Rotarians who value their health. I relished reading this article which is simple and down to earth for anyone to understand it. Also the suggestions for a healthy lifestyle are simple and practical. Here we can remind ourselves of the famous mantra of TRF Trustee Bharat Pandya: Ek chamach kam, char kadam aage. A healthy Rotarian is an asset not only to Rotary but to the community!

Robert Franklin Rego, RC Bajpe — D 3181

In her editorial, Rasheeda Bhagat has nicely penned the following: “When direction comes right from the top, then miracles do happen. I ­completely agree that the battle for gender equity is a long and arduous one and needs as many shoulders at the wheel as possible… both male and female.”

Namita Sharma, RC Nagpur — D 3030

The cover picture of President Jones in the July issue is superb. She has ­rightly stressed on promoting Rotary ­during this year to fulfil its vision. Rotary has finally got its first female president as predicted by Jones herself seven years ago.

RID Dr Mahesh Kotbagi has explained the importance of fellowships in Rotary, while RID A S Venkatesh has urged us to come out with new ideas and visions for the new Rotary year. Both Foundation trustee chair and trustee point out the need to donate to TRF. Article Storyteller in Chief is an excellent read as it details the qualities of Jones with colourful photos. It’s good to hear from past RI president Shekhar Mehta that last year 45,000 new members were added worldwide. The video speech by PM Narendra Modi at the Houston convention gives Rotarians ample energy to march forward. All other articles, Skilling women in ­Nagpur, South Asia Dinner at Houston with beautiful photos, Peace, ­Conflict and Rotary’s role, ­Conference ­Vignettes, and RC Baroda empowers girls are excellent. Club Hop photos are colourful.

Philip Mulappone M T, RC Trivandrum Suburban — D 3211

The article Peace, conflict and Rotary’s role is interesting with an inspiring speech by ­former Army Chief and Union minister Gen V K Singh. ­Another ­write-up on skilling women in Nagpur ­under Project Sundari by RC ­Nagpur ­Vision provides details about the training on beauty care to 100 women. It is great pleasure for all Rotarians to finally have Rotary’s first female president in Jennifer Jones.

Jagdish M Vaghasia, RC Surat East — D 3060

No fence sitting by GoI

Rtn John Armstrong from RC Chiswick and Brentford, UK, in his letter in the July issue laments about the “fence sitting by the Indian subcontinent”, and talks about the RI statement that calls for ‘the withdrawal of ­Russian forces’.

It is sad that the ­grandson of the charter president of our mother club, RC ­Madras, is making an issue of a ­political statement by RI, which in the first place has no business to ­comment on international ­political issues.

It is a pity that Armstrong, with his colonial mindset, ­passes judgement on the ­Indian ­government’s decision not to take sides — as our foreign ­minister S Jaishankar said ­“India takes its own side — our ­national ­interests will take priority.” It is not fence sitting but a clear policy to ensure that the 1.4 billion people in the sub-continent are not affected by the effects of war in Europe caused by the ­trigger-happy policies of western and NATO countries.

It was Armstrong’s country that caused loss of millions of Indian lives, during the ­colonial rule and caused the Bengal famine that killed three million citizens when Britain diverted food for the war instead of feeding the people who ­produced the food.

RI should only focus on alleviating human suffering wherever it happens. We feel sorry for all victims of wars and strife. We can help others only after we have helped ourselves.

Shankar Duraiswami, RC Madras Midtown — D 3232

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