Leadership workshops for Rotarians
Under projects tiled FAB 10, clubs will come together to do high-impact, high-visibility service in Thane and neighbourhood. “Projects like urban slum adoption, Happy Streets, Digi Walkathon, marathon for causes, bus adda (depots) and bachha party for balwadis and anganwadis, have great visibility and will showcase Rotary to the public,” says Kailash Jethani. Through Digi Walkathon, an app, Rotarians, their families and relatives have earned points worth ₹30 lakh till now which will be translated into CSR funds for service projects. Looking forward to add 600 new members, taking the headcount to over 4,000, Jethani says the focus will be “solely on neighbouhoods, not rural areas.” He wants to add 650 new Rotaractors to the existing 2,800.
Around 5–6 GG projects ($250,000) are in the pipeline across literacy, environment, water and sanitation, and economic and community development. With the aim to evoke a sense of commitment to Rotary, “we are doing a series of Netrutva (leadership) seminars and workshops. Two celebrities — one from the outside and the other a Rotarian — will share the podium to recall their success journey.” He aims to collect $600,000 for TRF.
The growing ratio of weak to strong clubs is worrying him. “I have well-meaning officers to analyse this problem. If the weak clubs can realise their true potential, we can be successful in retention,” says Jethani. He joined Rotary in 2005 to serve and enjoy the fellowship.
Empowering Rotarians to grow Rotary
Instead of augmenting clubs and adding new members, Jerald is keen to “strengthen the inner characteristics of a Rotarian so that he or she is financially and physically strong, and with good family bonding, to contribute to the growth of Rotary.” At the same time, he adds, “the clubs must engage the new members so that they stay involved.” Having 5,400 Rotarians across 132 clubs, he wants to start five new clubs with a net membership growth of 5 per cent. Jerald is confident of adding at least 500 Rotaractors. “The newly imposed RI dues are not a big problem here as most of the Rotaractors are ready to pay.”
Each club will start a Rotary Study Centre in a village to coach rural youth for competitive exams for the government jobs from the VAOs to the topmost IAS officers. “We are working on a three-year sustainability basis and hope that at least 3–4 aspirants in each centre are successful in this period,” he says. Around one lakh saplings will be distributed to create at least 25 acres of Miyawaki forests; and 50 acres of ponds/water bodies will be restored. “Funds will be generated through member contribution, public donation and CSR funding. We have not applied for GGs.” For TRF giving, he is aiming at $1 million. Jerald has lined up educational workshops related to savings, financial management, insurance for Rotarians and a master health check-up for spouses. He joined Rotary in 1999 influenced by a business competitor.
Clubs will take up rural projects in a big way
Retention is the biggest problem as out of 1,400 new members who joined Rotary last year, “most of them left for want of orientation programmes and engagement,” says V P Kalta. “I am against haphazard growth. We need a systematic approach to retain new members.” With a net membership target of 800, he is confident of forming 18 new clubs taking the total number to 125 and the headcount to over 5,000 by June next year. “My focus will be on chartering 50 satellite clubs in small towns and rural areas.” On the Rotaract front, he wants to start 50 new clubs and induct at least 650 new Rotaractors.
Rotary chalo gaon ke aur (Let Rotary go to villages) is the district theme of the year. Each club will adopt a village to implement community projects. “In the first two months, we got a good feedback as vocational centres skill rural women and youth for employment.” Two healthcare vans are visiting clubs to hold medical camps in remote areas. “Three check dams (GG: ₹40–50 lakh each) will be constructed; a blood bank at the district hospital, Saranpur, UP (GG: ₹25 lakh); RC Panipat Midtown will open a dialysis centre (GG: ₹35 lakh); and each club will be doing a Happy School.” His target for TRF giving is $500,000. Kalta was instrumental in setting up Rotary Ashray, a building next to IGMC Hospital, Shimla, that offers personalised care to cancer patients. He joined Rotary in 2000 as a charter member of RC Rampur Bushar.
Cent per cent digitalised district
From July 1, all the 122 clubs have digitalised their daily operations and even during governor’s visit, “the projects are narrated through online presentations. We are the first district to convert to 100 per cent digitalisation with the aim to save the environment,” says Ashok Kantoor. Four new clubs were formed and the charter is under process for the fifth one. The headcount will be raised by 550 to over 5,000. Clubs willing to start vocational centres will get help from the Delhi government and municipal body for identifying space for the project. To facilitate delivery for pregnant women, nursing, childcare, paediatric ward and an OT will be set up at a municipal building in Fatehpur, Beri, at a cost of ₹2 crore through CSR funds and member contributions.
A 700-year-old Satpula lake in Saket will be revived (GG/CSR: ₹60–70 lakh); and other water bodies will be rejuvenated. Around 1,000 defunct borewells in parks will be converted into RWH pits (₹50 lakh) to recharge groundwater; and handwash stations will be installed across 100 schools. Already 42 such units were installed. His TRF giving target is $1.2 million. Celebrating his silver jubilee in Rotary, Kantoor recalls, “when I took my children to a doctor in 1997, I saw a Rotary wheel on his desk and got curious, and my journey began.”