Focusing on empowerment of girls
Every year this district comprising Pune and surrounding regions of Maharashtra implements service projects worth over ₹100 crore, and this year, “we are the first district in India to achieve 100 per cent contributions from clubs for Annual Programme Fund amounting to over $300,000, that too in the first three months of the year. We are among the four RI districts in the world to do this,” smiles Dr Anil Parmar.
A mega all-women’s car rally was flagged off with the participation of 88 women Rotarians and 13 volunteers in November. “The rally went through seven districts of zone-7 to spread the message of girls’ empowerment, Say No to Drugs, awareness on cancer detection and prevention, and organ donation,” he explains. He governs 143 clubs having 5,900 Rotarians, and aims to add 1,000 new members and charter 6–7 new clubs. Project Mamta will install 113 baby warmers (GG: $59,000) at government and charitable hospitals through 58 clubs. Books are donated to girls’ schools under Project Asmita (₹5 crore) carried out at 220 places in India with CSR funding from GTPL Hathway and club donations. Tablets with preloaded videos are circulated in schools to create awareness among girls. Project Dhadkan is holding CPR awareness sessions for the public. “Our clubs will hold more than 1,000 health camps for the rural and urban poor,” he says.
Skilling and job opportunities are being provided at six Rotary districts through a community development project funded by a CSR grant of $225,000. Parmar aims to collect $2 million for TRF. He joined Rotary in 1994 influenced by his late father Lalchand M Parmar.
A Rotary App to connect with people
Unlike other NGOs, Rotary is well represented in Odisha and all the 129 clubs are doing public image-building projects in remote areas, says Pravudutta Subudhi. “We will be adding 10–12 clubs, but the focus is on merging clubs with few members with strong ones so that vibrancy is maintained,” he says. He has inducted 206 Rotarians, out of the targeted 400, to take the count to 4,369, and 50 of these will be women.
The Rotary eye hospital at Balasore will be expanded with a GG of $83,000 and 10 eye care centres (GG: ₹45-50 lakh) will he opened. He plans to set up 100 RO units (₹40 lakh) for potable water at rural schools. A Blood Taps App will link blood donors and patients through an e-platform. “Rotary Connects Odisha is a mobile app and directory of club projects.
A person or a group can click on it to get help or donations, wheelchairs or medical service,” he explains. Membership cards were given to Rotarians to avail 50 per cent discount at the Apollo Hospitals. On World Heart Day, 22 cardiac camps screened 3,000 people, and 420 were detected with heart defects. Medical camps are held on Sundays in remote areas. Mega cervical and breast cancer detection camps will screen at least 3,000 rural women. Subudhi aims to give $250,000 for TRF. Dr Omkar Hota was chosen as district ambassador to promote Rotary. Inspired by his father, 83-year-old Jaydev Subudhi, he joined Rotaract in 1987 and Rotary in 2002.
Tailoring to boost women’s income
Project Vellicham will train 25,000 women in tailoring as each club in the district is setting up a vocational centre with five machines at the community halls and panchayat centres. “Already 72 centres are running and 5,300 certificates were issued to sucessful candidates. The certificates from the MSME and MSW departments will help women to get free tailoring machines,” says
J K N Palani. In the next 10 years, the tailoring centres will benefit 2.5 lakh women as this is a sustainable model, he says. While the machines (₹40 lakh) are donated by Rotarians, the trainers’ monthly salary of ₹1 lakh is given by the clubs.
A net membership growth of 1,000 will boost the activities of 97 clubs having 3,600 Rotarians. A mammography bus (GG: $170,000) will be flagged off; six ambulances
(₹51 lakh), funded by PDG Abirami Ramanathan and some clubs, will be available to poor families at a very low cost. A digital x-ray van (GG: $90,000) donated to TB Hospital at Tambaram will visit each club for a two-day TB detection camp; while awareness camps will be held shortly.
On World Girl Child Day, Oct 11, medical camps screened 1.5 lakh girl students and 600 health camps were held in villages. “Our target is to hold 3,000 health camps touching 75,000 lives,” says Palani. He aims to collect $650,000 for TRF. He joined Rotary in 2011 impressed by the work done by the clubs in polio eradication.
Skill development for 10,000 students
A mega skill development programme at a cost of ₹1 crore is being taken up in partnership with the Pondicherry Central University to train 10,000 students of government schools. “We will identify the latent talent of students and hone them so that they can have a bright career. This project is part of Niti Aayog’s programme and we are the execution partners,” says Selvanathan. The clubs will provide career guidance and mentor students towards the next stage of their career growth.
With 135 clubs and 6,850 members, the DG aims at a net growth of 1,000 new Rotarians, of which 873 have been added till now. Two of the targeted 10 new clubs have been chartered already. “We are setting up seven dialysis centres (GG: ₹2.5 crore), with three machines each, at rural government hospitals, and 10 ultrasound units (GG: ₹1.25 crore) at rural PHCs,” he says.
Free heart surgeries are done on affected poor children below 12 years. Out of 500 paediatric surgeries, 266 have been completed. Another big project is development of mangrove forests (GG: $40,000) in coastal areas in tie-up with the Annamalai University. Over 1,500 health camps will be held for the poor. “Every week over 30 medical camps offer medicines and treatment,” he says. His target for TRF giving is $1 million. Having joined Rotary in 2003, Selvanathan is elated every time he reaches out to the “poor to make their lives a little bit easier.”