At the mid-year review for district governors held a day prior to the zone institute at Vizag, RI President Jennifer Jones thanked the DGs from zones 4, 5, 6 and 7 for “the amazing service projects that you do in your communities”.
Saying she had lost count of the number of times she had visited India, a country she admired tremendously, the most remarkable feature of India that she had noted was the huge and remarkable transformation that has taken place in India over the last decade. “You have come such a long way. I don’t remember how many times I’ve been to your beautiful country. I’ve lost count. I keep coming back because I love it and the people here. You are a nation that I have witnessed, in the decade-plus that I have travelled here, transition from a receiving to a giving nation. You give so much to our world and I sincerely thank you for being leaders in our organisation and for understanding that what we do together transcends borders and boundaries. The projects you do and the service you render has made Rotary proud.”
Addressing the DGs as her “babies”, Jones explained to them the importance of the Imagine Impact tour she had undertaken across the world and had seen some wonderful service projects. She also underlined the importance of Rotary’s new mantra of DEI — Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. She then asked the governors to recount for her some of the best projects they had done during their year so far. Needless to say, service projects related to the environment — such as Miyawaki forests and building of biodiversity parks, water and sanitation and empowerment of girls and women through education, skilling and enhancing women’s income, took the place of honour, and got encomiums from the RI president.
You give so much to our world and I thank you for being leaders in our organisation. What we do together transcends borders and boundaries.
– Jennifer Jones, RI President
Thanking them she said the projects they had implemented had made a big difference to their local communities, even while enhancing Rotary’s public image.
RI director A S Venkatesh who conducted the review meet, made it clear to the governors that the innovations and new ideas that RI had introduced on flexibility of meetings, the way clubs meet and conduct their affairs, and so on was there to stay. The push on membership would stay, and it was up to club leaders and members to ensure that the new members feel welcome, develop a sense of belonging and enthusiasm to do service in all of Rotary’s special areas of focus. It was up to the existing club members to create such a genial and welcoming atmosphere that the new members understood the true meaning and spirit of Rotary.
“If you ensure this, I can ensure you that we will not face the problem of members leaving our clubs,” Venkatesh added.
Institute convenor and RI director Mahesh Kotbagi welcomed the governors, commended their work, and urged them to remain focused on their goals for the rest of the year. PDG Lakkaraju Satyanarain counselled the DGs on the intricacies involved in administering their districts and how to remain clear of pitfalls.
The session ended with the RI President doing what she does best. After “apologising” to the session chair, Director Venkatesh, for the “bit of chaos” she was going to create in the room, she got the DGs together for group photos and video sessions. This was bonding at its best!
Pictures by Rasheeda Bhagat