Medical camps to benefit one million people
Service above self, Rotary’s key mantra, attracted Shashank Rastogi to join the organisation in 2001. A second-generation Rotarian, he was influenced by his late father Rtn Y P Rastogi, and “having been an Interactor, Rotaractor and then joining Rotary gave me a good foundation,” he says.
During his year as DG, an ICU facility (GG: $30,000) was set up at the government hospital in Durg, Chhattisgarh. “A Rotary Tower was installed at a prominent site in Rourkela to enhance our public image. So far, 50 Happy Schools have been done through a mix of CSR grants, district funds and member contributions,” says Rastogi. Artificial limbs were fitted on 1,500 amputees at 12 special camps at a cost of ₹2.25 crore. A four-day Rahat medical camp at Narsinghpur, MP, examined over one lakh patients; and 3,000 cataract, oncology and other surgeries were done. “In certain parts of MP, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, medical camps are held on Sundays to benefit the rural and urban poor,” he says. Rastogi has a target to reach out to 10 lakh people through medical camps this year. RC Raipur Greater has done 108 WASH programmes in schools where students were taught best hygiene practices.
His target for TRF giving is $100,000 and he is confident of adding 150 new members. Five new clubs will be added to take the count to 92. “I am inspired by the leadership of PRIP Shekhar Mehta, PRIDs Kamal Sanghvi, Bharat Pandya; and also, the present directors Venkatesh and Mahesh Kotbagi. I will continue community service to strengthen Rotary,” he adds. His mother was an Inner Wheel member.
Rotary Friendship Exchange with Sri Lanka
Having joined Rotary in 2008, “drawn to it so that I can help the poor and marginalised, its service motto keeps me going. Now as governor I have taken up pathbreaking initiatives,” says Dinesh Sharma. He led a team of 60 Rotarians to a six-day tour of Sri Lanka and signed an MoU with DG Pubudu De Zoysa, RID 3220, in Colombo for a Rotary Friendship Exchange. “It was a great experience for us as we went around Colombo, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya,” he recalls.
An Endowment Fund of $25,000, the first in RID 3100, was created by him and its interest will be routed as DDF for service projects. “For the first time, we have five Major Donors, a proud moment for us all in this district.” So far, he has inducted 175 new members and is confident of adding 75 more Rotarians, taking their total headcount to over 2,600 by June-end. Three GG projects (around ₹40 lakh each) are being processed, “while one more is being drafted and we are waiting for a foreign partner.” The clubs have distributed 750 bicycles to school girls, and another 250 will be given shortly. “We have also distributed 350 wheelchairs till now.” A five-acre Rotary forest was inaugurated in Moradabad recently and two Happy Schools (₹8 lakh) have been completed.
At the Lakshya seminar, a target of $83,000 was fixed for TRF giving. “We have already collected $91,000 and hope to touch $150,000 by June-end,” he smiles.
500 houses for needy families
With an all-inclusive district theme of Rainbow, Rajmohan Nair has unveiled his grand mission under VIBGYOR — Value-added education; Inclusion; Building responsible communities; Go green; Youth engagement; Old age people; and Reach out to rehabilitate and rebuild. Rotary Parpidam project is building 500 houses for the homeless and needy families, “of which 200 were already handed over to the beneficiaries . We will complete and hand over the remaining 300 houses by June,” he says. The home for the homeless initiative is funded by AKS member Kochouseph Chittilappilly (₹10 crore) and club donations. Governor’s Excellence Awards for Teachers (GREAT) are given to 150 teachers. Over 1,000 bicycles were donated to school-going girls .
Each club has adopted a stretch of1.5-2km road as part of building a responsible community. While an ICU ambulance will be flagged off in Thekkady (GG: $80,000) shortly, four machines are ready for a new dialysis centre (GG: 32,000) at the government hospital, Palakkad. A GG application for $125,000 was filed for the next phase of artificial limbs project, an ongoing project by RC Coimbatore Midtown which had distributed over 25,000 prosthetics so far. His target for TRF giving is $2 million. A Rotarian since 1996, Nair says, “Rotary leaders PRIP Shekhar Mehta, Trustee Bharat Pandya, PRID Kamal Sanghvi and RIDs Venkatesh and Mahesh Kotbagi motivate me to strive for the betterment of society.”
“Being Rotarian is a great experience”
Constant learning through interaction and networking with people in Rotary “helps me to grow as a person. Hence, I enjoy being in this organisation,” says Dr Jayagowri Hadigal. A paediatrician, maternal and childcare projects are close to her heart. “Our clubs across the four revenue districts are holding awareness camps and seminars on learning disorders among children throughout the year.” Medical camps are being held in rural areas on a weekly and monthly basis reaching out to villagers.
She will inaugurate two physiotherapy units (GG: $400,000) at Kundapur and Karkala shortly. A human milk bank will be set up at Hassan district of Karnataka, funded by a global grant of ₹40 lakh. “We have given 400 sewing machines to BPL women, and 150 more will be distributed by June 30.” For TRF, she hopes to raise $200,000 by the end of this Rotary year.
With 3,700 Rotarians across 88 clubs, “I have set a target of 10 per cent in net membership growth. We will be starting one new club this year.” A Rotarian since 2002, Jayagowri says, “Trustee Bharat Pandya is my role model in Rotary. I would like to be in Rotary just to serve the people. Also, as a Rotarian, you get to know people through interaction which is a great learning curve and rewarding experience,” she says.