“After bifurcation, we will grow big”
RID 3232 is slated for bifurcation in 2024 for easier administration. “Chennai district has grown big with over 170 clubs and 7,000-plus members. But each time the district was divided, there was a surge in new clubs and membership growth. We can see similar growth happening again,” says N Nandakumar.
Though he joined Rotary in 2000, it was not until 2011 when he visited Jaffna, Sri Lanka, to take part in a mega medical rehabilitation camp “that I underwent a big transformation, hugely impressed by the reach of Rotary impacting thousands of lives.” His flagship Project Shakti (GG: $600,000) has donated mammogram machines to 10 government and charity hospitals. “The aim is to strengthen infrastructure for early screening and detection of breast cancer,” he says.
Nineteen GG projects worth $1 million are being implemented across the district. RC Madras Central Adithya, along with the Chennai Corporation and Sri Ramachandra College, recently flagged off a cardiac care bus (GG: ₹1 crore) that screens patients at PHCs under Project Nalam. Another bus for cancer screening is ready (₹1.4 crore) in a project done by RCs Madras Vadapalani and Madras West. “We are doing 40 kidney transplants through a GG, ₹6.5 lakh per surgery, in a tie-up with Manipal Hospital.”
He aims to collect $2.2 million for TRF. With support from wife, Dr Sumedha, a Rotarian for 15 years, “Rotary helps me to expand my medical reach to the underprivileged.” The process-oriented organisation has shaped “my outlook as a model global citizen,” adds Nandakumar.
₹90 crore-Cancer Care Centre in Tirupur
During school days, whenever he passed by a Rotary club “I nurtured a burning desire to join this club which was always thriving with activities and attracted all the big people in the town,” recalls Elangkumaran. And he did join his home club in 2008, “thus fulfilling a long-nurtured desire.”
Now as secretary of the Rotary Tirupur and Public Welfare Trust created to raise funds for the ₹90 crore-Cancer Care Centre, he is focused on this hospital project, a joint initiative with the Tamil Nadu Government under its Namaku Naame Thittam (self-sufficiency scheme). PDG B A Muruganathan is the Trust’s chairman and PDG E K Sagadhevan is the project chair. “It will take two years to finish the construction. The fully equipped, four-storey, 75,000 sqft cancer centre will be handed over to the Tirupur Government Medical College and Hospital,” he explains. While ₹30 crore will be mobilised by Rotary, the government will pitch in with ₹60 crore for this project.
A fundraiser marathon for the hospital saw the participation of 18,000 people and “we raised ₹85 lakh from this one-day event.” Over the last two years, RC Mettupalayam Prime has distributed 500 motorised artificial limbs with the help of CSR funds. A school building with eight classrooms (5,000 sqft) is under construction with RC Tirupur Bharati raising ₹80 lakh. In all, 12 GG projects are in the pipeline, around $50,000 each, across Rotary’s focus areas, says Elangkumaran. “We are setting up 100 mini libraries in government middle schools.” His target for TRF giving is $1 million.