Inspire giving, instead of demanding,” says Arun Bhargava. “Shift the focus from contributions to the real-world change Rotary is creating. This approach will spark genuine enthusiasm among members, resulting in generous contributions.” He urges his district members to access valuable resources on rotary.org as well as engage directly with programme experts. “to proactively seek knowledge in areas that deeply interest them.”
Bhargava is captivated by Rotary’s remarkable ability to adapt to an ever-changing world and remain relevant across different eras. His leadership is inspired by this mantra. “Embrace change, harness it and turn it into a catalyst for growth.”
A staunch believer in “intentional membership,” Bhargava emphasises the significance of not rushing anyone into joining Rotary. “Prospective members deserve a clear picture of the commitments involved, paired with the transformative benefits of Rotary.”
His district is “actively working to incorporate individuals from diverse backgrounds into our Rotary clubs. RC Equivalence, chartered in April 2023, offers a welcoming space for LGBTQIA individuals, their families, friends and allies.”
He will continue to work on the National Integration project in collaboration with the Indian Army, which aims to boost education, healthcare, and women’s empowerment in Kashmir. By training 100 rural women in nursing, RID 3141 will address the critical medical gaps in 300 villages in Kashmir.
Lead by example
Starting as a young Girl Guide and NCC cadet, Asha Venugopal’s parents instilled in her “the value of being a go-getter,” a trait she has carried into her roles in Rotary since 2010. On the day of her installation as DG she contributed $250,000 to TRF to become an AKS member. “While becoming an AKS member boosts the Foundation’s impact, it will encourage members in my district to also come forward and give to TRF,” she says. Asha aims to raise $500,000 for the Foundation through her district.
To ensure that her district makes a tangible difference to the community she has set “simple, doable initiatives”. Project Akanksha: An app for Classes 7 to 10, delivering comprehensive lessons via smartphones aims to support 50,000 students. Under Project Boond, aerators will be distributed to homes, cutting water wastage by 60 per cent. Of the planned 5,500 bicycles, 1,000 have already been given to underprivileged students.
District clubs are welcoming LGBTQIA members, but women’s membership needs a boost, Asha acknowledges, and adds that “diverse membership means an increased number of Rotarians, membership dues, event involvement and fundraising, leading to stronger economic support for Rotary’s growth and initiatives.”
She suggests background checks before inviting potential members to join and recommends newcomers explore the Rotary Leadership Institute to enhance their understanding of Rotary.
Rotary optimal platform for women
Anandtha Jothi’s Rotary journey began with a friend’s invitation to a club meeting, coinciding with her entry into her family’s hospitality business. She segments her life into two distinct phases — “before becoming the club president in 2006, and after. This pivotal role exposed me to a broader perspective, enabling me to make decisions with a holistic vision.”
For membership growth, she advocates the Each One Bring One approach and encourages members to share their personal success stories, illustrating the profound impact Rotary has had on their lives. “Rotary provides an optimal platform for women professionals and entrepreneurs. Highlight this when you meet a potential woman member,” she urges. She is delighted that RC Tiruchirappalli Butterflies, an all-women’s club was recently recognised for achieving 150 per cent growth by adding 22 new members to the existing 33.
She is determined to “challenge the status quo and perspective of clubs that have only male members. We’ve already initiated the formation of 11 mixed-gender clubs, and two of them have been chartered. Notably, a 67-year-old, men-only club has now welcomed younger members and women,” she smiles.
During her tenure, the district aims to construct 100 toilet blocks for girls and distribute 100 auto rickshaws for women, all with CSR support. Her target for TRF giving is $2.5 million.
His journey is powered by Rotary
From the corridors of a government school and college as a student, to “commanding the stage, inaugurating projects, and engaging with amazing individuals — this extraordinary journey is powered by Rotary,” marvels Raghavan. He credits his friend Satya Parsa for introducing him to Rotary in 1997.
He believes that “classification” as part of a club’s membership structure, fosters friendship and brings diverse skills to the clubs.” He urges his team to “outline the financial commitment, time and dedication Rotary requires before inducting new members.”
Raghavan highlights the value of staying well-informed through Rotary News, and Rotary magazines. He recommends to his team to leverage the tools available on rotary.org and the Rotary App for instant access to vital information.
He finds Rotary’s resilience during the World Wars “motivating but the future of the organisation depends on what we give to it today.” He aims to raise $1 million to TRF.
The DG plans to charter 100 Rotaract, Interact and RCC clubs. On his to-do list are 10 marathons and a Rotary train journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to raise awareness on organ donation and other causes. A cancer detection van valued at ₹1.4 crore is also in the pipeline. Funds for all the projects will be raised by the clubs, grants and CSR.