Cervical cancer screening a key priority
Motivated by his uncle Ramesh Dave, he “joined Rotary in 1996 as I also wanted to serve the community like him.” Service, service, service — this three-word mantra aptly defines the core values of Rotarians, he says. He is confident of adding 10 new clubs and 500 new members taking their respective counts to 115 and over 5,500 by July next year.
One of his priorities is the elimination of breast and cervical cancer through an awareness, screening and vaccination campaign that will reach out to over 10 lakh women. “We have procured seven colposcopy machines for cancer detection through a CSR grant of ₹5 lakh.” Protein-rich food including a specially made protein powder will be distributed to 3,000 TB patients, adopted by the clubs. They will continue to receive “these nutritional kits for six months to abate the TB symptoms.”
Another pet project is the distribution of 700 sewing machines (district grant: ₹70 lakh) to women trained at vocational centres. He is going to tie-up with RSETI, a government body, to train rural women in tailoring. Around five GG projects are in the pipeline including a modern crematorium ($50,000) in Saurashtra; neonatal ICU ($75,000) at a government hospital, Vadodara; and vocational centre (₹1.5 crore) at Muni Seva Ashram, Vadodara. His TRF-giving target is $1.5 million.
His district’s clubs will hold around 100 medical camps to screen over 20,000 rural and urban patients. For this government-certified valuer, his wife Vaishali, a Rotarian, is “my pillar of strength,” he smiles.
Rotary lacks branding in UP
Rotary needs a good branding with public image boosting projects in eastern Uttar Pradesh to draw young professionals and others below 40, says Sunil Bansal. “Now, being a Rotarian is a costly affair here. While the annual membership fee is ₹15,000, of which ₹8,000 goes to RI, little money is left for taking up projects. Young people don’t want to join Rotary as it is not attractive to them. So, Rotary is not in good shape in UP,” he explains.
He aims to start six new clubs — one already chartered — to take the tally to 92; and targets a net membership growth of over 10 per cent, to cross the 4,000 figure. Among the GG projects, a new blood bank (₹1 crore) will be opened in Varanasi; a Rotary Dialysis Centre with five machines (₹45 lakh) at the Government Hospital, Lucknow; and 20 mortuary freezer boxes (₹25 lakh) will be pressed into service. “The five existing Happy Schools will be further upgraded at a cost of ₹10 lakh.”
More than 500 medical camps will be conducted to screen one lakh patients. He aims to collect $200,000 for TRF. When he was 18, Bansal joined Rotaract at college in 1978 and was mentored by his Rotaract guide Nishikant Bhatnagar.
Before joining Rotary in 2003 at 41, he was in Jaycees, and thanks to the influence of Bhatnagar, who had helped over 50 Rotaractors turn Rotarians, “I have found a new calling in this organisation,” he says.
10 mega GG projects in the pipeline
Giving back to society through humanitarian projects, networking to widen professional contacts and the motto Service Above Self are the Rotary features that pushed him towards a leadership role in his district. He wants to start 10 new clubs taking the total to 93 by July next year, and aims at a net membership growth of 10 per cent. At present, there are 2,700-plus Rotarians in this districts
He has lined up 10 GG projects — among them, a mammography bus ($60,000, sanctioned) which will screen over 60,000 rural women; a mobile dental clinic ($20,000) to examine 80,000 patients; a cardiac care van ($40,000) to diagnose 60,000 people; and 10 mega RO units ($40,000) at villages hit by severe water contamination, resulting in acute water-borne diseases. Through a CSR grant and club contributions, “we are distributing 1,000 computers (₹10 lakh) to government colleges in Karnataka,” says Manik Pawar. In a mega afforestation project (₹34 crore), 1,500 acres of barren land at Challakere, Chitradurga district, is being converted into a green paradise. He aims to collect $300,000 for TRF.
Pawar is distributing 2,000 bicycles to rural school girls; through a district fund, he will provide 10 sewing machines to each club; and hold 100 de-addiction camps for mentally-ill people. He joined Rotary in 2004 influenced by Basawaraj Khanderao, an architect.
Rotary is a unique, global family
A specialist in setting up Rotary eye hospitals, Hira Lal Yadav is the point man behind the construction of 18 such hospitals in India and two in Bangladesh. “Soon the 12th Rotary Eye Hospital (GG: ₹1.2 crore) at RID 3291 will come up in North 24 Parganas district,” he beams.
Last year, 32,000 cataract surgeries were done at the 11 Rotary hospitals, and “this year, we will do 55,000 procedures; and eye check-up for seven lakh patients.” He wants to form 12 new clubs, taking the number of “active clubs to 156 and induct 500 new members;(200 have already joined), to take the total to over 4,000. He is applying for GG for a blood bank (₹55 lakh) in Howrah; and a GG is under process for five dialysis centres (₹35 lakh each) — three at government and two at Rotary hospitals. He runs a Rotary Hooghly Eye Hospital since 2000 and is well-trained in its technical-admin aspects. Around 250 medical camps will be held reaching out to thousands of patients.
The ongoing vaccination drive against cervical cancer will be expanded, for which he is in discssion with the vaccine supplier. His target for TRF-giving is $500,000. His stint as Rotaractor from 1982 to ’93 compelled him to join Rotary in 1995. He says, “Rotary is a unique global family where Rotarians join hands to do bigger, bolder projects like polio eradication, manage natural disasters, build schools and sanitation facilities, and set up hospitals for the poor, thus creating hope in the world.”