Taking Rotary to the community

A section of the audience at the seminar; on the foreground: PDGs Kamal Sanghvi, Jayant Kulkarni and Ulhas Kolhatkar.
A section of the audience at the seminar; on the foreground: PDGs Kamal Sanghvi, Jayant Kulkarni and Ulhas Kolhatkar.

A multi district seminar on public image of Rotary was organised by D 3030 on October 11. Named Chhavi (Marathi for ‘image’), it was chaired by PDG Kamal Sanghvi who is RPIC (Rotary Public Image Coordinator 2013–16); Assistant PICs PDGs Deepak Shikarpur (3131) and Ulhas Kolhatkar (3140) were the Advisors to this seminar which explored ways to brand Rotary and take its good work to the larger community to attract more members.

RC Nasik Grapecity, the lead host, was supported by all other Rotary clubs of Nasik. Districts 3030, 3140, 3132 and 3060 participated. Experts from diverse fields of media and publicity shared their thoughts and best practices with the gathering.

Addressing the meet on enhancing Rotary’s public image, DG Nikhil Kibe, D 3030, pointed out that though Rotary has played a phenomenal role in polio eradication, very few people outside the organisation are aware of it. Sanghvi said Rotarians world over are doing fantastic work, but there is still lot more to do and many more underprivileged to help. That can be achieved if we involve society in a big way. Industrial houses with CSR funds at their disposal are a good source, he said. They have the resources and the desire to help the community, but lack the connection with the deprived section of society. “We can tie up with them and use their resources to execute various welfare plans,” he said.

Rtn Anand Madgulkar, the voice of ‘Geet Ramayan’ of FM radio channel, said that Rotary should broadcast its good work through akashwani, the cheapest medium of publicity reaching out to maximum listeners. Shikarpur spoke on extending Rotary’s public image through the social media as everyone owns smartphones with internet connectivity and the good work done by Rotary can be publicised through various social networking sites we regularly use on our mobiles. He added that if we can convince people of the impact of our work for the needy, they will certainly be interested to associate with us.

Ranjeet Kate, CEO of Metropolitan Media Company Ltd, confessed that he too was unaware of the diversity of the projects carried out by Rotary. He said his company had access to big corporate organisations and can be a catalyst to link them with Rotary for fruitful partnerships.

Bhushan Khot, VP, Zee Marathi News Channel 24Taas, said that they have done several projects along with some Rotary clubs of Thane. He welcomed the idea of partnering with the Rotary clubs of Nasik. Rtn Sanjay Arora, a brand building expert and corporate trainer, presented simple yet novel ideas on the subject.

Special events

Sweaters were distributed by RC President’s Enclave to children from underprivileged background at the event. Clubs were invited to participate in a contest where they had to submit their best project. RCs Gandhi City Wardha and Bhusaval Tapti Valley (3030) shared the first prize for the mobile mammography buses they had sponsored. RC Nagpur (3030) won second prize for their Walkathon project, an annual affair since 2005, followed by RC Thane East (3140) for their Rotary Kopari Fest, an eight-day affair where they showcased Rotary through different mediums. A special prize was awarded to RC Nasik Grapecity for their Project Rain Doors for auto rickshaws. Fifty vehicles plying school children were fitted with doors on which road safety and Rotary messages were displayed.

(The writer, a member of RC Nasik Grapecity, is the convenor of the seminar.)

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