Race for Humanity
Over 10,000 Rotarians and their families from Districts 3141 and 3142 came to the Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai, for the Race for Humanity (RFH) event. Seven Rotary clubs of Mumbai, led by RCs Bombay and Nariman Point, sponsored horse races at the Royal Western India Turf Club. The RFH is a popular annual fundraiser event of RC Bombay since 2014. This year each of the clubs contributed $50,000 to TRF as part of the programme.
RIPE Mark Maloney and Gay, along with PRIP Rajendra Saboo, RIPN Sushil Gupta, RIDEs Bharat Pandya and Kamal Sanghvi, TRF Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty, PRID Ashok Mahajan, and DGs Shashi Sharma and Ashes Ganguly were present at the high-profile event.
Apart from the races, the venue was abuzz with a flea market, fashion show, live music performances, eateries and talent hunt for children.
Please use your entire district funds. Rotarians did not contribute money to the Foundation to build a savings account, but to do good in the world.
— RIPE Mark Maloney
The cups for the seven premium races were sponsored by Rotary Clubs of Bombay, Nariman Point, Bombay Pier, Bombay North, Mumbai Queen’s Necklace, Hiranandani Estate, Seacoast and Thane Lake City.
RC Bombay President Vijay Jatia said, “We are elated to see how our flagship event has grown over the years. We hope to continue taking it a notch higher each time, showcasing our expertise of 90 years in Rotary service.”
The races were followed by an Intercity Forum (ICF) with RIPE Maloney as the chief guest. Other dignitaries included Trustee Vahanvaty, RIDE Pandya, PRIP Saboo and PRID Mahajan, besides DGs Shashi Sharma and Ashes Ganguly, along with a phalanx of past and incoming governors, club presidents and Rotarians from Districts 3141 and 3142.
Complimenting the enthusiasm and fervour exhibited by Rotarians, Rotaractors and Inner Wheel members at the races, and impressed with the coordination between the two districts, Maloney said, “We have two Rotary districts in Alabama — one in the North, from where I come, and the other in the South. But we each go our separate ways, do separate things. We have different traditions.”
On membership growth he pointed out that Asia, with over 30 per cent of global membership, has the highest number of Rotarians. No country in the world has more young people than India. With more than half the population of the country under 25 years of age, “your task in the years ahead will be to take a strategic approach to membership attraction and engagement.” He urged Rotarians to groom the younger generation in such a way that “one day these young leaders can stand where I am now as a future Rotary leader.”
With the CoL 2016 relaxing the rules for membership growth, it is easier for Rotaractors to become Rotarians and clubs to charter new clubs. “More than ever, you can now explore new ways to incorporate flexibility and hear ideas from new leaders. We must also work to actively engage our existing members.”
Thanks to Rotarians TRF will be a major agency for doing good in the world, but we must ensure the highest level of stewardship, particularly, in our country.
— PRIP Rajendra Saboo
Maloney listed out the priorities for the year set by TRF Trustees. Polio continues to be the top priority until Rotary’s promise to the children of the world is met. “Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s increased commitment to our Polio eradication initiative announced at the 2017 Atlanta Convention, our annual polio fundraising goal has increased to $50 million a year for three Rotary years, and that will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation.”
Encouraging every district to use their District Designated Funds (DDF) in entirety was the second priority. “Rotarians did not contribute money to the Foundation to build a savings account. They did so for doing good in the world. Now is the time to review your district balance and plan how you can use these funds in the coming year,” he added.
The third priority was to strengthen the Foundation’s resources. “We need to increase our contribution to the Annual Fund and build the Endowment Fund to $2.025 billion by 2025. All these three priorities will bring us a stronger Foundation and a stronger Rotary,” he said. PRIP Rajendra Saboo, speaking about the future of Rotary, said. “I can see that Rotary will remain a unique organisation with high ethical values its founding pillars. TRF will be a major agency for doing good in the world, but we must ensure the highest level of stewardship, particularly in our country,” he cautioned.
There will be a better quality of life around, and diseases such as cancer and AIDS will be conquered, but Rotary would have to gear up with a highly efficient rapid response team to manage natural disasters, providing both relief and rehabilitation. He dreamt of a Rotary with a greater number of younger people. With life expectancy expected to go up, more retired people may join the organisation, but “we must steer clear of being branded as an organisation for retired people. Our work for the common good will continue with a healthy, harmonious, meaningful fellowship,” said Saboo.
DG Sharma welcomed the delegates to the ICF and PRID Mahajan proposed vote of thanks.
The Little Hearts success
RIPE Maloney and Gay, along with PRID Mahajan and Trustee Vahanvaty, visited the Wockhardt Hospitals where Rotary sponsors paediatric heart surgeries under the Little Hearts programme. An event conceived by District 3141’s AKS team celebrated the success of the heart surgery initiative of the district. DG Sharma and other district leaders including past and incoming governors were also present. Some of the parents of the beneficiary children recounted the nightmare they had experienced before Rotary’s support helped them tide over the challenge. The hospital’s Chairman and Rotarian Habil Khorakiwala spoke in detail about the services rendered by the Wockhardt team for the project. “Ultimately, nothing can beat the joy of seeing these children we treated being hale and healthy today,” he said.
Dr Manish Motwani, Chief Coordinator — AKS, said that at the beginning of the year the district had an ambitious goal to raise $7 million and induct 25 new AKS donors. Seven new AKS members have been inducted so far. Of the 23 AKS members of the district, 12 members attended the event.