Three days of fun, frolic, extraordinary entertainment and of course, Rotary — Bangalore came alive to the vibrancy and celebration of Rotary during September 26–28. Rotary Habba was District 3190’s answer to RI President Gary Huang’s call to Rotarians world-over to observe Rotary Days as an effective PR exercise to help reach Rotary’s good work to the public.
District Governor Manjunath Shetty and his team comprising a core committee of 10 Rotarians drawn from Rotary clubs across the district and several other Rotarians pitched in to organise this massive Rotary festival. The Koramangala Indoor Sports Stadium was packed to capacity as non-Rotarians too poured in to have a peek of what the organisers had on offer. Narayana Health, the heart-care hospital and the State Bank of India also extended their support; wide publicity was provided through hoardings across the city, press conference and radio and television channels. The result — a footfall of around 6,000 visitors, despite rain playing spoilsport!
The festivities began after the ceremonial inauguration by the District Governor. Ladies had a field-day adorning the floors with Rangoli, mehndi, hair styling, nail art, bindi-designing, cookery, and self-defence through Karate. The omnipresent food stalls took care of the gastronomic cravings of the guests, on all three days and the array of shops with their limitless wares helped people indulge in a spending spree.
September being the designated New Generations Month in Rotary, Inter City General Forum (ICGF) on Youth Service was held in the afternoon. The event was hosted by Rotary JP Nagar; the chief guests being PDG Kamal Sanghvi and Karnataka Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Abhayachandra.
The evenings, on all the days, had the crowd enthralled with spectacular classical dance performances, exclusive to each region of our country, by the students of Dr Mohan Alva’s Alva Educational Foundation, Moodbidri. The show was extra special because most of these students hail from economically weak backgrounds and come from remote hamlets and Alva Foundation educates the deserving students in different streams through scholarship programmes.
Rotafest, held on the second day, was a huge hit. Seventy teams of youngsters from colleges and corporate houses lit up the day-long session with a variety of programmes such as mad ads, fashion shows, music and dance.
The concluding day, aptly titled Hrudyotsava, saw a flurry of activities from early morning with events such as a cyclathon, spreading various social messages across the city, an all-women treasure hunt, walkathon organised by Narayana Health to promote healthy heart. This had a whopping 1,500 participants, followed by a medical workshop on health issues. Fitness thru Dance was a mega hit as participants jived to Bollywood numbers. Yoga demonstration by Yogakshema group had people flexing their bodies to the various asanas. The Bharathanatyam rendition by Mithila (daughter of Rtn Harikrishna Holla) and her troupe, Nritya Bhava, delighted the audience. The mobile planetarium by Aryabhatta had a serpentine queue of adults and children, to view and understand what lies beyond our planet.
Energy was just not lacking even at the grand finale — the Disco Dandiya; the ticketed event, attracted a huge crowd — Rotarians and the public —
one thousand in all, dressed in vibrant costumes and making gracious garba moves.
Stalls depicting Rotary’s focus areas such as Avoidable Blindness, Water & Sanitation, paediatric heart surgery and other service projects took care of educating the visitors about what Rotary can do for the welfare of the society.
The highlight of this entire PR job as several Rotarians view it is that “the festival had two-thirds non-Rotarian visitors.” To sum up, Rotary Habba of Bangalore projected an exciting Rotary through its potent combination of fun and serious business for the overall health of mankind.