Grooming and inspiring incoming leaders The Rotary Institute at Jaipur

RI Director Manoj Desai and spouse Sharmishtha Desai greet incoming RI President John Germ and spouse Judy Germ at the Jaipur Institute.

The Rotary Institute at Jaipur opened with training seminars for the DGEs, DGNs and District trainers for three days from December 15–17, giving them an opportunity to break the ice and bond with each other. Inaugurating the seminar, RIPE John Germ called the incoming governors, the ‘All Stars Team.’ It was a record of sorts — the first time in Rotary history that an RIPE inaugurated the seminar, said GETS Chair Kamal Sanghvi.

Germ urged the incoming leaders to take charge and gear up for their year ahead. If each Rotarian contributed his bit towards community service, it would not be difficult to achieve all the focused goals of Rotary, he said.

The Rotary Coordinators provided training on various Rotary aspects such as connecting with the clubs, polishing public speaking skills, goal setting, online working tools, planning a District Conference, etc. RI Director Manoj Desai emphasised the importance of Strategic Planning and called upon the governors to instruct the clubs to create their own plans. Each club must draw up one long-term goal, “extending for three years on a continuous basis,” and work towards it, he said.

The COL Training Seminar gave an orientation on COL, its rules and regulations. Mock COL sessions were conducted which trained the incoming governors to put across their Zone’s proposal succinctly, as each delegate will be allotted just two minutes to present his proposal in the COL meet.

At the review meet, the progress made by the current governors in membership, TRF, WinS and TEACH, in each District, was assessed.

Spouses’ session

Vanathy Ravindran addressing the Spouses’ session. Also on the dais: Usha Saboo, Margarita Hewko, Sharmishtha Desai, Manju Das and Rashi Mehta.

The Spouses’ session was inaugurated by Judy Germ who reached out to the spouses of the incoming District leaders through her inspirational speech. She counselled them to be participative and supportive and actively involve themselves in their partner’s Rotary ventures. She urged them to break out of their inhibitions and interact freely with their counterparts to make their year as governors really meaningful. Usha Saboo, Vanathy Ravindran, Manju Das, Rashi Mehta, Sharmishtha Desai and Margarita Hewko shared their personal experiences on how they lend a hand in Rotary activities in their region.

The Rotary Foundation

Jayashree Raveendiran, Manager, TRF, RI South Asia Office (RISAO), made a presentation at the GETS seminar on the services provided by RISAO. She also conducted a Q&A session with the current DGs on the mid-year review. Joseph Thomas, Coordinator, Club and District Support, RISAO, explained the concept of Rotary Central and other online tools.

Toy for Joy

An initiative by Sharmishtha Desai, the ‘Toy for Joy’ project chaired by Jayanthi Raja Seenivasan, attracted donation of toys and board games from the delegates. The team visited schools and orphanages in the city and distributed these to the children.

The highlight of the seminar days were the dinners at the famed Jaigarh Fort, which opened its doors for such an event after 33 years; and the banquet, the next day, hosted by Ajay Kala at his farm house, the K-Villa, to celebrate RID Desai’s birthday.

For the first time, the DGEs had an official, convocation-style graduation ceremony replete with the graduation cloak, with the event being presided over by RI President K R Ravindran and Vanathy Ravindran.

The Institute Chair Ashok Gupta bestowed the title ‘Sawai,’ meaning one and a quarter times more, on RIPN Germ for his grit and determination to serve humanity. “He will definitely be one and a quarter times more successful than normally expected,” said Gupta. It was the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb who conferred this title for the first time recognising the administrative abilities of King Jai Singh II, who had ruled over the erstwhile princely State of Rajasthan.

From left: RID Manoj Desai, Institute Chair Ashok Gupta, Sharmishtha Desai, Vanathy Ravindran, RI President K R Ravindran, RI General Secretary John Hewko and Margarita Hewko with the Institute team.

The plenary sessions were interactive with ample time given for exchange of ideas; the session ‘TRF – Lifeline of Rotary’ was addressed by PRIP Kalyan Banerjee; ‘working with your Foundation team’ was addressed by incoming RRFC Kamal Sanghvi; ‘Major Giving’ by Endowment Major Gift Advisor Ravi Vadlamani; ‘Developing Leaders’ by Training Leader Ghulam Vahanvaty and Incoming RPIC Ashish Desai; ‘Connecting with Clubs’ by Training Leader Gulshan Thukral, ‘Planning your District Conference’ by IPDGs Ajay Gupta and Gowri Rajan.

The next day PRIP Rajendra K Saboo addressed the incoming Governors on ‘Paradigm Shift.’

There were training sessions for the Facilitators, Special Aides and Sergeants at Arms. As RID Desai put it, “For the first time Facilitators were trained, so that when they go overseas for international events they are better equipped for interactive sessions and can ask appropriate questions to get the necessary information.”

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