The Historic Chennai Declaration

The session 6 of the Chennai ­Institute, Vanakkam Chennai, on December 13, 2014 turned out to be a historic session. Session Chair PRIP Raja Sabooji piloted this ­session with efficiency and effectiveness. His opening remarks reflected the keenness of Rotary International to work with Government of India, on ­Swachh Bharat! Rajaji then ­proceeded to administer the pledge, which was taken by all the 900 ­Rotarians present.

Taking the Pledge.

What followed the pledge was ‘The Chennai Declaration,’ which made it a historic day for Indian Rotary. Yes, the declaration was expertly drafted by Rajaji, in consultation with TRF ­Trustees Sushilji and Kalyanda and the senior leadership of India.

Rajaji made the Rotarians present, repeat each and every sentence of the Chennai Declaration and ensured that they subscribed to it in its entirety. The agreement was signed by me and RIDE Manoj Desai in the presence of Shri Venkaiah Naidu, who added the golden words, ‘Great Day.’ This was followed by a brilliant speech by Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Rural Development. The audience were spell-bound by his oratory and were instantly convinced about the need to work in partnership with Government of India, on Swachh Bharat.

Later that night, Shri Venkaiahji called me to say that he had informed the Honourable PM Shri Modiji about the genuine intentions of the Rotarians of India in taking up Swachh Bharat, with all sincerity and dedication immediately and the PM would be sending a message of encouragement.


December 14, 2014 turned out to be a red letter day in the history of Rotary in India.

Yes, I received the historic message from Prime Minister Modiji, welcoming the Swachh Bharat pledge taken by the Rotarians and wishing us all the best in this noble endeavour.

I shared this message with the ­audience who received the same with thunderous applause!

Undoubtedly, the message from the Honourable Prime Minister of India was the icing on the cake and the most important event of not only Vanakkam Chennai but also Rotary year 2014–15!

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