During one of their trips to Bangladesh a group of Rotarians saw on a door frame leading into the office of Dr Razuel Haque these words: “There is no limit what a man can do if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”
“And so when Arch Klumph decided in 1917 to accept endowments for the purpose of “doing good in the world, in charitable, educational or other avenues of community progress”, doing good in the world has become the TRF motto, said TRF Trustee Mike Webb at the TRF dinner hosted at the Chennai Institute to honour major benefactors of the Foundation.
“The first donation to TRF was $26.50 by RC Kansas City. Would Arch Klumph have dreamt that the Foundation he started would today have a value of over $1 billion? There is no limit to what a man can do if he does not mind who gets the credit.” But, he added, the crucial thing is to always involve others and train them to eventually take over because there is nothing such as “an invisible man.”
Would Arch Klumph have dreamt the Foundation he started would today have a value of $1billion? There is no limit to what a man can do if he does not mind who gets the credit.
– TRF Trustee Mike Webb
To illustrate this Webb quoted from a poem:
“Sometime when you’re feeling important – sometime when your ego’s in bloom.
Sometime when you take it for granted – you’re the best qualified in the room.
Sometime when you feel that your going would leave an unfillable hole.
Just follow these simple instructions, and see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water, put your hand in it up to your wrist.
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining – is a measure of how you’ll be missed.”
Most effective charity
Webb, who heads the Finance Committee in TRF, said the Foundation was ranked by various agencies as amongst the most effective in the world. Congratulating Indian Rotarians, “for the contributions you make and the grants you undertake in these zones,” he said for the second year running India has been ranked No 2 for donations last year. “But this has been achieved with only 70 per cent of clubs in these zones making a contribution; think what could be achieved with a contribution from every club. I encourage you to ensure that happens.”
Zones’ TRF landmarks for 2017–18
- 18 new Arch Klumph Society members bringing the total to 90
- 4,400 Major Donors, amounting to 14 per cent of TRF Major Donors
- Record year for Zone 4 with over 133 major gifts contributed
- Zone 5 was ranked No 7 out of all 34 zones worldwide for having a record 193 major gift contributions
- Zone 6A also celebrated a successful year with 2,157 new Paul Harris Fellows and 20 new Benefactors, a record for the zone.
Last year, TRF gave 503 district grants totalling $28.5 million and 1,300 global grants totaling $86.3 million “and I know many of those grants have been wisely used in these zones,” Webb added.
Importance of ethics
As TRF was in its second century of service, more than at any other time, the Four-Way Test, originally proposed by Past RI President Herb Taylor in 1943, and considered “a yardstick and guide for our business and personal actions”, had become important today. “With the many examples these days (in the larger community) of the flouting of regulatory provisions, the use of privileged information, human exploitation and many cases of financial impropriety, both large and small, we in Rotary need to be vigilant. We need to set an example and pass on the message to others, in particular to young people in our communities, and we must lead by example.” In short, the Rotary badge must inspire trust.
For three years our zone has been No 2 in TRF giving. Let’s congratulate the 2017–18 DGs.
– RI Director C Basker
Webb said TRF functions on high ethical standards, “and to ensure there is confidence in our donors, the members of the TRF Cadre of Technical Advisers ensure through audit and review that our funds are spent effectively.”
Congratulating the assembled donors, RI Director C Basker said, “We are here to celebrate your generosity and incredible support to TRF, which you have chosen as your charity of choice. Thank you for your contribution which has helped us to address critical problems across the world.”
These problems were phenomenal; every day 1,000 children die due to water-borne diseases. Over one million people have no access to healthcare, over 600,000 women die every year for lack of healthcare; almost 45 per cent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty. “For the third consecutive year, our zone was No 2 in TRF giving for which let’s congratulate the DGs of 2017–18.”
Both Basker and TRF Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty thanked RC Bangalore Orchards President D Ravi Shankar and Paola, for their gift of ₹100 crore to TRF.
Vahanvaty said our zones had played a role in TRF getting a record collection of $414 million. India was again No 2 with $19.2 million, and “Bangladesh surprised us all with its total giving of $1.2 million, and District 3281 alone added four new AKS members.”
Motivated by his friend DG Suresh Hari, Ravi and Paola had given the second highest donation to TRF after the Gates Foundation. He is a simple and humble human being with a vision to help the community, said Vahanvaty.
This has inspired others too; “I was in D 3011 for their TRF fundraising dinner. The goal was $1 million; we ended with a commitment of $2.5 million!” Till Sep 2018, in three months, the contribution to TRF from India is $3.6 million against $1.7 million in the same period last year. Taking into consideration the recent steep fall in the Indian rupee, the amount collected is ₹25 crore, against ₹11 crore last year; an increase of about 125 per cent.
PDG J B Kamdar and Marlene (they have reached the mark of $500,000); Rtn Jitender Gaur and Usha; Rtn Ravindra Reddy and Sarala Devi, along with other AKS members, were honoured at the TRF dinner.
EMGA Ashok Panjwani said both the pace and quantum of giving from our zones was increasing. Of the 887 AKS members in the world, “we have roughly 10 per cent at 88, of which 47 have come in the last three years, which is roughly 50 per cent. We are progressing very fast and every year we may now get 50 new AKS members.”
Pictures by Rasheeda Bhagat