Institute Moments

Institute Convenor RID Raju Subramanian and Vidhya being led by children for the inaugural of the RISE Zone Institute.

In more ways than one zone institute 2023, titled RISE, was an elaborately planned and meticulously executed event of the year. While convenor and RI director Raju Subramanian was the visible face of the three-day event organised in ­Bengaluru, and secretary PDG Sameer Hariani was often seen on the stage as the compere, the chairman of the institute PDG K P Nagesh, who had headed the entire team and provided direction and exemplary leadership in ensuring the smooth conduct of the varying sessions, kept a low-key profile and remained mostly behind the scenes.

From L: PRID Manoj Desai, Sharmishtha and PRIP Kalyan Banerjee enjoying lunch served on banana leaf.
From L: Madhavi, TRF Vice Chair Bharat Pandya, PRIP K R Ravindran and Vanathy.



RI Director Anirudha Roychowdhury and Shipra.


PRID Ashok Mahajan and Nayantara.


PRID A S Venkatesh and Vinita.

The single-most and very visible wow factor was the technical competence and hard work that had obviously gone into the digital displays on the main podium. It was difficult to find display panels with garish colours; the images of the speakers that popped up on the screen were so vivid and life-like that it often took a split second to decide where to focus the camera — on the actual persons on the stage or their images in the background. The technology used was so good that on one occasion convenor ­Subramanian invited RIPN Mario de Camargo onto the stage to repeat what he had told him… the quality of the digital displays and the other accompanying technological tools “were world class and as good as we get in Rotary conventions.”

Hardly any of the 800-odd delegates would have missed the perennial presence of RI President Gordon McInally and his spouse Heather at the various sessions. Unbelievably, they showed little visible proof of the fatigue they must have felt and arrived at the venue well ahead of time. Forget the slightest hint of irritation, President McInally was all courtesy and smiles when a stream of delegates approached him to take pictures.

We could not help noticing the courtesy he extended and the camaraderie he shared with the several photographers capturing images of the proceedings. There were moments, on the sidelines of the sessions, when he playfully took away the camera from the professional photographer and started clicking his pictures. Heather too was the picture of friendliness and courtesy, and showed genuine interest in chatting with the Rotarians and their spouses who approached her.

RID Hans-Hermann ­Kasten, Mitchelle, RID Jeremy Hurst, RI ­President ­Gordon ­McInally, Heather and Nadja Picard (spouse of RID Kasten).


PRID Venkatesh and Vinita with RID Henrique Barbosa de ­Vasconcelos and Renata


President McInally, Vidhya, Heather and RID Subramanian.


President McInally tees off a shot in the presence of Institute Chair K P Nagesh (L) and Ravishankar Dakoju (R).


PRIP ­Rajendra Saboo, President McInally and Heather


Sonal and PRID Kamal Sanghvi with PDGs R ­Srinivasan and I S A K Nazar


The Midnight Marathon being flagged off by President McInally in the presence of Institute Chair Nagesh and Secretary Sameer Hariani (L).

The growing clout of India in the Rotary world and the fact that Rotary activities in India are taken very seriously by top RI leadership could be seen from the plethora of senior Rotary leaders from across the world. Apart from the RI president and his spouse, the event was also attended by RIPN Mario de ­Camargo and his spouse Denise, RI directors Hans-Hermann ­Kasten (partner Nadja), Jeremy Hurst (partner Michelle), Ghim Bok Chew, Henrique de Vasconcelos (partner Renata) and TRF trustees Larry Lunsford and Aziz Memon.

The magic spell that the colours, vivaciousness and vibrance of Indian clothes, music and dance, and of course mouth-watering food, cast over each of these senior leaders and their spouses was evident for all to see.

President McInally had some heavy demands made on him by the organisers and he willingly played sport. Literally waking up at dawn, one cold morning… but then ‘cold’ is a relative word for one who hails from Scotland… he teed off a corporate golf tournament which helped raise $100,000 for the Polio Fund. Ten donors contributed for the cause. “This initiative will be worth $300,000 with the Gates Foundation donation of 2:1 with TRF,” he announced.

Vinita, Heather and Vidhya


President ­McInally takes a selfie with a photographer.


Sonal and PRID Kamal ­Sanghvi.


PRIP Saboo dances with Heather.


From L: Mala, PRID C Basker and PRIP Saboo.


RID Vasconcelos takes a selfie with PRIP Banerjee.


TRF Vice Chair Pandya with PDG J Sridhar and his spouse Punitha.


RID Anirudha Roychowdhury and PDG Kalpana Khound.


President McInally with TRF Trustee Larry Lunsford and Nadja Picard.

Another morning saw him flagging off a vintage car and bike rally in front of the Vidhana Soudha that houses the Karnataka state legislature. This event, hosted by RID 3191 and 3192, in association with the Karnataka Vintage & Classic Car Club, was a public image exercise to raise awareness on mental health.

Accompanied by Nagesh and ­Hariani, McInally rode on a metro train to ­Whitefield to flag off the 16th edition of the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon with a participation of over 10,000 runners. The programme helped raise $300,000 for TRF. The event was founded by RC ­Bangalore IT Corridor in 2007 to support various deserving charities in India.

RIPN Mario de Camargo dancing with the delegates.

The banana-leaf lunch was a much-talked about experience. Around 800 guests were served South Indian style lunch, including ­Karnataka’s unique cuisine, on eco-friendly banana leaves. All through the two days of the institute, tender coconut water and sugarcane juice were served at the counter, along with tea/coffee in clay containers. On the inaugural night, delegates at every dinner table were treated to a bottle of specially curated Rosé Brut wine.

RID Subramanian with Roopa and PDG ­Hariani.

Going by the packages the women delegates were carrying, the saree stalls at the House of Friendship did brisk business. ­Punitha, spouse of PDG J Sridhar said, “My purse is lighter by ₹10,000,” showing a ­mustard Mysore silk sari. The art gallery sporting some beautiful paintings also attracted a good number of aficionados.

An AI-based photo search was introduced in the RISE App that helped to identify photos in just five seconds through an option called ‘selfie search’.

RC Bangalore member ­Ravishankar Dakoju and his spouse Paola with Heather.

Keeping with the digital era, the Institute Directory, designed by RID 3191 PDG H R Ananth, had a QR code for the governors, which will throw up their accomplishments as DGs. Photos of the institute can be viewed on the Picture Panorama page of the directory through the QR code.

For more photos, visit

Pictures by RNT Team and Institute photographers

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