Disclosing that he was a “charter member of RC Calcutta Midtown many years ago”, but when he adopted another “profession, I lost my classification and hence had to quit Rotary,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said that in a fast-changing world, where different regions are grappling with different challenges, Rotary, with its diverse membership and worldwide presence, had a key role to play.
Having been a Rotarian, “I am familiar with the ideas, work and various institutions of Rotary.” He had first-hand experience of the Rahat medical camps being held by Rotary and the recent one held at Mandla in Madhya Pradesh “had catered to 106,000 people. Now who else could do such camps with the kind of selfless commitment that Rotary shows… I am not only delighted but honoured to be here.”
Applauding the reach and diversity of Rotary, and the need for all sections of society to adopt and adapt to changes as Rotary had done, he added, “I come from a small and backward district where there are two Rotary clubs. I attend their meetings and I now see a different lot of Rotarians, compared to 10 years ago.”
Touching upon the theme of the Indore Institute — Dare to Dream — the CM said that dreams were never constant but kept changing. For instance, our dreams at the time of Independence were very different, but today 70 years after Independence, we are a complex country as none other, with diverse religions, castes, languages, customs, food… no other country has this diversity. And yet we are all united under one flag; that is the beauty of India.”
Who else could do such camps with the kind of selfless commitment that Rotary shows.
This is the country of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore; we have both “intellectual ability and spiritual capacity, and yet we remain a country where Rotary has to hold medical camps to serve over 100,000 people. That is the complexity of India.”
Kamal Nath said that India has the largest “aspirational society on the planet with a young population”. Along with a rapidly changing and evolving world, be it in the Americas or Eastern and Western Europe, the dreams of its citizens were also changing; there may be different ethos and different challenges in different parts of the world, but there was “always a common denominator in the dreams people have” for a better life and a better world. This is where Rotary, with its “principle of partnership with all sections of society” had a great role to play, be it in doing service projects or helping the adoption of the tremendous changes in technology which affects the way people learn or where new job opportunities are being created.
He acknowledged the presence of PDG Vivek Tankha, and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh as well as his cabinet colleagues, in the hall.
Picture by Rasheeda Bhagat