Let’s build our Polio Fund

Gulam Vahanvaty

 

My Fellow Rotarians,

During 2018–19, contributions to our Foundation set an all-time record of $21 million and we have retained our No 2 position in the world. More important, RIDs 3190 and 3141 are No 1 and 2 respectively among all districts in the world. I compliment the leadership of these two districts and thank our magnanimous donors.

For 2019–20, challenging TRF targets have been set; I request you to please contribute to any of TRF’s Funds, as each is equally important. Contributions to the Annual Fund ensure that half comes back to the district as DDF and the other half goes to the World Fund.

The World Fund is critical as it provides much needed funding for humanitarian projects, scholarships, VTTs, etc. This must grow robustly and hence contributions to the Annual Fund are important.

We are on the verge of ridding the world of polio. Our efforts have been supported by the Gates Foundation and Rotary’s annual target of $50 million is matched by the Gates Foundation with $100 million. Any let up in Rotary’s Polio Fund collections could prove disastrous.

But in early June 2019, we were short of Rotary’s Polio Fund target, but made the $50 million goal after many personal phone calls. We got $1 million from Rajashree Birla, $2.2 million from an estate and another $1 million from an anonymous donor. These may not come in 2019–20. So, we need each district to earmark at least 20 per cent DDF and each club to give at least $1,500. Let’s eradicate polio.

The Endowment Fund continues to grow and I am confident that it will attract many large contributions in the current year also. Let’s begin early; well begun is half done. As Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”

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Gulam A Vahanvaty
Trustee, The Rotary Foundation

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