In the coming year, incoming District Governors across the Rotary world have been requested by RIPE Ian Riseley to compute two pieces of information which can give the world an idea of the collective value and worth of the humanitarian services that Rotarians do across the world.
Divulging this at Sankalp, the MDPETS and SETS of Districts 3054 and 3060, that he inaugurated in Jaipur, the incoming RI President said that normally the annual reports of all charities list out what they had done that year — how many disadvantaged people they had helped and the money spent. This gives the donors a warm feeling and encourages them to donate more. “But the problem is that we can’t do this in Rotary because we are some 35,300-odd individual clubs and while the different clubs do many service projects, nobody adds together the value of what is done by all our clubs”.
“So I have asked the DGEs to encourage each club to give the total amount, in local currency, that the club spends on its charitable activities during the year. And also the number of volunteer hours clocked in charitable work by the clubs in the name of Rotary by their members, families, and Rotaractors.”
RI is coming out with a communication plan and after “June 2018 I hope to convey to the world the total value of what Rotary does through these two figures, and I am sure the world will be astonished to learn what Rotary actually does,” he said.
Underlining the importance of the incoming club presidents and secretaries undergoing proper training at these annual events, Riseley said such training events would reveal to them the importance of leadership and team work. “What cannot be disputed is that we can do much more together than we can hope to do as individuals… and this holds absolutely true at the club, district, zone and international level.”
As an “environmentally sensitive person” he also stressed the importance of greening the planet. “I believe the time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not being Rotary’s concern. It is everybody’s concern and I’m asking all Rotary clubs to plant at least one tree for each member between July 1 and April 22, 2018, which is the Earth Day.” This way 1.2 million trees, hopefully more, would green our planet, and reiterate that Rotarians recognise our collective responsibility not just to the people who live on the planet but the planet itself.”
RI Director Manoj Desai complimented the convenor of the meet, PDG Ashok Gupta, for hosting the event in Jaipur and commended his great organisational skills that had already been displayed at the Zone Institute in Jaipur last year.
He said his hard work in holding Troika meetings with the DG, DGE and DGN in each district had paid rich dividends and till April no election complaints had been received and 17 district elections had been decided unanimously. He underlined the importance of each club and district having their own strategic plans and urged Presidents to update their club’s activities on Rotary Central, otherwise there would be no record of the good they were doing in the world.
Desai said that this region had a whopping membership of 1.47 lakh Rotarians, and was also doing extremely well in TRF giving. He reminded the current DGs to ensure that the goal of collecting $26.5 million for this, the Centennial year, was achieved.
Welcoming the incoming presidents and secretaries from these districts, Ashok Gupta, whose IIS University had hosted the meet, told the participants that till a few years ago, “most Rotarians, including club presidents, could not dream of meeting Rotary world leaders. A few fortunate ones could meet regional leaders, and even fewer could listen to RI directors or past presidents. “But meeting an incoming RI President, shaking hands, having a photo session with him and listening to him was only a wild fantasy of a club leader. We are lucky that RIPE Riseley is going to spend two full days here in Jaipur. This is a historic moment.”
He urged the club leaders to make the best of this training opportunity which would improve their Rotary knowledge and hone their skills to do great humanitarian projects in their communities and make a difference in people’s lives.
Pictures by Rasheeda Bhagat