The good, bad and ugly of Rotary
The Chennai Institute theme Passion to Serve was most appropriate as it coincided with the biggest TRF donation from India coming from D Ravi Shankar and his wife Paola. The feature Rebuilding Kerala was interesting. I am relieved to note that Rotary’s paddy project escaped the recent flood fury in Kerala. The pictures in The dazzling Chennai Nite are superb. I congratulate RIPN Sushil Gupta on his new assignment. The art of new-age parenting by Kiran Zehra is an eye-opener to parents.
RI President Barry Rassin’s speech (Be the Flamingos of Change: Barry Rassin) and the points given under headline Best and worst of Rotary are really noteworthy. Hope that suitable corrections are taken for the sake of Rotary’s future. Colourful photos in the November issue attract readers. Congrats to the Editorial team for their great job.
M T Philip, RC Trivandum Suburban — D 3211
I’ve been reading Rotary News for the past 15 years, and been inspired by its articles and stories. But this is the first time I am writing a letter, as I wanted to respond to an article Best and worst of Rotary (Nov issue) where RI President Barry Rassin classified his experience with Rotary into three parts — the good, bad and ugly. The ‘good’ was Rotary’s service projects that change the world for the better. The ‘ugly’ was about an ethics issue that can only be resolved if all individuals conform to the ideals of Rotary.
The ‘bad’ is what struck me the most — as I feel it can be easily resolved, with just a little awareness. “Rotaractors say that there is no Rotary club that wants them.” I cannot place enough emphasis on the potential benefits of engaging this highly enthusiastic group of young people we call Rotaractors. By closely involving them in every project we do, we are not only creating a future dedicated group of Rotarians, but more importantly, we are shaping the youth of today by channelling their energy into social causes.
With five Rotaract clubs under our wing, many Rotaractors take part in our club activities like medical camps, tree plantations, awareness rallies, orphanage and old-age home services, etc. They attend our meetings and put forth brilliant ideas. These young people who are both dreamers and doers motivate us all to be better Rotarians.
I humbly request every Rotarian to start engaging Rotaractors in all activities of their club. It is a rich, mutually rewarding experience.
C Surendran, RC Madurai North — D 3000
I note with regret that in the last two years around 300,000 members have quit Rotary. The Rotarians should come out with concrete proposals and efforts to retain the existing members and to increase the number of members in the best interest of the organisation. This will also help in serving the needy people who are in distress. The LBW article (A silly game of putting a stationary ball into a hole) by TCA Srinivasa Raghavan made me smile for a while.
Dr D H Rama, RC Anantapur Main — D 3160
Inspiring RID address
Congratulations on bringing out a multifaceted Rotary News. There is so much to read and feel good in the October issue, but what touched me most was the message by RI Director C Basker on Strengthening Communities. I watched the video story of Chetna and the challenges she faced in setting up The Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, one of the biggest micro credit banks in India. All Rotarians must watch this video of eight minutes to know what a determined woman can do. I remembered Mother Teresa when I watched this video. I cried with tears of joy. Thank you RID Basker for penning such a forceful story of Chetna Gala Sinha.
Robert Franklin Rego, RC Bajpe — D 3181
RC Madras East has done a marvellous job of sending eight young scientist-students to NASA. Hope all these young people will become great astronauts and scientists in future. Their spirit must be encouraged by making them Interactors in schools and Rotaractors when they go to college. RCME can convert them as good Rotarians in the days-to-come.
S Mohan, RC of Madurai West — D 3000
A jewel in the crown
This letter is a token of appreciation for publishing such a wonderful magazine every month. I have been constantly reading it and it gives me immense pleasure to tell you that you have been doing a magnificent work, and the effort put in is visible.
Through the magazine we look in awe at all the good work Rotary is doing around the world, thus benefitting thousands of people through its various projects. We appreciate the excellent work done by you and your team to take this publication to a commendable height. My compliments to you for making Rotary News a jewel in the crown.
Krunal Mehta, RC Surat West – D 3060
Rotary can forge better Indo-Pak ties
Foundation Trustee Chair Ron Burton, in his message, said Rotary has trained over 1,000 peace scholars in its six Peace Centres, all experts in conflict resolution. So why can’t Rotary help resolve conflict between nations? We the Rotarians of India and Pakistan are very cordial when we meet at Rotary events. But for seven decades we have remained mute spectators as Indo-Pak relations have deteriorated.
There should be some agency acceptable to both the countries to make them sit across the discussion table and resume peace talks. Rotary has the capacity to become one and start a global movement for peace.
Ramakrishna K, RC Puttur — D 3181
Proud to see Rotary helping Kerala
The October issue had a wonderful article Rotary swings into action to help Kerala by Jaishree who gave a full picture of flooded Kerala with supporting photos. The Editor’s Note Rotary’s humanitarian spirit to the fore in Kerala was superb. Congrats to team RNT.
Daniel Chittilappilly, RC Kaloor — D 3201
The Editorial and its related feature Rotary swings into action to help Kerala put the spotlight on the suffering faced by Kerala and the empathy shown to them by the Rotarians. It is customary for Rotary to get actively involved in relief efforts whenever a natural calamity causes mass destruction of life and property.
Why can’t we raise funds on a global scale much before the tragedy strikes so that we can meet any eventuality with speedy action? This could be done by forming a Trust internationally and all the 1.2 million Rotarians contributing annually to meet the challenges of the calamities around the world. Like TRF we can have another attempt at raising funds to address natural calamities. I urge RI to consider this suggestion.
Arun Kumar Dash, RC Baripada — D 3262
Reading the article on Kerala made me more than proud to be a Rotarian. The timely leadership and service extended to the needy and suffering in the aftermath of recent floods in Kerala are noteworthy. DG E K Luke, Rtns Tina Antony, Vijayalakshmi Nair and other PDGs led from the front in the rescue mission. They not only exemplify the RI motto of Service above Self but also reinforces the role of Rotary in times of need. Their selfless act will bring in more service-minded people to Rotary.
Dr NRUK Kartha, RC Trivandrum Suburban — D 3211