Letters to the Editor – January 2019

Excellent magazine, interesting article

I’ve been reading Rotary News for over 25 years. It is an excellent ­magazine for the drawing room or office table, as it ­captures the hands on service of ­Rotarians to the ­community. RI ­President Rassin, while ­asking ­Rotarians to be the ­flamingos of change, has expressed concern on our membership being stuck at 1.2 milion. I suggest we try and bring back ­members who have left Rotary. I compliment D  Ravi Shankar and Paola for ­donating ₹100 crore to TRF and salute their ­courage.

Aswini Kar, RC Bhubaneswar Meadows — D 3262

Rotary News is coming out with interesting articles for the readers by reporting widely on Rotary activities and projects relating to community and other social activities. Features like A floating home for flood victims, Kathak: A Confluence of Cultures, The Annotated guide to ending polio, Promote gender equity…: Helen Clark in the Oct issue and Frankly Speaking at the Institute, The art of new-age parenting, along with beautiful picture pages in the Nov issue give something interesting for readers to concentrate and digest.

Soumitra Chakraborty, RC Tollygunge — D 3291

Welcoming Rotary News in Tamil

It was a pleasant surprise for me to receive Rotary News in Tamil. This has been the dream of thousands of Tamil speaking Rotarians for quite a long time. You’ve accomplished what has been spoken for decades, thereby making history. The Tamil edition will take Rotary to a wider audience. Congrats.

Shanmugasundaram T, RC Tiruchengode — D 2982

While it is appreciated that our reputed magazine is being brought out in Tamil also, I desire to continue with the English edition. The Tamil issue I received is equally interesting with the lay out, printing, news content and photographs being the same. The Tamil translation is extremely good.

I congratulate Rotary News for switching over to paper envelopes from polythene.

R Srinivasan, RC Madurai Midtown — D 3000

Thank you for bringing out Rotary News in Tamil. It is a proud moment for Rotary and our clubs. I read the Club Matters column in every issue with great interest, and was disappointed that it was missing in the Dec issue.

R P Sivakumar, RC Nagore — D 2981

Till now I only browsed through the pictures in Rotary News as I ­cannot read English. But this month when I received the magazine in Tamil, I was thrilled. This is the first time I am ­actually reading about the great work Rotarians are doing across the country. Thank you for publishing the magazine in my mother tongue.

D Shanmugam, RC Panruti — D 2981

A shocker

After you took over as the editor, the changes made in the format, design and content of Rotary News are really refreshing and needed and I look ­forward to reading the latest issue as soon as I receive it. But I was shocked to find my December copy in Tamil. I am told the Governors had made the decision. This is really shocking. If the Governor decides and you act accordingly, then I request you to collect the magazine dues from the Governor, not the club and its members.

In a region like Nilgiris, members belong to various cultural backgrounds and the DGs cannot decide for the members without their consent. Please take corrective action after contacting the club presidents. There could be many members who may not know how to change back to English. Please send me the last issue and all future issues in English only.

R Senthil Kumar, RC Ooty Town — D 3202

Eco-friendly paper cover

It was great to see the magazine being delivered in an eco-friendly paper envelope. My congratulations on switching to paper from polythene. Such steps will positively impact the environment.

Vikram Sanghani, RC Rajkot Midtown — D 3060

The article Rotary’s paddy project escapes flood fury in Kerala was interesting; nowadays, good articles are appearing in Rotary News. Jaishree’s report on Re-building Kerala was very good. RID C Basker’s message Let’s salute Ravi Shankar for his altruism was inspiring and I was thrilled to see photos of RI President Barry Rassin and Esther in dhoti and sari at the Chennai Institute.

Daniel Chittilappilly, RC Kaloor — D 3201

MAT Caparas’ appreciation

PRIP MAT Caparas was ­overwhelmed by the upsurge of Rotary spirit in India and has thanked Ravi Shankar and Paola for their great contribution to TRF. He has also acknowledged, ­Rotary’s leadership in India and your skills in journalism which have helped to project a true picture of the great work Rotary does in India. Truly, your work needs recognition in a bigger Rotary platform. The magazine’s  coverage of big Rotary events has enabled ­Rotarians in India to embrace Rotary more passionately.

Arun Kumar Dash, RC Baripada — D 3262

At 84, I was excited to read the news that Rtn Ravi Shankar has donated ₹100 crore to the ­Foundation, but he doesn’t think he has done ­anything great or worthy of honour. He ­simply decided to give. Rotarians across the world express their gratitude and thanks to him.
Presdient Barry expects all ­Rotarians to be ethical in the implementation of service projects, a critical quality for Rotary members. A very interesting ­project on creating awareness among parents on child abuse was undertaken by RC Pondicherry Beach Town, D 2981. It also dealt with smartphone addiction and how to raise a happy child. Hats-off to the club.

S Muniandi, RC Dindigal Fort — D 3000

Some welcome criticism, introspection; others say stop it

As a proud Rotarian, I was disturbed to read the ­Editor’s Note in the December issue titled The virtues of deweeding… We receive motivational messages from the RI President and TRF Trustee Chair every month and they don’t ever give negative views. When an editor of a widely circulated Rotary regional magazine talks about the virtues of deweeding, it is like throwing a stone on the glass house where you are seated. The topic of the good and bad in Rotary was discussed where ordinary Rotarians were not present. The event was covered in the magazine as a report but it is regrettable that you wrote an editorial using words such as black sheep, warts and glitches.

Rotary News should spread positive news; RI has got its own corrective mechanism to take care of deweeding. Many Rotarians have expressed their anguish to me on your editorial hence this letter. Such negative editorials should stop.

Sampathkumar, Rotary Coimbatore Elite — D 3201

In the Editor’s Note, it is rightly mentioned that a good gardener/planter knows the virtues of deweeding referring to ethics to be followed by Rotarians. The RI President’s message with the story and photo of a group of flamingos in which one is turning to a different direction is meaningful and noteworthy.

The interview with RIPN Sushil Gupta is interesting and his concluding remark, “whatever you do, do it with your heart and take it to the logical conclusion. You may do only one project, but do it well”, is really meaningful. The simplicity and calmness of Ravi Shankar as mentioned in the feature by the editor are laudable.

Glad that Rotary News is being published in Tamil too as requested by some DGs. But will this be applicable to all regional languages, especially Malayalam in which we may prefer to read it?

MT Philip, RC Trivandrum Suburban — D 3211

In the second instalment of Frankly Speaking, PRIP K R Ravindran as moderator created an RI Boardroom environment at the Chennai Institute. His blunt questions to RI President Barry Rassin, TRF Trustee Mike Webb and PRIP Rajendra Saboo got frank replies on Rotary’s shortcomings. Rassin and Saboo expressed concern on “malpractices” and suggested the criterion for awarding best DGs should be re-examined. On the best and worst of Rotary, Rassin said while the good was service projects, the “ugly” part that hurts him the most is the need to investigate complaints on funds meant for projects being siphoned off by individuals. We have to ensure adequate punishment for such people. Clearly in some places we are not functioning as per the ethics of Rotary.

Dr Sudam Basa, RC Bhubaneswar — D 3262

An RI President may talk about the negatives of Rotary but if repeated often, Rotary’s charm will vanish.

Arivudai Nambi
RC Coimbatore Manchester — D 3201

I was happy to see the article Frankly Speaking written by Rasheeda Bhagat as it put the focus on the good and bad in Rotary. I share President Barry’s views that Rotaractors are made to feel unwelcome by Rotary clubs.

The project Hope after Fire done by RC Coimbatore Metropolis for the burn survivors is a real magic of Rotary and has been shortlisted for British Medical Journal’s South Asia Award. The Message from RI South Asia Office is informative and serves the purpose of the magazine.

Navin R Garg, RC Sunam — D 3090

I am a Rotarian for seven years; the only time I felt really motivated and moved was to read the interview I ­haven’t done anything great: Ravi Shankar. In the discussion I glimpsed a real Karma Yogi whose focus is to give back to society. His comments on the ‘formally educated lot’ as jokers is an undebatable fact and a reality. India and the world need only the ‘cultured lot’ not the formally educated fools. ‘Cosmetic Rotarians’ is a very soft word to use as most take to Rotary platforms for self-projection and public display. This interview needs to be taught and infused repeatedly to all Rotarians and Rotaractors. All the best to the noblest Rotarian Ravi and his family. Hope Rotary produces many such noble men.

Dr Muralidhar, RC Kolar Gold Fields — D 3190

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