Letters to the Editor – September 2017 issue

It’s all in the mind

I am 82 and joined Rotary some 18 years back. I was impressed by the article We are all time travellers in the July issue. The writer Sandhya Rao says, “remember wine: the older it gets the finer it tastes. Or pickles, the longer they marinate, the more ­delicious the flavours.”

Citing Shakespeare’s words in Antony and Cleopatra: Age ­cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety, she rightly says, “You can be ‘young’ when you are ‘old’ and ‘old’ when you are ‘young’. You are born, you live and you time-travel… it is all a mind-game, isn’t it?” What a beautiful theory; I admire Sandhya’s writing and the entire essay was so well done.

In the book review by Robin Gupta (The marriage that shook India), I was shocked to observe that Mahatma Gandhi comes through as a somewhat wily leader who advocated that ­Hindus should not marry ­Muslims. It was good to read that ­Ruttie Petit refused to bow down to top British officers. Perhaps it was due to Islam’s teaching that except Allah, Muslims should not bow down before anybody. It reminds me of an incident in ­1980–81 when I was an officer in the Rural ­Development Department of Tamil Nadu. The party MPs and MLAs always fell at the feet of the Chief Minister, except a young ­Muslim minister. He was duly removed from the post for not ‘falling in line’.

S Muniandi, RC Dindigul Fort — D 3000

Book Reviews welcome

I loved the review of Mr and Mrs ­Jinnah. But the book clearly ­mentions that there is no medical record stating the official cause of Ruttie Jinnah’s death. It is only 50 years later that Kanji Dwarkadas declared that she committed suicide which, however, cannot be taken into consideration. Make the Book Review a permanent feature.

H S Khurana, RC Ludhiana — D 3070

A great loss to Rotary world

We are touched and moved after reading the tributes of PRIP Rajendra Saboo, RID C Basker and the Editorial on the demise of RIPE Sam Owori. It is an ­irreparable loss not only to Norah, their three ­children and grandchildren but to the entire Rotary world. We have lost a great leader with good values and high principles in life. With his academic excellence and deep love for Rotary, he would have been an invaluable RI President. A pity that with so much progress in ­medical ­science, Owori succumbed to ­complications from a leg surgery. It was fitting he was laid to rest with State honours.

R Srinivasan, RC Madurai Midtown — D 3000

My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of ­President-elect Sam Owori. It is really a big loss for the Rotary world. But Owori’s legacy will live on. Indian Rotarians can be proud that one among them, Rajashree Birla, is the biggest donor to TRF, with her contributions crossing over $11 million. Her speech describing the story of a polio victim Vishnu from Mumbai is heart-rending. Thanks to Rotary for the good work in eradicating polio from India.
All other articles and Rotary club activity photos are worth going through. Congratulations for ­providing interesting articles to ­readers every month, taking into ­consideration all categories of ­readers’ interest.

M T Philip, RC Trivandrum Suburban — D 3211

The article Dialysis made ­affordable is one more instance of Rotary doing good with TRF, with the dialysis unit of RC Madras West, D 3232, helping the poor, as dialysis costs are very high.

N Jagatheesan, RC Eluru — D 3020

Membership is critical

Our RI President has given much importance to membership, more specifically women’s ­membership. We at RC Central Calcutta, D 3291, have strongly worked on this and have already achieved 22 per cent growth in overall membership in 2017–18 with a significant increase in women ­members. From 83 on June 30, 2017, it has gone up to 101 in August 2017, with 10 per cent members being women. A big thanks to Director (Membership) Rajesh Agarwal and the Board members.

Girish Ganeriwala, President, RC Central Calcutta — D 3291

Skilling Odisha


The article Skilling Odisha is an ­excellent one, inspiring the skilled youth in Odisha. The younger ­generation in Odisha is brilliant, dedicated to work and progress. There are many educated and talented Odiyas in the civil services like IAS and IPS, besides IT and many other sectors.

Unfortunately, Odisha doesn’t have many resources to utilise the skilled youth and engage them in different ­sectors. This article gives inspiration and vision to Odisha’s youth. Rotary News is not just a magazine but also a handy library to read and enrich knowledge on diverse subjects. Congratulations.

PRN Chandra Mouli, RC Berhampur Midtown — D 3262

Subroto Bagchi is doing a great job in skilling Odisha. One of the missions of the present government is that skill development should be done on a war footing to give training and skills, especially to the poor. This article should motivate Rotarians to take up similar projects in their districts and establish centres in semi-urban areas for skill development.

T D Bhatia, RC Delhi Mayur Vihar — D 3012

Odisha’s ‘monk’ Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has struck gold by choosing Subroto Bagchi as Chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority (August, cover story). As the former IT honcho himself says, it’s a ‘dream job’ for him, what more could we hope for?

In the private sector too, the ­Centurion Group, through its ­Gramtarang ­project, is conducting amazing and commendable skilling programmes.

Sujata Patnaik, Odisha

The article Skilling Odisha in the August issue is a fine example of how the skill development in each State of India can be organised by a Rotary club in partnership with the respective Government through the Industrial Training Institutes. These projects can come under the Rotary’s avenue of Youth Service.

Four virtues — as cited by Greek ­philosophers Aristotle and Plato — of temperance, ­wisdom, patience and humility are being inculcated by Subroto Bagchi with an overall ­positive attitude at his skill development centres.
However, by applying the Four-Way Test, Rotary leaders can also take up this skill ­development through the avenue of Youth Service.

KMK Murthy, RC Secunderabad — D 3150

Brilliant editorials

You have always delivered a fascinating piece of art, Rotary News, every month and the June issue is of high ­wattage in every respect. The Editorial Plant a sapling, start a ­revolution struck a chord in me as the topic has always been close to my heart. You’ve ­mesmerised the readers by ­citing ­passionate ­environmentalists such as Chandi Prasad Bhatt and ­Sundarlal ­Bahuguna and how they ­galvanised the village women to check deforestation in the fragile Himalayan region. I appreciate the strong message conveyed through this column.

Colonel (retd) C P Gopinathan, RC Wadakanchery — D 3201

The July Editorial covering the centennial of The Rotary ­Foundation in Atlanta was really good. The art of writing the ­Editorial is beautiful and natural which made me feel physically present at the Convention. The Microsoft Founder Bill Gates’ presence in the Convention and his yeoman service in ­eradicating polio across the world are worth highlighting. His speech was really inspiring. Adding to this grand event were the 75th ­birthday of TRF Trustee Chair Kalyan ­Banerjee and the South Asia Reception with delicious Indian food attracting all the VVIPs of Rotary.

Sandhya Rao’s brilliant ­article — We are all time travellers — points to the ground reality of life which inspires me to write this feedback. Though I will be 85 in ­November, I feel like 58 and my club ­members call me ‘young guy’ as I participate in all club activities.

G V Sayagavi, RC Davanagere Vidyanagar — D 3160

Received the July issue in time and found many informative articles, including the Atlanta Convention articles. RI President Ian Riseley’s letter — The ultimate in sustainable service — gives a boost to Rotarians.

K Devarajan, RC Coimbatore East — D 3201


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