Letters to the Editor – March 2012

Meaningful articles

The Editor’s Note explains lucidly how the pandemic was harsher to girls and women in our community and issues related to them will need to be handled with empathy and compassion in the post-Covid era.

The RI directors state that Rotary is all about hope and dwell on peacebuilding and other services rendered by Rotarians during the pandemic. The speeches made by RI President Holger Knaack and other Rotary leaders during ‘The Odyssey’ are all meaningful and worth reading. Thanks for including all motivating speeches.

The write-up UP CM ­commends Rotary has neatly described RC ­Gorakhpur’s service, which is commendable. TRF Trustee chair’s statement is surely an inspiration to us to overcome this depressing time. The steps being taken by TRF leadership to overcome post-Covid difficulties are commendable. Glad to read about and remember late A B Vajpayee, former PM and a man of vision with admirable qualities. It was nice to read about ­Ravishankar, the sitarist. As a whole it was an issue filled with meaningful and interesting articles, thanks to the efforts of the editorial team.

Philip Mulappone MT, RC Trivandrum Suburban — D 3211

The editor has described the glowing tributes paid to ­former PM A B Vajpayee by the author in the book Vajpayee: The years that changed India. In this ­present age when political opponents are considered as ­untouchables, it is refreshing to note that the then PM P V ­Narasimha Rao wanted Vajpayee, who was then in the Opposition, to lead the Indian delegation to the UN for a discussion on the Kashmir issue. Nice to read about the qualities of Vajpayee in this article. Another interesting article is the one on ­Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro.

K P Balasubramanian, RC Ambasamudram — D 3212

A remarkable club

I was happy to read about the 70th anniversary of RC Quilon, one of the oldest clubs in southern India started way back in 1949. All its members are now multiple Paul Harris Fellows. It has contributed six governors, a remarkable feat. The club is known for its weekly bulletin that was well-edited by Rtn V V Prabhu.

A R Bhaskar Raj, RC Sivakasi Central — D 3212

Diversity, gender equity

RIPN Jennifer Jones has rightly focused on the importance of diversity and gender equity, so essential for Rotary to grow in the years ahead. She also recalled how she climbed the Rotary hierarchy from club-level to RI Board and then as Trustee before getting nominated for the top-most post… all on merit.

RI President Holger Knaack says Rotary reaches out to beneficiaries beyond national, language, social, ­religious and political barriers. RIPE Shekhar Mehta is all for Rotary and Lions joining hands to implement ­projects as ‘both can complement each other’. Once I visited a weekly ­meeting of a Lions club in Chennai. I was surprised to find that it was ­celebrating its 25th anniversary and being led by women office-bearers. In her speech, the club president called for both Lions and Rotary to do joint service projects. This was 10 years ago. And Mehta has once again aired similar views.

S Muniandi, RC Dindigul Fort — D 3000

Strategic plan is a must

In his January message, RI President Holger Knaack has focused on the crucial need for strategic planning for Rotary clubs. This is very relevant as most of the clubs do planning for just a year. We need to have a strategic planning meet to plan for achieving Rotary’s objectives in an effective manner by involving all the members, especially the club’s past presidents, who should continue to be part of project activities.

We need to utilise the time and energy of young Rotarians with proper orientation so that the club remains vibrant with proper fellowship. This will also ensure retaining of members.

Every club should take ­serious note of RI President’s advice to have a multi-year strategic plan by holding brainstorming sessions to fix some important milestones. I have decided to initiate this process in our club.

Vijay Anant Shetti, RC Mapuca — D 3170

Set up clubfoot clinics

The article Helping children walk was informative. I congratulate the team of surgeons and physiotherapists for their excellent services done free of cost. Kudos to RC Coimbatore Meridian for taking up this project.

I would like to bring to notice the services of CURE International India Trust (CIIT) who with the coordination of state governments and some Rotary clubs which are non-sugically treating children affected by clubfoot through the Ponseti method of treatment.

Our club, with the guidance of Dr Santhosh George, director, CIIT and PDG Raman Bhatia from RC Delhi Midtown, is doing regular service at the clubfoot clinic at the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. We have donated 50 FABs (foot abduction braces) and helped the Inner Wheel club to donate another 50 FABs. We encourage other clubs to sponsor more clubfoot clinics in their areas to benefit needy children.

Devika Ravindran, RC Madurai Malligai — D 3000

A colourful, relevant zone institute


I am very impressed by the February issue, which is flooded with interesting and knowledge-oriented content on Rotary and matters of general interest.

Generally, outsiders used to ask the Rotarians what is so special about Rotary and why are they proud to be members of this organisation. They get different answers such as selfless service, the classification principle, Rotary Foundation, etc. We can definitely add to this list, one more reason: our magazine, Rotary News, as it enlightens us every month with a fund of knowledge.

No wonder that an outsider like Dr Srikanta K Panigrahi, director general of the Indian Institute of Sustainable Development, wants to receive the magazine. The credit for building Rotary’s PR image thus has to go to Editor Rasheeda Bhagat and her enthusiastic team.

When the editorial team is doing such an excellent job tirelessly, it is the responsibility of all our members to regularly subscribe to the magazine and enrich themselves with good knowledge of Rotary.

R Srinivasan, RC Madurai ­Midtown — D 3000

I like your words in your February editorial: “Even though fragile, let us provide lifeline of education to our girls, and then handhold them to safer shores and a future filled with hope.” I am sure that all of us in Rotary are doing our bit in empowering women and children, but I believe that this is not enough.

One of the reports on the RI zone institute refers to the absence of handshakes, which are not practised now. I felt the same lonely feeling when I attended our club’s meeting during the governor’s visit, where I could not shake hands or hug my fellow Rotarians whom I have not met face-to-face for several months.

In the article Embracing the digital age RI President Holger Knaack says, “Let us make a concerted effort to reach out to people who feel left out and find ways to make them feel a part of the Rotary family”. These words ring loudly in my ears.

In Jaishree’s report on the Lessons in leadership, I very much liked the words of RIPE Shekhar Mehta: “I won’t sleep nor will I let you sleep until a job is done.” This is the mantra of every successful CEO of business houses.

TRF Trustee chair Ravindran’s statement that our belief in the Supreme being would turn a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph and a victim into a victor, is a positive note indeed. Every page in the Feb issue makes me ponder over the statements as reported by your editorial team. The choice of pictures in the article on Pandit Ravi Shankar is excellent. Team Rotary News deserves a round of applause.

Nan Narayenen, RC Madurai West — D 3000


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