30 small clinics to offer healthcare to needy families
Medical projects are Alok Gupta’s top priority, and his first project was the inauguration of a plasma bank at the Rotary Noida Blood Bank in early July. “It was a district project costing ₹ 1 crore and a first-of-its-kind in UP. We will open 30 dispensaries and small clinics in Delhi and UP, where patients will be charged only ₹ 20 per consultation,” he says.
A Rotary Medicare Centre will be operational in Noida by next January, with diagnostic services including CT and MRI scans, and a cath lab, under a GG project worth ₹ 2.5 crore. “A small fee paid for the diagnostic services will make the centre self-sustainable.” Recently, his district hosted a three-day artificial limb fitment camp in Ghaziabad and identified 92 amputees who will be fitted with artificial limbs. “We have contributed ₹ 50 lakh to RILM this year, and will do 100 Happy School projects including setting up of e-learning facilities, toilet blocks and handwash stations,” explains Gupta. The project, costing ₹ 2.5 crore will be done through a mix of GG and DDF.
He plans to add 500 new members and five new clubs. In Rotaract, he wants to open 25 new clubs. With a target of $1 million for TRF he has asked every Rotarian to donate at least $100.
A third generation Rotarian, his father inspired him to become a Rotaractor in 1987, and he joined Rotary in 2005, adds Gupta.
He wants to make “every Rotarian feel important”
Before taking charge as DG, he got the district directory printed and distributed to all the 4,075 Rotarians in 73 clubs of his district to make “every member feel important,” says Satish. Even the GML is physically delivered to all Rotarians each month.
Recently, a high-tech equipment was installed through a GG worth $200,000 at the Goutami Eye Institute in Rajahmundry. An expanded retina centre with an advanced microscope (GG worth $32,000) will be given to the Rotary eye hospital run by RC Vuyuuru. “The retina centre will do both OPD services as well as surgeries for free. Total cost of expanding the surgical retina wing is ₹ 4.5 crore.”
Sewing machines will be given to 1,000 women after training to increase their income. A state-of-art water distribution system (GG: $160,000) will be installed at an orphanage with 1,000 students. Toilets will be built at a cost of $40,000 in schools.
One of his pet projects is paediatric heart surgery (GG worth $80,000 was sanctioned) and at least 70 surgeries will be done this year. He is confident of a 20 per cent net growth in membership which is poised to cross 4,800. On TRF giving, his target is $1 million.
He will be opening 20 Rotaract and 20 Interact clubs with around 20 per cent growth in their membership. In 2007, when a Rotarian friend invited him to his club meeting “it changed me forever.” His home club, RC Vijayawada Midtown, among the largest in the world, “will touch the 1,000 mark this year,” he says.
Rotary is his family mantra
Representing the third generation in Rotary, Gajendra Singh Narang wants to grow the district membership “by 50 percent, and maintain cent per cent retention.”
A new Rotary and Interact club and five new Rotaract clubs were chartered, and “many more RCCs and clubs are in the pipeline.” A roadmap is ready for doing projects in all the seven areas of focus — one lakh saplings to be planted, 1,000 Nation Builder Awards, health camps for at least 75,000 people, each club adopting at least one Happy School, RYLA events, friendship exchanges and robust End Polio campaigns.
On TRF giving, he has a target of $100,000; “I have designed special programmes to induct more women such as The Big Pink Card for health awareness camps.” With literacy “important for the country’s development” he is giving literacy projects a big push.
Multidistrict events like National Wildlife Seminar, Global Green Photography Contest, Baandhavya and an auction for polio fund are some of the projects on the drawing board. The district has tied up with Lions International, Red Cross Society and other NGOs to do joint community projects.
Rotary has captivated his family; he watched his parents working for the voluntary sector as a child. When he set up the factory in Indore, his chartered accountant, PDG Nitin Dafria, insisted he join Rotary. His wife Sarthika is charter president of RC Indore Dynamic and an assistant governor. His daughter Samartha, a past district Interact representative, is now president of RAC Indore Dynamic. His son Avhaan as the youngest DIR at 13 and has hosted national and global online events.
Rotary Swaman stores to help the poor
Till October, 22 Rotary Swaman stores are being opened across the district to give dignity to poor families and give them utility products. “These collect, repair and repack used household items like furniture, fans, electric appliances, clothes, shoes and trinkets. These are sold at modest prices ranging from ₹ 20–100 to needy families,” says Prashant Jani. Around 40 stores will be opened this year.
He wants to install at least 1,000 handwash stations and so far, 250 units have been put up in government schools and public places like temples and parks. Two cancer detection vans for mammography, Pap Smear and oral cancer tests will screen over 75,000 beneficiaries. While one van is already doing the rounds, the second one, procured through a global grant worth $150,000, will be pressed into service shortly.
In February, a mega car rally will be flagged off from the Somnath temple to Dhule covering a distance of 2,000 km in eight days. The idea is to spread awareness on Rotary projects. He expects around 700 participants. The district will add 1,640 new Rotarians taking membership to over 6,000 by year-end. “I am confident of opening 25 new Rotary clubs, 35 new Rotaract clubs and inducting 400 new Rotaractors,” he says.
On TRF giving, his target is $1.25 million. An avid social worker, he waited for over three years to become a member of RC Surendranagar, an iconic club, but “they put me in the waiting list for so long that I decided to become a charter member of RC Wadhwan City in 2001.”
Finding funds for service projects is his mantra
With the pandemic bringing to nought many project ideas, Manish Sharda is now visiting clubs “to motivate Rotarians to do whatever projects that are feasible.”
He has applied for a global grant worth $60,000 for a vaccination project to prevent cervical cancer and another GG worth $50,000 for installing eight dialysis machines — four at the Rotary dialysis centre in Meerut and the rest in a private hospital in Muzaffarnagar. But his problem is paucity of funds “as our district was delisted for three years till 2018.” Sharda is in touch with RIPE Shekhar Mehta, Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty and others to find funds for service projects.
His first priority is member retention and adding 300 new members. When he took over as DG, the district membership was 2,249 and so far, 60 new Rotarians have been added. “I will open 10 new Rotary clubs, 10 new Rotaract clubs and add 5,400 Rotaractors for the current year,” he says. On July 1, in an online meet, he chartered RAC IIMT Umang with 5,000 Rotaractors.
For the Foundation, he has set $100,000 as his target. Though he joined Rotary in 1997, “I was not active as I was pursuing higher studies. Within six years, I became a member of RC Meerut Mahan with past president Ramesh Kapoor being my mentor.” In this new club, Sharda became involved in club meetings and project activities, thanks to the inspiration from his mentor.