Boosting membership is his goal
One of the largest RI districts comprising parts of Rajasthan, Kutch and northern areas of Gujarat, this region’s DG has a goal “to make my district the world’s largest in membership, and this I will achieve by inducting over 1,000 new Rotarians,” says Balwant Singh Chirana. He governs 174 clubs having 7,214 members, and has already formed eight new clubs, and will add 26 more this year, taking the total membership to over 8,300 by June-end.
To its existing blood bank and thalassaemia centre at the Prajapita Brahmakumaris Global Hospital on Mount Abu Road, one more centre costing ₹3 crore, funded through a global grant and by club members, will be added. A skin bank for ₹2 crore was set up in Jaipur recently with a GG funding and private donors. Chirana has plans to develop an urban forest over five acres (₹2–3 crore) at Kota through a GG, Rotarian and corporate donors. Herbal and ayurvedic plants are being grown at the two Miyawaki forests (one-acre each) in Ahmedabad, set up with the help of Catch Foundation.
An anti-drugs campaign will reach out to five lakh students across 5,000 schools and colleges. “Booklets and pamphlets on drug abuse are being distributed,” says Chirana. While 52 Happy Schools are underway, “I want to start 100 more such schools.” Around 200 health camps will be done in the district. TRF giving target has been raised from $600,000 to $1 million. Influenced by PDG Ashok Gupta and Rtn Sunil Mor, he joined Rotary in 1997. “Over the last 25 years, Rotary has transformed me completely through its humanitarian work,” he says.
A Rotary park to boost public image
A Rotary Municipal Park (₹38 lakh) over 1.5 acres in Rajahmundry is showcased across the six revenue districts of Andhra Pradesh as a model environment project. “Filled with walking tracks, an open air gym, colourful lighting and aesthetic plants, this green hub is earning goodwill in the community,” says Bhaskar Ram. He has formed seven new clubs (out of 15 planned) taking the total number to 85 clubs and inducted 769 new members as part of his aim to add 1,500 Rotarians for the year. At present, the headcount is 5,799.
With the installation of six RO units (₹30 lakh) at primary schools, around 4,000 students will have potable water. “The nearby communities also will have access to these RO units for potable water,” says Ram. Around 7–8 GG projects are under process with district GG project chair PDG
G Vishwanath working on the details. A Rotary multispecialty hospital will come up over a one-acre land gifted by a Rotarian at Kovvur village near Rajahmundry at a cost of ₹8 crore. “We have contributed ₹2.5 crore, and the balance will be from CSR funds.” His target for TRF giving is $450,000.
Ram joined Rotary in 1994 after his visit to RID 6070, Missouri, US, as a GSE member the previous year. In 1996, he initiated Project Kailash Bhoomi, that renovates Hindu crematoriums and is a signature project of 65 clubs. He is an AKS member and says “the thrill in doing service projects keeps me going as a Rotarian.”
Farmers’ welfare is his top priority
As 14 revenue districts of central and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra have vast stretches of agricultural land, “we have formed a team to launch several programmes for farmers’ welfare. Every club was instructed to take up at least two farm programmes, and we will be doing at least 200 such welfare projects,” says Dr Anand Jhunjhunuwala. “The farm projects done with the support of agricultural varsities will be funded by club donors.” Apart from this, his focus will be on tree plantation, rainwater harvesting and blood donation camps. He wants to induct 500 new Rotarians, of which 200 have already joined, thus raising the membership to 5,500 by June-end; and charter 10 new clubs in areas without Rotary. At present, the district has 99 clubs. He is keen to add 500 Rotaractors, taking their count to 1,500-plus.
Five dialysis centres (₹50 lakh) with five units each will be set up at government and trust hospitals through global grants and CSR funds. Jhunjhunuwala wants to do 10 Happy Schools. Around 2,500 women will be trained and certified at the 30 Rotary Singer Vocational Centres. “They run three and six-month courses, after which exams are held and certificates given.” He aims to collect $500,000 for TRF. He joined Rotary in 2003 inspired by his father Ashok Jhunjhunuwala, also a Rotarian. “As a child, I accompanied my father to club meetings and volunteered in service projects.” Mega projects and fellowship are two features of Rotary that he adores.
Saving youth from drug abuse his focus
Weaning away the young from drug addiction is the top priority of Gulbahar Singh Retole. “Clubs will hold workshops and awareness sessions at schools, colleges under the Project Be Aware of Addiction.” The youth will be educated on how to alert the police when they see a drug peddler or witness substance abuse.
Singh aims to charter 10 new clubs (four already formed) to take the total to 114; and induct 250 Rotarians to raise their count to over 2,750. Among the 40 Rotaract clubs, only 20 are active and “I will add 50 new Rotaractors.” Project Going to School will motivate less privileged families to send their children to school. “First, workshops for clubs will deal with school dropouts. We will tell parents from disadvantaged families to send their wards to school to keep them away from criminal activities,” he says. Rtn N S Sodhi is the project chair and “he will lead Project Care of Senior Citizens which will provide food, clothing and medicines to elderly couples neglected by their children.” Around 100 health camps and 50 breast and cervical cancer detection camps are targeted.
A government school at Bhiwani has done TEACH projects. His target for TRF giving is $175,000 and the 25-member CoG is working on GG projects. He joined Rotary in 2006 inspired by his father, the late Rtn Harminder Singh Retole. “Serving the communities gives me great satisfaction,” he adds.