Meet your Governors

For quality membership growth

Muthiah Pillai
IT consultant and educationist, RC Tirunelveli West, RID 3212

Muthiah Pillai joined Rotary “driven by the prospect of networking and advancing my business.” He vividly remembers meeting a ­visually-challenged Rotarian from RC Nagarcoil Elite. “He told me that he was a beneficiary of an audio library that my club had set up in his school years ago. I was overwhelmed. This made me realise the profound impact Rotary has, not just on beneficiaries but also on Rotarians.”

Reflecting on membership challenges, he highlights the difficulty in attracting “younger members who seek tangible benefits from Rotary. We have to focus on quality over quantity and prioritise orientation programmes.” He is aiming for a “qualitative net membership growth of five per cent.” For retention, “simple gestures like phone calls and genuine conversations are the key. They foster a sense of belonging and respect within our clubs,” he says. The district has 13 per cent women members, “but there is room for improvement, particularly in creating a more welcoming environment for LGBTQIA individuals.”

He is actively encouraging clubs to apply for GGs. “My goal is to complete 10 global grants during my tenure; three have already been approved.” His district aims to donate $500,000 to TRF and $150,000 to the Polio Fund.

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Advocating regional language in Rotary

Milind Martand Kulkarni
Builder, RC Kalyan, RID 3142

For Milind Kulkarni the heart of Rotary lies in community service. “We join Rotary for the networking and fellowship but Rotary goes beyond. It helps you see the better person in you,” he says, and recalls the day an elderly man touched his feet to express his gratitude after getting cataract surgery at a Rotary camp. “The old man received free surgery but us din mujhe Rotary ka chashma lag gaya (from that day on I am seeing through the Rotary lens).”

He believes Rotary provides an “ideal platform for young people and women to showcase their talent and acquire valuable leadership skills.” Kulkarni’s district is working on eight GGs, including a water conservation project worth $120,000 and a paediatric surgery worth $32,000.

“We have to understand each member’s purpose and commitment to Rotary, and make them understand that success in Rotary requires dedication and active participation,” he says. He strongly recommends use of regional language for training and communication as that will make Rotary more accessible and relatable to members.

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Rotary should push boundaries

Ashok Kumar Gupta
Paper industry, RC Saket Meerut, RID 3100

Since 1996, Ashok Kumar Gupta has been a part of Rotary, but it wasn’t until 2000, during a flood relief effort, that he truly grasped its profound impact while distributing food packets to the flood victims. He sees Rotary “not just as an organisation but as a mindset—a platform for pushing boundaries, challenging oneself, and discovering our capacity for compassion.”

He emphasises the importance of selecting members who “embody the spirit of Rotary as a family. A single problematic member can tarnish the goodwill of the entire organisation.” So, he advocates a rigorous membership selection process, “ensuring that every member contributes positively to the club and Rotary.” Newly inducted members have been asked to demonstrate their commitment by becoming Paul Harris Fellows on the day of their installation. Gupta himself has contributed $37,000 to TRF.

So far, his district has contributed $150,000 to TRF this year. The district is carrying out two global grant projects — an eye surgery camp and supplying medical equipment to hospitals.

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Towards a united Rotary community

Ritu Grover
Management & admin, RC Indore Royals, RID 3040

Social service has fuelled her journey since 2006 when she joined Rotary. Central to DG Ritu Grover’s vision is “the cultivation of a strong, united Rotary community.” She advocates consolidation of smaller clubs into larger ones, “fostering greater cohesion and amplifying the organisation’s collective impact.” Through initiatives aimed at incentivising membership growth, providing leadership opportunities and promoting family involvement, she hopes to reach her membership targets.

Ritu strongly supports DEI principles, striving “to create an environment where every member feels valued and respected.” Instead of creating separate clubs for LGBTQIA and transgender individuals, she promotes their inclusion within existing clubs.

On responsible stewardship in using resources, she says, “the judicious use of TRF funds will ensure that Rotary’s resources are utilised for maximum benefit.” Her district’s TRF target for the year is $300,000. Currently, the district has five global grants and three CSR projects in the pipeline.

She has distributed Gyankush, a booklet in Hindi and English, to members to enhance their Rotary knowledge.

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