Empowering women is her mantra
Nothing can stop a woman from achieving great success and respect if she is determined, dedicated and hardworking,” says this governor. She wants to be a role model for younger women. Asha Prasanna Kumar, a first-generation woman entrepreneur, has won the Woman Entrepreneur Award from the Karnataka Chamber of Commerce. She became an AKS member when she was a DGN.
She is happy that the district project of planting over 2,000 saplings since the start of the year has received wide publicity from the media. “Our effort in greening the earth has earned us a good public image too.” Asha started the year with a bang — collecting around 6,500 units of blood through camps all over the district, treating 2,700 people through medical camps and 3,700 schoolchildren through eye camps — her enthusiasm and excitement are palpable. “We plan to plant three lakh trees and screen one lakh children for eye defects this year,” she says.
Another of her ambitious projects is training youngsters in vocations such as TV anchors, RJs, MCs, etc and imparting craft-oriented skills, promoting wealth from waste, through 10 centres. “We’ve taught women to make eco-friendly products from banana fibre and areca nut leaves — such sources which are low-cost and require minimum investment.”
A fund-raiser marathon to help install WinS components in government schools is also a big focus of her year.
Her target for TRF contributions is $2.2 million and more than 20 per cent increase in membership. Her conference registration is already “almost full at 1,000 and is 200 short of the hall’s seating capacity.”
Asha became a Rotarian in 2005 after being an Inner Wheel member since 1985. Her spouse, Prasanna Kumar, is also a Rotarian.
Inspired by the Tirukkural
This governor of the newly formed district carved out of 3230 rolls out, in fluent Tamil, couplets from the famed Tamil literature Tirukkural. “I can recite 500 verses at any time. I inspire people with these valuable verses. I encourage my team to lend their hands more liberally to the needy, for, that is the most precious way by which we can thank God for all that he has blessed us with,” says Jawarilal Jain.
A Rotarian since 1997, he is convinced that Rotary is a boon for him to serve society. “I don’t claim travel/accommodation expenses when on my OCVs. God has given me enough and more,” he says.
He has ambitious plans for his district — to increase membership from the current 2,500 to 4,500; add 20 more clubs to the present 66 and raise a contribution of $4.4 million for TRF. “With such an enthusiastic team, I have doubled my earlier target of $2.2 million,” says Jain. He has contributed $280,000 so far to AKS and is now ready with yet another cheque for $250,000 this year.
He is keen on partnering with clubs in underdeveloped countries and do welfare projects there under global grants. “We have received so much assistance so far, now it is our turn to give.”
His projects for the year include adoption of 650 schools and improving their infrastructure and providing better facilities in the 65 government hospitals in his district. “A majority of these hospitals do not even change the bedsheets,” he observes. His plans include acquiring 25 vans, equipping them with water tanks, tree guards and stocking them with saplings so that they can be readily used for planting. A keen lover of greenery, Jain has planted five lakh saplings in his individual capacity. He is inspired by Rajashree Birla, Ratan Tata and Subroto Bagchi who were featured in the Rotary News, he says.
Well on track with his projects
I am a lucky governor. My team has completed all the signature projects I had planned so far,” says this governor who leads over 2,700 Rotarians of 65 clubs. Dharmesh Patel is well on track to realise his dream project — to plant 1,20,000 saplings across his district before October 2. “Our job does not stop with just planting the saplings, we will also nurture and protect them,” he says.
Patel strongly endorses the EREY idea of contributing to the Foundation. With a target of $500,000, he says that he can easily raise $300,000 if each Rotarian of his district contributes $100 and the shortfall can be made up with contributions from Major Donors and through other means.
On membership, he is confident of inducting 15 per cent more Rotarians and charter at least three new clubs. “Retention is not an issue. It is more than 90 per cent.” He is keen on inspiring Rotaractors to become Rotarians and is full of praise for RID C Basker’s idea of including training sessions for the DR₹
He intends to push forth the WinS programme by “assigning two or three schools to each club and the Rotarians will ensure compliance of all the components of WASH in those schools.”
He joined Rotary in 2001 as a charter member, impressed with Rotary’s polio eradication programme. His spouse Ranjana is also a member of the same club and has served as president in 2008–09 and assistant governor in 2010–11.
He encourages spouse membership
He has been a Rotarian for 12 years and is happy that he “got elected as governor so soon”. He is pleased that his idea of holding his district assembly at Tirupathi has gone down very well with his team, as it has received an “overwhelming registration this early”.
Vyankatesh Channa is confident of achieving better coordination from clubs through the “district officers”, a post he has created this year, in each of the 11 revenue districts; they will take his ideas forward. “This way it will not be a one-man show and the job gets effectively done,” he says.
He hopes to enhance his district’s green cover, and has asked each of his district’s 110 clubs to plant 200 saplings. He also wants to hold a ‘Jan Marathon’ to give better publicity to Rotary. A mega health camp across the district is among his other projects. He is also part of a medical mission to be held in Rwanda in September.
On membership, while his focus is on retention, he also aims to increase the strength by 10 per cent, recalling that last year his district ranked top in the world in membership. His goal for TRF contribution is $300,000 and so far, he has collected $50,000.
Channa’s spouse, Lata, is also a Rotarian and as a fashion designer, she also plays her part by providing two-hour training sessions in doll and jewellery making, fashion designing, etc to Rotarian spouses and other youngsters from the locality, while the club members are engaged in meetings with the governor on his OCV. “It is good if the spouse is also a Rotarian, because we will also be doubly inspired to participate,” is his parting take.
Promoting literacy is his focus
He strongly believes that the rich-poor disparity can be bridged only through education and is keen on doing his bit to improve literacy levels in his district. Madhu Prasad lists a series of projects, all aimed at promoting literacy — a target of 100 Happy Schools, training 6,000 teachers, global grants to execute e-learning facility and for building/renovating toilets and wash stations in schools as part of WinS activity.
His other projects include a mobile mammogram unit to screen breast cancer in rural women and dialysis units in hospitals. “We have a huge DDF, nearly $2 lakh, and we’ll use it to extend maximum benefit to society,” he says.
On membership, the governor’s focus is to strengthen and sustain weak clubs; “we have 10 such clubs with less than 20 members.” He wants to charter six to eight new clubs, add 300 more members to the present strength of 2,300 and charter 50 Rotaract clubs.
Kuruvadi is confident of raising his target contribution of $2.65 lakh for TRF. “Even if each Rotarian contributes $100, it becomes an attainable target,” he says. He and three other Rotarians donated $10,000 each to TRF to become Major Donors on his installation day.
He is a Rotarian since his 27th year. His spouse, Sudha Madhuri, is also a Rotarian. She was felicitated for sponsoring 150 children back to school for the Asha Kiran project and volunteers to teach in schools.