From compulsion to enjoying Rotary
I was compelled to become a Rotary member in 1990 by the late Rtn Dharav who was a GSR then. I respected him greatly and agreed,” says Ravi Dhotre, So when did he start enjoying Rotary? Two years later “when I became president. But the moment I cherish the most really came in 2014–15 when I signed an MoU with Tata Technologies for a ₹10 crore-funding for an e-learning project in the presence of then RI President Gary Huang.”
His plans for the year include creating 100 Happy Schools, donating 1,000 cows, 1,500 e-learning kits in schools and setting up a Rotary hospital in Pune. On membership, Dhotre is confident of bringing in at least 900 new members and adding 15 new clubs. “We have over 1,000 women Rotarians and I am proud to say that 30 women will be leading their clubs during my year and of the 30 assistant governors, eight will be women.”
The DG is planning to raise $1.5 million for TRF and introduce two AKS members and 100 Major Donors.
He comes from a family of Rotarians; his wife Jeyashree, sons and daughters-in-law are all Rotary members. “I have five past presidents in my family,” he says with pride.
His focus is to promote Rotaract
Ramesh B N has suggested to all the 85 clubs in the district to install one Rotaract club during the year. He wants to implement five signature projects — sponsoring e-learning facility in 100 schools, disbursing two lakh seed balls to green the planet, promoting breastfeeding among mothers, career guidance camps to benefit one lakh youngsters and skill development programmes across the district. “We have CSR partnerships for all the above projects,” he says.
Apart from these projects, he is keen on promoting road safety awareness among school students and implementing a significant number of WinS programmes.
He wants to increase the membership in his district, currently at 3,200, by 10 per cent and his goal for TRF contribution is $200,000. The region comprising parts of Karnataka is a rural belt so not much can be expected from the people here, he says.
Ramesh became a Rotarian in 1981, inspired by his friends who were Rotary members. His son, V R Ashwin, is a member of RC Bangalore, RID 3190.
He wants to create more women auto drivers
He is excited about the “Pink Auto” project that will empower underprivileged women. “We want to make women financially independent because most men waste their earnings on alcohol, and the entire family suffers. We will teach women to drive autorickshaws, get them a licence and also help them buy the vehicle. Then, of course, it will be their show,” he says with quiet pride.
An avid convention attendee, Chandramohan discussed this project fruitfully with delegates at the recent Hamburg Convention. Clubs are coming forward to support funding of autorickshaws for women drivers, either directly or through interest-free microloan schemes. This will do good for Rotary’s PR as the pink autos will sport the Rotary wheel. He plans to launch an app on the lines of Ola or Uber for easy hailing of the vehicles by commuters.
Conducting medical camps in places of worship and at least 20 monthly medical camps over the year in rural areas are his other plans. For TRF he aims to raise $1.5 million, including $1 million for the Polio Fund, through a campaign — $2 for 2 drops for the final assault on Polio.
On membership, Chandramohan wants to increase the number from the present 5,000 by another1,200 new members including 250 women Rotarians. He is happy that of the 120 presidents, 22 are women. He joined Rotary in 1993, and wasn’t “a great foot soldier for social work. But Rotary made me care for humanity. Today I am an endowment donor, having contributed $35,000 to the Foundation.”
From an Interactor to a DG
He served as an Interact President in 1969 when he was 12, a Rotaractor of Madurai Medical College, after which he became a Rotarian in Trichy. “But I was an ‘outstanding’ Rotarian,” laughs Zameer Pasha, as he explains, “I was hardly in India, most of the time away in a foreign land for further studies, and in 2010, when I was asleep in Zurich, I got a call from my club informing that I was chosen president for the next year.”
Pasha shares an idea that will “take care of retention of members.” He has planned a corpus for Rotarians where each one contributes a certain sum which will be handed over to the family of a Rotarian in the event of his death. “This fund will be of great use to them to tide over initial expenses after the calamity. He/she should have been a member for five years at least to be eligible for the programme,” he says.
He has planned 10 projects to be implemented during his year. The first is a mega blood donation drive across the district. “Being a doctor I, more than anyone, recognise its value.”
His target for membership is to increase the present 5,500 number by 10 per cent and add 50 more women to the present team of 450 women Rotarians. He is proud of the women members. They are vibrant and are actively promoting WinS, TEACH aspects of RILM and the new solution to menstrual management, the menstrual cup among adolescent girls, he says.
He aims to raise $2.05 million for TRF.
His priority is to enhance water sources
Rotary’s scientific planning and administration attracted him to Rotary in 2002 and soon enough he was excited to serve as a Matching Grant Coordinator. “I got hooked to the organisation when in one such project we screened 70,000 children from 119 schools,” says Sheik Saleem. His focus for the year includes implementing WinS projects and enhancing water sources with the support of district grants worth ₹30 lakh and a global grant to set up dialysis centres across the district.
Reaching out to 1,000 children with CHDs will be another signature project through Save the Children programme and another ongoing district project, since 2013, called Golden Hearts, being performed in association with the Apollo Children’s Trust.
With a grand district slogan — Know, Learn Rotary, Love Rotary, Share Rotary, Enjoy Rotary and Celebrate Rotary — Saleem aims to take Rotary to Rotarians and create a passion in them for the organisation.
He is planning to increase the district membership by 10 per cent and charter 6–8 clubs, and is confident of raising up to $330,000 for TRF.