Literacy and WinS are his focus
He was a Rotaractor from 1987 to 1993 and then became a Rotarian. “I love Rotary and the magic it does in transforming people is just magnificent,” says Rajeev Garg. His best memories are those during his tenure as club president.
Garg wants to focus on literacy and WinS projects to make the people of his region, comprising parts of Haryana, the Punjab and Rajasthan, empowered and prosperous. “Women are the backbone of a country while children are its future. So I have always felt that we have to concentrate on the growth of these two segments for any country to progress. I will concentrate on their education first,” he says.
He is looking forward to work with global grant support and wants to use the “huge amount of accumulated DDF” for sustainable projects that “will carry Rotary’s name far and wide.” He plans to set up a dialysis centre in the district and organise several cancer screening camps too.
As for membership growth, he aims to achieve five per cent increase and work towards sustaining the interest of members of the six new clubs formed last year. As it is a rural region, women are reluctant to join Rotary, he says.
Garg hopes to raise $80,000 for TRF and he has been following up on this target with club members during his visits for installation of officers.
Rotary is his life
He hails from a family of social workers; his father is a freedom-fighter. Suhas Vaidya is an avid collector of Rotary-
related souvenirs and is proud of his ‘Rotary Library’. He says he is indebted to Rotary for two reasons: His Rotarian friends bailed him out from bankruptcy a few years ago for which he is very grateful. “I can never ever forget them,” he says. The second occasion was when a Rotary doctor who was working in a medical camp nearby saved his life in 2007 when he had virtually collapsed. “My life is for Rotary because Rotary saved my life that day,”
he says solemnly.
As a farmer, he knows the impact of environmental degradation and water woes faced by people. So “my priority is to address these issues on an urgent basis.” Programmes for women’s empowerment and promoting inner peace in individuals, especially the youth, are also on his agenda.
His aim is to enhance the district membership by five per cent but also concentrate on retention of existing members. And for TRF, he is planning to raise $300,000.
Eye care is his priority
He joined Rotary in 1993 and is happy to have served as club president during RI’s 100th year and now a governor when Rotary India is celebrating its centenial. Dr Girish Masurkar has fond memories of providing borewells in schools in Bagalkot during his presidential year and working on matching grant projects that addressed Avoidable Blindness.
He is roping in corporate support to treat 10,000 people suffering from cataract and treat another 5,000 with other eye disorders. He is keen on promoting friendship exchange programmes to six countries during his tenure.
Masurkar is happy that his district is doing well in membership though he is working on “plugging the issues of members losing interest in Rotary in some places.” His is one of the vast districts extending from Bagalkot to Dapoli and he wants to visit each club regularly to pep up the club members. The Rotaract clubs are also very active in the district, he says, adding that he has invited Rotaractors for his district conference. “I am encouraging Rotaractors for dual membership by extending concessions for their Rotary membership.”
As for TRF, he says that with the district contributing an average $1 million in the past three years, “I am on a race to do it.” However, he is encouraging every member to contribute what they can for TRF and has lined up 15 Major Donors, three of them second-level Major Donors.
Working on water-related projects
He was nicknamed ‘Rotary Boy’ when he used to help in compiling the bulletin of RC Davangere Midtown where his father was a member in 1978. Nayan Patil was a Rotaractor during 1989–91. “When my father passed away in 2000, I was waiting to be invited as a member of the club. But that didn’t happen.” Finally he joined his club in 2004.
He enjoys the district conferences the most as they give him opportunities to strengthen existing friendships and make new friends.
His focus is on executing projects on e-learning and Happy Schools with global grants and distribute bicycles, sewing machines etc for the needy through the DDF. Patil is working with a crowd-funding agency to provide waterwheel carts in rural belts and is also keen to provide RO plants and check dams in various places as a majority of the region is drought-prone.
He wants to increase the district membership by 10 per cent and activate idle clubs. Though the district has two all-women clubs, he is urging these clubs to accept male members too and the other clubs to invite women members. “I am encouraging spouses of Rotarians to join Rotary. Shika, my wife, is a member of my club and she is a big supporter of Rotary,” he says.
The DG hopes to raise $367,000 for TRF and is working on inducting an AKS member.
A big no for small clubs
He is a Rotarian since 1986. Dr Mohan Chandavarkar cherishes memories of how his team helped the people of Latur with a truckload of emergency medicines during the earthquake in 1993. “Six of us were there on the road for four days, treating people for various accidents. That my profession was of help to people in some way gave me the utmost satisfaction,” he says. Another incident, he recalls, is of financial assistance he extended through his club to save a child in urgent need of a cardiac surgery.
Chandavarkar is of the view that the district governor’s office must assist clubs in doing projects fit for the local communities and should not thrust signature projects for the entire district to follow. Likewise, he has grouped service projects into clusters. Ten clubs get together to execute any of the clusters they choose. He is urging ‘first ladies’ — the wives of club presidents — to get together and execute few activities. He has enlisted the support of some NGOs to help in building infrastructure in schools, including environment-related projects, worth ₹ 5.3 crore.
On membership, he aims for a 20 per cent growth. He is not for ‘all-women’ clubs, he says. He wants women to be part of general Rotary clubs and “that will promote healthy growth of the clubs.” He is against promoting small clubs. “I want at least 20 members to charter a club.”
Although his target for TRF contribution is $500,000, he believes in “not promising the sky and not even making it to the treetop. I believe in action more than the words.”
The governor refers to a conversation he had with RI President Mark Maloney when he was in Mumbai last year. “He was suffering from jetlag, yet posing for photographs. I asked him how he could do that and his reply is something I quote wherever I go. He said, ‘I signed up for this. This is my job.’ You could be a leader, but you cannot complain about the amount of work and issues you have to face.”