A Rotarian since childhood
In a sense, I am a Rotarian for 41 years since my father Y P Nagpal became a member of the same club,” says Sunil Nagpal. He has been part of Rotary since childhood, accompanying his father to club meetings, conferences and project sites. Eventually, he joined Rotary in 1997.
The club’s charter president Dr Shiv Kumar is another mentor. “As a child, I remember how he used the sale proceeds of ₹20,000 from the club’s raffle to construct the Rotary Bhavan in Palampur. Today the building is 7,500 sq ft spread across three floors and is by itself a sustainable project.” The other permanent projects include the Rotary Eye Hospital in which his father is the Senior Vice Chairman; a mother and child hospital; Rotary Helpage Foundation which runs an orphanage; a physiotherapy clinic; and a school for the differently-abled. “Land for these projects was donated by the community. One philanthropist has been funding some of our eye surgeries for the past 35 years. That’s the level of trust Rotary enjoys in our region,” he says.
Nagpal is keen on providing skill development courses for war widows and their children. He is working on a mega medical camp to be held in Ludhiana in Feb’20 with global grant support. He is proud of having recently inaugurated the Rotary Hospital in Jalandhar. “The building was donated by a corporate and we made it functional with support from a German club through global grant.” He is also planning to equip schools with e-learning facilities.
The district has grown by 140 members and one new Rotary club this year. He is looking at a net gain of 10 per cent with focus on retention and installing five new clubs. He wants aspiring members to first attend at least three Rotary projects or programmes and then take a call. “That’s how they can add value to the club.”
He is confident of raising $150,000 for TRF, having already got $10,000 at the recently-held TRF seminar. The district covers three States — Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and J&K, and there is plenty of scope to garner more contribution, says the governor.
Archana, his wife, is also member of the same club.
He has several plans for his district and that includes an eye bank, hospital, blood bank, solar energy panels and a cardiac-specialty ambulance. “Promoting literacy tops the list,” says Hari Gupta, adding, “The immense joy on the faces of people when they are able to read and write, and sign their names, is something that has to be seen to be appreciated.” Installing e-learning facilities in schools and adult literacy tops his list.
Gupta was a Rotaractor during 1989–96 and became Rotarian in 2007. He wants to increase the number of Rotaract clubs from the present 13 to 40 and is excited about the upcoming RYLA that is planned in Jan’20. “The district is going to see this event after 20 long years.” He has ambitious plans to double his district’s membership to 3,000. “It is possible. Sixteen new clubs have been chartered and we will have four more. If each club has 30 members on an average, it is a cakewalk,” he says with confidence.
The district is planning six global grant projects and the governor aims at a contribution of $200,000 for TRF from the district.
His wife Nidhi too is a member of the same club.
Literacy is his priority
He is a Rotarian since 1991 after being a Rotaractor during 1986–89. His most cherished work in Rotary was when his club renovated a mortuary run by the district administration. “It was in a real bad shape. I personally felt that we were giving dignity for the dead through this project,” says Kishor Katru.
He has plans to set up dialysis centres in Bareilly, Agra and Aligarh. Promoting literacy is also his priority. “Major areas of UP have a huge illiterate population. Clubs will be setting up toilets and wash stations in villages and imparting basic education for people there.”
His membership goal is to induct 1,000 new members including a good number of women members.
He aims at raising $400,000 for TRF. DRFC Devendra Agarwal’s dedication has brought in 20 Major Donors so far, he says.
Katru’s wife Sangeetha is an active Inner Wheel member.
Care for the elderly
My Rotary moment is when Abdul Kalam visited a science exhibition that my club conducted for schoolchildren,” gushes Joseph Mathew. He joined Rotary in 2001, and was the Staff Coordinator for the Rotaract club in the college where he was working.
Mathew has two projects lined up for his district. One is Jeevan Sandhya, a programme to take care of senior citizens. “Rotarians here are ready with plans to visit old-age homes, repair and renovate some of them. One of the clubs is building a senior citizens home here.” The other one is called Save a Life, where clubs will organise first aid workshops in colleges, schools and offices. Cancer detection camps are also part of this programme.
Mathew wants to increase district membership with 1,000 new members, including women members, and install ten new clubs. He is happy that of the 300 new members, 30 are women and “they all are spouses of Rotarians.” Talking about Rotaract clubs, he says that community-based clubs are very active in providing education for rural people. As for institution-based clubs, since there is a change in their examination pattern, the students are busy with academics now.
He is planning a global grant to purchase a mobile cancer screening unit. He aims at $500,000 contribution for TRF, and has 20–25 Major Donors to pitch in with funds.
Promoting Rotary-CSR ventures
He joined Rotary in 2005 for fellowship and social work. “Bhiwandi is an industrial town with a floating population. There is a lot of opportunity for improving lives and I saw Rotary at work here before I became a Rotarian,” says Harish Gaur.
Water harvesting and literacy form major part of his priority projects. He is concentrating on working out global grants with CSR participation and has got five such sanctions to work on projects to enhance basic literacy and e-learning. “We will be introducing a mobile digital library shortly with CSR partnership.” A mobile TB detection unit and rigorous anti-plastic campaigns are also in his to-do list.
To promote Rotary’s public image, Gaur is happy that three clubs in the district have entered the India Book of Records and Limca Book of Records for their endeavour.
He is planning 10 per cent increase in membership with a keen eye on retention. Inducting more women members is also on his agenda.
The governor is slightly sceptical about meeting his target of $325,000 contribution for TRF. “It is big money for the district, but we will try to get as close to it as possible,” he says.