My Voice, My Vote

RID Manoj Desai, the man behind the My Voice, My Vote concept.
RID Manoj Desai, the man behind the My Voice, My Vote concept.

One of the most popular sessions at the Dubai Zone Institute was the My Voice, My Vote, an exercise RI Director Manoj Desai had started at the Jaipur Institute and which was so popular. At the Dubai Institute, even though it was nearing lunch time, the hall was packed as past, present and future RI officers gripped their voting devices in their hands. What was more, even the non-voters were equally absorbed and wildly cheered the results which were put on the screen instanteously.

The participants were posed 30 questions by the RI Director, some of them staid, others challenging.

A shocker of an answer came to the question “Should ­canvassing/campaigning be officially allowed?” The answer, which later got both frowns and censure from RI ­President John Germ was: Yes (47.49); No (30.17) “Limited” ­canvassing (22.35)! Germ was surprised that Indian Rotarians wanted to continue with this questionable practice!

A shocker of an answer came to the question “Should canvassing/campaigning be officially allowed?”
— Yes (47.49); No (30.17) “Limited” canvassing (22.35)!

But what restored faith in the service-minded orientation of Indian Rotarians was the response to the question: “the primary purpose of Rotary should be: Networking (6.38); Fellowship (21.81); Service (71.81).”

With a membership of nearly 1,47,000, should we get better ­representation at the RI Board, asked RID Desai. While 47.57 per cent wanted 4 Zones, 45.41 per cent asked, like Oliver, for more: 5 Zones!

Over 47.13 per cent felt that the CoL resolutions on flexibility in attendance rules will have positive effect, while 35.06 per cent felt it would be negative. Two more questions on CoL decisions had the following verdict: How many clubs did they think had changed their bylaws after the CoL? None (47.25); more than 25 per cent (45.05), Majority (7.69). It was a tie with around 48 per cent vote  each to the query whether increase in per capita dues will have a negative or no impact. Only three per cent felt the impact would be positive.

While 63 per cent felt that clubs below 10 members should be merged, over 30 per cent voted in favour of their termination. On e-voting in elections, which brought not a single complaint in 2015–16, the opinion was muddled; while 51.58 per cent welcomed e-voting, 42.63 per cent had reservations!

Through one question Desai asked: “India is doing very well on three verticals of Strategic Plan, except on election disputes. Will the new pilot on e-voting reduce complaints, make no difference or increase complaints? The answer was 58.47, 22.4 and 19.13 per cent respectively. Over 77 per cent agreed that in our Zones the growth of e-clubs was negligible.

Would the Council of ­Governors’ Retreat Meet in each District with ­definite agenda at personal expenses help resolve issues, make no ­difference, create more issues? The verdict:  44.15; 16.69; 36.17 per cent respectively. Nearly 89 per cent felt that Rotary’s flagship projects such as TEACH and WinS are important for public image, and 93 per cent wanted Rotary to make special efforts to involve
Gen-next (less than 30 years) in the organisation; 78 per cent wanted  the Rotary Zone Institute to be open only to past, present and future RI officers. Similarly, 95 per cent wanted financial irregularities by RI officers to be dealt with strictly; 81 per cent wanted the Troika Meeting (DG, DGE and DGN) with the RID to continue; 72 per cent said service should have ­primary focus in Rotary and 87 per cent felt demonetisation would not affect Rotary membership.

But guess the question that had a 98 per cent response — that the Rotary News Trust accounts should be published every year!

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