Good thinking and good health are our two precious possessions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the fact that good health is our most precious possession. If health is good all else can follow. The pandemic has not only caused innumerable casualties and grief, but has sent economies on a downward spiral. But friends ‘this, too, shall pass.’ If we look at the positive side virtual meetings have become the new norm especially for Rotary clubs and districts. Sitting in our houses we are still connected socially. Of course ‘physical distancing’ is here to stay for a long time. I compliment the club and district leaders who are using the virtual platform for online meetings, remaining connected with Rotarians, for training events and fellowship too. This is the new normal.
Rotary clubs and districts in our Zones have done remarkable work to mitigate the effects and sufferings due to this pandemic. By supplying PPEs, masks, sanitiser, vital equipment including ventilators, food for the migrants and front-line COVID warriors and extending mental health counseling Rotarians have lived upto our motto ‘Service Above Self’. My compliments to all Rotarians, club and district leaders, the Torchbearer Governors for the remarkable work done. And special compliments and thanks to all the frontline COVID warriors — healthcare professionals, police, government and private essential services staff, sanitation workers and all those who continue to work despite personal and family risk to ensure minimal disruption in our daily lives. Hats off to each and every one of them!
The post-COVID world will not be and should not be the same as before. The way we behave, work, eat, travel, meet and interact with one another, and our service projects, will all be different. And this change will not be a one-time process, but an ongoing process. If we adapt to and adopt this change we will see a brighter future for our organisation. For the first time in Rotary’s history we will have a ‘virtual RI convention’ from June 20–26, 2020. It promises to be an epoch-making event.
May is Youth Service Month. Rotary has always had a focused approach to youth. We believe youth is like white paper, they take any impression we make on them. Today our youth — our Rotaractors — are an integral part of Rotary. I ask Rotary and Rotaract to identify and work on mutual areas of interest and focus on our priorities. Rotary clubs and districts must harness the talent of Rotaractors and lay a strong foundation for Rotaract and Rotaract clubs. This will ensure ‘a small step for one club, a step forward for Rotaract and a giant leap for Rotary’. That will be the perfect Rotary-Rotaract connection.
Dr Bharat Pandya,
RI Director, 2019-21