The Covid pandemic has brought home to us two important facts; good health is vital, and that the virus affects people with co-morbidities differently. They are more likely to fall seriously ill, require hospitalisation, ICU treatment and ventilators. These co-morbidities are  diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, kidney failure, stroke — all NCDs. This brings into sharp focus the vital need to implement Project Positive Health-Stop NCD. I urge clubs and districts to take up this project for years to come. Focus on the Ek Chamach Kam, Char Kadam Aage campaign. The future of healthcare lies in preventive healthcare.

The onset of television predicted doom for books and magazines. Ditto for the Internet. But books and magazines are still influential. Can you curl up cosily with your computer and enjoy a good read?  The information super highway is paved with books and magazines. Rotary News and Rotary Samachar are special because they represent good news journalism. Today when news is often a cynical, shocking commodity that showcases conflict, corruption or controversy, Rotary News celebrates plenty of good there is in the world. It tells us about men and women who care and share, who think that the glass is half-full and who are mostly unsung and unrecognised heroes.  It tells the story of Rotary and Rotarians. Compliments to Editor Rasheeda Bhagat and her team for their hard work and dedication.

This  has been a landmark year in many ways. The Covid pandemic, the outstanding work done by districts and clubs, the continuing focus on membership, proactive and timely response of TRF in disbursing grants, the leadership provided by the Torchbearer Governors and their teams. Compliments to all DGs, districts and clubs for their tremendous work for Rotary.

June is Rotary Fellowship Month — time to refocus on the lifeline of Rotary — our friendship and fellowship. We have a special responsibility to keep our bonds of fellowship strong. I appeal to all leaders to celebrate good happenings, appreciate and thank Rotarians and recognise contributions. Use virtual meetings for all things you’d do in in-person meetings. It’s important to keep connected with our members to ensure their continued interest in Rotary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘There is no planet, sun or star which could hold you, if you but knew what you are.’  Know your strengths and work on them.  When faced with a challenge you discover hidden strengths which you never knew were there. I am certain that a stronger, vibrant, relevant Rotary will emerge from this Covid crisis. With new opportunities to meet and serve opening up, truly Rotary Connects the World.

Enjoy Rotary, enjoy yourself.

Dr Bharat Pandya,
RI Director, 2019-21

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