He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.

Kudos to all clubs and districts of our zones for the significant work they are doing and to all the Rotarians who smilingly carry on the work of service. They bring home the message that even in the midst of unprecedented challenges our work for and through Rotary goes on. We can’t change the world at one stroke; but we can make it a brighter place. As we approach the last quarter of the current Rotary year let us all focus on doing the best we can right here, right now.

Increasingly water is becoming a precious commodity. More and more of the world’s regions are facing water scarcity. Lack of safe water and basic sanitation lead to poor hygiene and diseases. Working to make our community a better place means starting with the basics. We start with water and sanitation. Clean water is something we take for granted but in our own neighbourhoods and in villages across India thousands of people lack access to clean, safe water. Women and young girls have to walk a few kilometres every day to meet their daily water needs. We cannot talk of literacy or positive health without water.

Sustainability is the key to working in water and sanitation projects. Meeting the basic needs is important but equally important is education and training to change people’s behaviour. Rotarians across our zones are doing tremendous work in WinS — building toilets, making handwash stations, training, providing hygiene education and ensuring proper sanitation facilities including menstrual hygiene management.

As we celebrate World Rotaract Week the focus has to be on making Rotaract stronger, effective and vibrant. For Rotaract to be strong the roots have to be strong, and the roots are in the clubs. Clubs become strong when a strong foundation is laid. A strong foundation will help Rotaract clubs to grow, become vibrant and thrive. Transparent constitutional documents, clear leadership roles, well-organised club meetings, a good member engagement strategy and harmonious working are the keys to ensure a Rotaract club’s success. The Rotary–Rotaract partnership can range from mentoring to leadership development, working together on service projects and other activities.

Our sages say, “In the measure one metes out to others, so is meted out to him.” In the course of our lives we face many situations when we are dependent on the kindness and generosity of others to make it through difficult times. The way we reach out to others when fortune is on our side will often determine how fate will treat us in our moment of need. Fortunate to be Rotarians who can lend a hand. Let us use the opportunity Rotary opens to us to Serve to Change Lives. Enjoy Rotary.

Dr Bharat Pandya,
RI Director, 2019-21

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