Now the residents of Aurangabad can appreciate the role of Rotary in making the world a better place with the inauguration of its founder Paul Harris’ bust at a prominent spot in the city. As part of its public image building exercise and to pay homage to Harris, his bust was unveiled by IPDG Suhas Vaidya at a simple ceremony due to Covid restrictions.
RID 3132 district secretary Ashok Toshniwal (2019–20) put forth the idea of installing the statue of Paul Harris with a short inscription in Marathi on the pedestal to inform the public about the origin of Rotary and its global activities over the decades. The then DG Suhas Vaidya liked the suggestion and agreed to part-fund this project. Toshniwal called a meeting of all eight club presidents in Aurangabad to explain about the project and expressed his willingness to donate space in his building complex located at a three-road junction.
RC Aurangabad Central agreed to implement the project and its then president Bharat Chopade formed a three-member committee for this purpose. The committee briefed ward member Surendra Kulkarni from the municipality on the project. “Kulkarni is well aware of Rotary’s work as we have joined hands with the municipality in doing several projects in the city. He liked the idea and extended his support to facilitate the installation of the statue,” said Vaidya.
The project work began on June 24 and was completed in quick time for Rotarians to inaugurate the Paul Harris statue through a simple ceremony on July 12. The bust was sculpted by Niranjan Madilgekar, son of late Rtn Subhash Madilgekar. Only 15 Rotarians including Vaidya, PDG Prafulla Mirajgaonkar, Kulkarni, AKS member Asasingh, Toshniwal, committee members and club presidents were present on the occasion due to lockdown restrictions.
“A brief information in Marathi about Rotary, its founder and the global work being done was put up on a granite stone below the bust for the people of Aurangabad to take note of our organisation,” said Vaidya.