RI Director’s Message – The Quest

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Dalai Lama once said, “I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering….” Let me extend this for Rotarians to say that everyone wants happiness in the world they live in and would wish to contribute in every way to alleviate any pain, misery, deprivation or anguish their brethren suffer in the community. Our true purpose is a world of happiness. And that is our constant pursuit and motive — our Quest.

The million dollar question is how to achieve that. In my Rotary journey of 30 years, I have come across many ideals and examples — persons with exemplary leadership and service orientation, great projects that make a difference to many lives, clubs with splendid collective endeavours towards humanitarian causes, social initiatives that rally everyone towards a common objective and countless acts of personal philanthropy.

However, I learnt the ultimate lessons after the earthquake struck Gujarat, where I live, in 2001. It was sheer devastation — 30,000 lives lost, and sheer helplessness everywhere! The then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi, was proactive. He knew that this was a mammoth task that had to be inclusive, collaborative and synergistic, to make comprehensive and timely impact. The government quickly got into action and promoted the idea of PPP – Public Private Partnership. We in Rotary, Districts 3050 and 3060, took up the challenge and swung into action. We rebuilt 11 villages and 142 schools. This opened my eyes to the potential and possibilities of what can happen with missionary zeal, common cause, incessant action.

I feel true Rotarians possess three common facets and traits — Dare, Care and Share. My dear friends, just reflect on these three magic words that explain what it takes to become special. In fact, extraordinary.

– Dare to undertake what appears farfetched, and thus, impossible.

– Care for the underserved and underprivileged who deserve attention.

– Share what you have, or can muster up, with your resourcefulness.

By practising these three things, you elevate yourself to the ultimate Quest … to create Happiness. Please do remember that, what may appear small or inadequate to begin with, can grow and gain a momentum and scale that can make a huge difference over time.

Rotary has responded positively to the clarion call of our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, by accepting Project WinS and Literacy (10,000 toilet blocks in schools — especially for girl students and sending 100,000 children back to school).

Are these not some of the best examples of Dare, Care and Share by Rotary in India? Our world leader wants us to Be a Gift to the World. This surely is an appropriate gift we can give to our motherland.

I consider myself lucky that you have chosen me to lead our Zones 4, 5 & 6 A. A big thank you!

Let our “Actions speak louder than words.” Let our Quest show
the way.

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Manoj Desai
Director, Rotary International

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