We are overwhelmed to see the incredible projects that you are doing. Every service project that we have visited so far reiterates the hope Rotary is giving communities through Rotarians like you. TRF is the engine that provides the energy to do good in the world. But the fuel to run the engine is you and your wonderful projects,” said RIPE Gordon McInally, during his visit to Chennai, where he inaugurated a series of projects. He was accompanied by his wife Heather.
A digital mammography machine was inaugurated by McInally at the Government Royapettah Hospital for cancer cure. It was a project of RC Madras T Nagar and PDG Abirami Ramanathan, having contributed ₹46 lakh, was its major contributor. Club president Meenakshi Periakaruppan is his daughter, and granddaughter, also named Meenakshi Periakaruppan, is the president of RAC Saveetha Medical College which is also a partner in this $57,000 global grant project. RC Makati Jose P Rizal, RID 3830, Philippines, is the international partner.
RI Director A S Venkatesh complimented the partnership of Rotary and Rotaract and thanked the Ramanathan family for their generosity. “It is important for Rotary to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all, irrespective of their economic or geographic divide,” he said.
RID 3232 has installed 146 dialysis machines last year. “This year we will be setting up 70 more machines across the city, in partnership with the Tanker Foundation, Wockhardt and Chennai Corporation. We will be supporting 40 people for organ transplant through a GG,” said DG N Nandakumar.
The incoming president soft launched a dialysis centre set up by RC Chennai Upscale in a PHC. The GG project is worth $112,632. Referring to the club president Nilesh Kumar Singh’s introduction of his club and its “humble” achievements, McInally said, “Never be shy to tell people about your achievements because it is only by doing so you inspire others to do more.”
He launched an app and website, rotarydialysis.com, developed by RC Madras Industrial City to identify Rotary dialysis centres that offer free services across Chennai. The website uses live location and gives information on where the facilities are located, distance and contact details.
RC Madras has constructed 66 toilets and handwash stations in two schools — the Saraswati Vidyalaya Primary and Higher Secondary Schools — in Karaikudi, 430km from Chennai. The schools with a combined strength of 2,200 pupils are in their centenary year. DGND and AKS member Vinod Saraogi, Mohan Raman and PDG J Sridhar had initiated the project which cost ₹52 lakh ($72,000). AKS member Vijayabharathi Rangarajan contributed $15,000 as Directed Gifts for the project. A mammogram facility installed by the club at a PHC in Devakottai, a rural pocket in TN, was also inaugurated virtually by McInally. “The facility is a boon in this region. Earlier women had to travel 200km to the nearest town, Madurai, for breast cancer screening. The travel costs about ₹800 ($10), which is way too high for the villagers,” said club president Jayashree Sridhar.
Picture by Jaishree