Clean beaches, clear blue water and no hawkers bothering us. I wish we could make India this beautiful,” says Abhishek Bandodkar, a Rotaractor from the Rotaract Club of Bombay Juhu Beach, D 3141, recalling his “fun, no-nonsense, affordable and memorable” six-day International RYLA at the Maldives. The IRYLA was co-hosted by RC Mulund, D 3141, and RC Male, D 3220, in association with 22 clubs from Districts 3142, 2982, 3000, 3080, 3190, 3211, 3231, 3240, 3250, 3261, State Bank of India, Mumbai and KRYFS Power Components Ltd.
From staying in the Hotel Champa Central, Male to The Paradise Island Resorts in North Male Atoll, “all the arrangements were done well. Being a hardcore vegetarian, I was worried about the food. But we got good veg food at both the hotels,” says Aishwarya Maheshwari Modi from Jodhpur. Convener and District 3141 RYLA Chair PP CA Deepak Lala says that he is grateful to the Rotarians and Rotaractors of RC Male, D 3220, for taking care of minute details and making all the 49 Rotaractors and 24 Rotarians from various parts of India, “feel at home, away from home.”
Between September 8–13, 2017, “I was in a world of my own,” says Deep Jyoti Das, a Rotaractor from the Rotaract Club of Rongali Guahati, D 3240. “A seaplane ride over the crystal-clear lagoons, sitting inside the Whale Submarine and witnessing the beauty of marine life, snorkelling in the sea… I sure have ticked a lot of boxes on my travel bucket list.” He also adds that all this was possible for him at such a young age because of Rotaract. “The initial reaction of my friends who saw the Maldives pictures on my Facebook page was ‘Wow’ and now my club has added five new members and five more are all set to join because they think Rotaract is so much fun,” adds Das.
“RYLA is an experience and everything a participant learns here in the form of travel or training sessions enhances their intrapersonal skills,” says Lala who had planned eight “interesting and progressive sessions to harness the leadership skills in them.” Talking about the sessions PDG (D 3141) Lata Subraidu, who conducted a session on team building, says, “Nothing changes with a single session. We just sow a seed of thinking and that grows with time helping them evolve as young leaders.”
Dr Rahul Joshi’s Music Clinic was one of the best sessions, according to Bandodkar. For Manisha who had no clue what Amygdala Hijack meant says, “It was mind blowing to know how this part of your brain that’s the size of a peanut can trick you.” Rtn Jhankar Gadkari of RC Deonar, D 3141, who chaired this session says, “Mindfulness is the only awareness technique that can help terminate a conflict — whether it’s at work or home. The purpose of the session was to create a balance between emotion and intellect and help them make more aware choices.” The Indian Ambassador to the Maldives Akhilesh Mishra chaired a session enumerating the economic and social relationship between India and the Maldives.
Other highlights were Dhivehi Bodu Beru — a Maldivian cultural show, Bollywood Nite, live music band and a talent show. All participants were given an IRYLA kit that included a sling bag, an umbrella, a T-shirt and a Maldivian souvenir.