Rakshabandhan, or tying rakhi on the wrist of a brother, has always been a very sacred festival in India. Whether called Bhaubij or Sama Chakeva in other parts of the country, the sentiment behind this beautiful ceremony is the same — the sister ties a rakhi — a decorative string adorned with some colourful motif or the other — on the wrist of her brother as a symbol of her love and faith in him and he pledges that he will always protect her.
“While this was earlier a family affair which later expanded to including the families of close friends, the trend these days is for Rotarians to go to schools in tribal areas or hospitals where rakhi is tied on the wrists of students and patients respectively. Sometimes a group of volunteers visit jail inmates or old-age homes and enjoy a few hours of bliss with them, carrying sweets and gifts for them,” says Akshay Vakil, past president of Rotary Club of Bulsar, RID 3060.
Our BSF men were really happy that somebody had thought of this lovely way of saying ‘thank you’.
— Anish Shah, District Governor Elect
This time around, his club thought of a unique way of celebrating rakshabandhan; a group of around 100 people comprising Rotarians and their family members travelled nearly 600 km by bus and cars to celebrate the occasion with the BSF jawans who guard our borders with Pakistan in the desert of Kutch, Gujarat.
“With special permission and a lot of scrutiny, we were allowed to visit the border area where a lone or a couple of jawans are normally at their posts. The conditions out there are so hostile and harsh for them. We carried along with us sweets and gifts and the women in our group tied rakhi on the wrists of the jawans and the officers,” says DGE Anish Shah, a member of RC Bulsar, who accompanied the group, along with DG Pinky Patel. Both were accompanied by their family members.
The earlier evening a music and dance programme was arranged for the jawans, officers and their families. “The happiness on the faces of our BSF men had to be seen to be believed. As it is a border area with Pakistan, this is a highly restricted region and the men were really happy that somebody had thought of this lovely way of saying ‘thank you’,” he adds.
Thanking RC Bhuj for the support extended to their club for this project, Vakil added that the entertainment programme was held at the Town Hall in Bhuj and senior officers like the DIG (BSF), Collector Remya Mohan apart from the Kutch MP Vino Chavda participated. “At the end of the project we felt we had organised the right event to enhance the public image of Rotary,” he added.