Rotarians and Rotary clubs must scale-up their vision, dreams and project size and rather than just limiting themselves to doing community programmes, they have to look beyond to take up global projects as lead partners, said RIDN A S Venkatesh, speaking at the 25th charter nite celebration of RC Guindy, RID 3232 . “We need a change of mindset and think out-of-the-box to be relevant with the tremendous changes in technology and demographics. The weekly club meetings, networking and small, charitable activities may not be attractive for young professionals to join a club,” he pointed out.
Fatigue will set in if the weekly club meetings are not made interesting. “We must have a ‘strategic plan’, the current buzzword in Rotary, and one way forward is to scale up our work by looking for overseas projects. Surely, RC Guindy can take projects as lead partner in Bangladesh or Nepal and in the next 25 years, by 2045 one can look back and say ‘a job well-done’,” he explained. Instead of refurbishing classrooms, plan for constructing a school, and go for a new hospital, rather than holding regular medical camps, he advised the Rotarians.
Turning 25 is a time to rejoice and the club has delivered many notable projects with a good track record in implementation, especially its Kottivakkam Dental Centre and its engagement at the Hoina orphanage, he said. The RIDN recalled how when he turned 40, and didn’t know what was in store for him, “my wife Vinita brightened up my day with a a beautiful cake in the form of a bridge table to cheer me up. She told me: You are not getting old, but you are getting right.”
Shifting his focus on disaster relief, Venkatesh urged the club to take the lead in distributing shelter kits being provided by Rotary India to the victims of natural disasters. “Perhaps you can select 4–5 locations in South India to store the shelter kits which can reach the destinations without any delay after the disaster strikes,” he said. Venkatesh conferred RCG Rathna Award to T Stalin Gunasekaran, President, Makkal Sinthanai Peravai, for his service to society. The awardee is a motivational speaker, author and social activist and has received national and global honours for being a “progressive change-agent in society.”
The club contributed $12,000 for TRF at the Charter Nite, taking the total contributions to $20,000 so far as against a target of $50,000 for the year. The charter members were felicitated with a special collar and portrait sketch on the occasion.
Formed on Jan 10, 1995, RC Guindy had 40 charter members and A Ramanujam was the charter president. Most of them were alumni of the College of Engineering Guindy and had set up offices or factories at the Guindy Industrial Estate. Club President R Sivaraman briefed the gathering on some of their milestone projects — Mathur Government High School, a community hospital at Alathur village and a global grant project for medical facilities at the Sankara Netralaya Eye Hospital.
On an average the club is doing around 14 projects a year with a membership of around 100. It has sponsored four Rotaract and four Interact clubs. Foreign delegates, R Janarthana Naidu and his spouse M Mageswari Muthaiah from RC Alor Star, and Dr S Rajesh from RC Bandar Sungai Petani, both the clubs from Malaysia, RID 3300, were special invitees to the event. A commemorative postal stamp was released to mark the silver jubilee. DG G Chandramohan, DGE S Muthupalaniappan, PDGs I S A K Nazar and Natarajan Nagoji were felicitated by Club President Sivaraman.
Pictures by V Muthukumaran