As against the target of 4,000 new members in a month-long Paul Harris Challenge from Jan 23, the 40 RI districts in zones 4,5,6 and 7 inducted 6,087 new Rotarians and formed 79 new clubs. “What better gift can we have on the 116th birthday of Rotary than what has been achieved by our district governors, district membership chairs, Rotary coordinators, ARCs and the club presidents, the real heroes, with this remarkable growth in membership across our zones,” said RIPE Shekhar Mehta. “This is just a trailer for our trailblazer governors to set more milestones from
Mehta was addressing a galaxy of Rotary leaders from across India zones to commemorate the record membership growth achieved by the districts in all the four zones. “All the four RCs along with the ARCs and DGs have surprised us with their performance in the last one month. Their show is confident enough that the slogan Each one bring one will surely be a success for 70 per cent of new members is through internal growth, while the rest 30 per cent is from Grow Rotary initiatives (forming new clubs),” he said. Out of 40 districts, 28 have crossed the benchmark of adding at least 100 new members. At the same time, DGs must take efforts to retain members by starting hybrid clubs which have a mix of virtual and physical meetings, he said. “The incoming governors have to build on this membership spike if Rotary has to achieve 1.3 million membership.”
Making a special mention of the ‘outstanding leadership this part of the Rotary world has seen’, Mehta said RIDs Bharat Pandya and Kamal Sanghvi are two different personalities “who complement each other” in their working style and he will be happy to work with a similar pair in incoming directors A S Venkatesh and Mahesh Kotbagi. Pandya and Sanghvi as RI Board members have contributed immensely to the organisation, he said.
While Sanghvi will become RI chair for membership growth from next Rotary year, Pandya is nominated as member of the RI Board’s Strategic Planning Committee, informed Mehta.
This is just a trailer for our trailblazer governors to set more milestones from July 2021. They must build on this membership spike if Rotary has to achieve 1.3 million membership.
— Shekhar Mehta, RI President Elect
PDG Ravi Vadlamani will head a Rotaract Committee which has its work cut-out in the coming years. To a query from PDG Shab Elawar from RC Las Vegas, RID 5300, US, during the Q&A session, on the role he envisages for the virtual world in the coming years, especially in knitting Rotarians and Rotaractors, Mehta said, “if I were a punter, then I will bet on hybrid and virtual clubs. We should have a mix of physical and virtual meetings. We have to stay engaged through virtual sessions which will help us to retain members.”
Pandya said, “A new chapter is being written in our zones which will drive our fellowship and service.” Chairing the event, Sanghvi pointed out the need for more clubs with fresh ideas and service capacity to ensure the future of Rotary. RIDEs Kotbagi and Ventakesh congratulated the DGs for their feat. RCs Gurjeet Sekhon (zone-4), R Theenachandran (zone-5), Pradeep Mukherjee (zone-6) and Vinaykumar Raikar (zone-7) announced the winners from their zones. Around 650 delegates including PRIPs Kalyan Banerjee, Rajendra Saboo and Trustee Gulam Vahanvaty were present at the event.