Rotary, Tatas come together for mega projects

It is a perfect match between the two legacy organisations — Rotary in the field of community service for over 116 years and the Tatas, a 130-year-old corporate group — as they come together to execute grand projects across the RI’s seven focus areas of action throughout India over the next five years, said incoming RI president Shekhar Mehta, presiding over an MoU signing event between Rotary India Humanity Foundation (RIHF) and the Tata Trusts on a virtual platform.

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It will be a 50:50 partnership between Rotary and the Tatas to implement work across a wide spectrum of projects. While Rotary is targeting to achieve 10 per cent of GoI’s projects in water, sanitation and hygiene, among others, “we can strike a great synergy with Tata Trusts as they are also into construction of check dams, WASH facilities, rejuvenation of water bodies, setting up RWH units, providing toilets and tap water connections to rural houses, community toilets and PET bottle crushing units.” In some fronts, Tatas have bigger ambitions than Rotary as in the case of tap water connections. While Rotary is aiming to provide tap water to 1,000 villages, the Tatas are planning to cover 1,500 villages in the next five years, he said.

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Rotary is also into distribution of saplings (five crore distributed in 2020–21), and had done 25,000 heart surgeries so far. “In the next five years, we aim to do five million health camps, set up 50 eye banks and 3,000 dialysis machines. We are trying to send 1.25 lakh dropouts back to school, set up 12,000 Happy Schools and 24,000 libraries across the country.” Rotary clubs have it ready 14,000 shelter kits which will be rushed to disaster sites for rescue operations. “Joining hands with Tata Trusts will enable 1.75 lakh Rotarians in India led by their district governors to plan and do mega projects. RIHF will facilitate the clubs to partner with Tata Trusts in identifying and jointly executing projects,” Mehta said.

Joining hands with Tata Trusts will enable 1.75 lakh Rotarians in India led by their district governors to plan and do mega projects.
– Shekhar Mehta, RI President

Both Rotary and Tatas shared a common vision, value systems and worked for the larger well-being, said Srinath Narasimhan, CEO, Tata Trusts. “Like Rotary, we are also working in the areas of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, environment and betterment of rural livelihoods.” With a considerable overlap of interests and convergence of activities, “we are coming together to enhance the scale and impact of our projects across India.”

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Maiden joint project

In a presentation, AG Uday Pilani from RC Lake District Moinabad, RID 3150, said Bhupalpally district of Telangana will be the first district to have the Rotary-Tata projects over the next three years. “We have chosen 100 villages for taking up literacy, nutrition, WASH and livelihood projects. The target is to raise the average annual income of farmers from ₹40,000 to ₹1 lakh in the next three years,” he said. The budget for this large-scale transformation is ₹100 crore. “While Telangana government is giving us a subsidy amount, the balance will be shared between the two partners.”

Tata Trusts manager (partnerships) Swapnil Chauhan said, “a lot of engagements are under discussion such as augmenting the income of small, marginal farmers, scaling up of NCD and cancer-screening programmes and setting up artisan clusters.” RIHF chairman PRID Ashok Mahajan and Tata Trusts group CFO Mehrab Irani signed the MoU. RID Kamal Sanghvi, RIDEs A S Venkatesh and Dr Mahesh Kotbagi and PRIP Kalyan Banerjee welcomed this valuable partnership that aims to change the rural landscape of India.

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