You have the collective power to effect bigger changes at the national level. If Rotary districts or clubs can come together they can make impactful projects that will benefit the entire nation. We must do 10 per cent of the government’s work in every field, as our networking ability is our power,” said RI President Shekhar Mehta, speaking at a felicitation meet hosted by RC Hospet, RID 3160. “If all of us around the world had not united for polio, we would not have come this far in our eradication effort. Today polio eradication and Rotary are synonymous,” he added.
Accompanied by RI Director Mahesh Kotbagi, he visited various service projects of the host club, the home club of DG V Thirupathi Naidu.
Complimenting the club members for the enthusiasm with which they were serving the community, Mehta said, “I always say grow more and do more. You have already shown that. You are growing more and doing more in terms of Foundation contribution, membership and service projects.” He inaugurated a haemophilia van and laid the foundation stone for a Rotary Blood Bank to be set up by the club. A dialysis centre, a school and a vocational training centre are some of the club’s longstanding projects.
The RI president presented charter certificates to six new Rotary clubs including an all-women’s club with 40 members, and a new-gen club with children of Rotarians as members. DG Naidu’s son Chaitanya is its charter president. He presented to Mehta his maiden contribution of $10,000 to TRF. Ten Rotarians, including Naidu’s daughter Soumya, became Major Donors at the event with their contribution of $10,000 each to TRF and there were many more Paul Harris Fellows, the youngest being Naidu’s grandson. Two Rotarians — DG Naidu and DGE Vommina Satish Babu — have committed to become AKS members. The district has performed well so far in membership in response to Mehta’s EOBO (Each One Bring One) call.
I have promised our prime minister that by 2025 we will make India totally literate. Until then, I will not sleep nor will I let you sleep.
— Shekhar Mehta, RI President
“Don’t think that your club is small; you are part of a great organisation. Your contribution matters. Remember 35,000 presidents are moving mountains around the world through Rotary. Take pride in the organisation,” he said.
Continuing on the lines of doing bigger projects, he highlighted the e-learning programme developed by RILM for the GoI. “Today crores of children are learning from our online course on the PM’s e-vidya channels. The lessons are played for half an hour every day. We helped the country change the system of learning for children. This is how we play a role in nation-building. I have promised our prime minister that by 2025 we will make India totally literate. Until then, I will not sleep nor will I let you sleep. I do not take these as projects and programmes; I consider them as the work for our country.”
Next on his agenda is to take care of nutrition for women. “During a discussion Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested Rotary to help with women’s nutrition. We are ready to launch a big and comprehensive programme soon. ”
Appreciating the club’s dialysis facility, RID Kotbagi said that it will help save thousands of lives. “I understand how much a healthcare institution will be valued in rural and semi-urban localities. Years ago, I lost my uncle for want of a ventilator at a hospital in Chikodi near Belgaum. He suffered a cardiac arrest and the hospital was not equipped to handle the emergency then. Now the town has developed well,” he recalled.
He thanked the zone leaders — Rotary coordinator Ravi Dhotre, Assistant RC Rajyalakshmi Vadlamani, RRFC Lakkaraju Satyanarain, DRFC Madhuprasad Kuruvadi and ARPIC Chinnapa Reddy, for the district’s overall achievements.
The district, in association with Vijayavani Publications, launched the Vidya Setu project through which 50,000 science and English guides worth ₹25 lakh will be distributed to rural students of Classes 10 and 12. A blood bank and an ICU ambulance are also in the pipeline, said Naidu, and added that the district plans to donate 2,500 computers to government-aided colleges with support from Cognizant Technologies, and another 15,000 computers for all other schools and colleges with the support of Infosys to facilitate digital literacy for students.
Rotaract Committee co-chair Ravi Vadlamani urged every Rotary club to sponsor two Rotaract clubs. “In Telangana we have signed an MoU with the government to promote Rotaract clubs in all colleges just like NCC and NSS,” he said. He congratulated DRR Sumantika for adding 15 new Rotaract clubs.
DGs Dr Omprakash B Motipawale (3132), K Prabhakar (3150) and M Rama Rao (3020) attended the event. RC Hospet president Rajesh gave the vote of thanks.