A new chapter unfolded when Rotarians of District 3230 (Tamil Nadu) landed in Sri Lanka (District 3220) on a four-day mission from October 8 – 11, 2014. The 160-member group included Rotarians, spouses (Anns) and children (Annettes). They executed community service projects and vocational service programmes in various parts of Sri Lanka.
The trip was momentous for the Rotarians of both the Districts as it involved the historic signing of ‘Sister Club Agreements’ between 55 Rotary clubs of both Districts. The event, graced by RI Director P.T. Prabhakar, DG Nazar (District 3230) and DG Gowri Rajan (District 3220), took place in Wadduwa near Colombo, in the presence of 400 Rotarians, Anns and Annettes. The Rotarians are hopeful that this tie-up between clubs of the two Districts would enable more meaningful international service projects.
Another significant event was the installation of an ‘Annettes Club’ sponsored by RC Anuradhapura — the first of its kind in District 3220. The Annettes clubs of District 3230 kickstarted their international programme by handing over hearing aids to Tharidu Fernando, President of the newly formed Annettes Club of Anuradhapura, for distribution to the hearing-impaired children of Sri Lanka.
The guest-Rotarians also visited the vocational training centre supported by District 3230 at the war-ravaged Mullai Theevu in the Northern Province. This region was also badly battered by the 2004 Tsunami. The Rotarians were happy to see the youngsters undergoing various training programmes which would give them good employment opportunities.
On October 10, the Rotarians inaugurated the waiting hall of Base Hospital at Jaffna which was funded by District 3230. They then visited the war-torn town, Kilinochchi, to donate artificial limbs to the physically challenged, which is part of Project Dhanvantri, the massive healthcare project of District 3230 that has been executing community projects in Sri Lanka from 2011.
The heart-warming sojourn to Sri Lanka ended with an International Fellowship Nite which further strengthened the bonds between the Rotarians from these two districts and they vowed to work together with more commitment, said DG Nazar.