Dear Rotarian friends of RC of ……
नमस्कार and Rotary Greetings.
I welcome you aboard the STAR year and am happy to Each year comes, bringing with it an eventful journey of each District led by its Governor. And each year passes by, leaving behind some unforgettable moments. We all strive each year to give our best to the society that cocooned and groomed us, and leave behind some exemplary work that we can be content with, and some unfinished work that needs to be continued for better results by our successive teams. Leaders come and go but Rotary remains — stronger in its roots, spirit, beliefs and humanitarian work throughout the world. Its wheel never stops. I am reminded of a very famous Hindi song which I am sure most of you would love:
आदमी मुसाफिर है, आता है जाता है …आते जाते रस्ते में यादें छोड़ जाता है। ….
(Man is a traveller, he comes and goes.. And while coming and going, on the way, he leaves memories behind…) And our RI theme this year, Making A Difference, relates very much to this feeling of leaving memories behind because, if we make a difference, we will leave behind cherished moments, smiling faces, content hearts, and an emotional drop of tear of happiness from each eye — a drop of tear that arises out of the sweat and toil of dedicated Rotarians. We all, my friends, are those dedicated Rotarians who will shed this emotional teardrop at the end of this Rotary Year because together, we will all make a difference. And knowing this exemplary, amazing and enthusiastic District for over 23 years now, I know we will all serve our society together, haathon mein haath, हाथों में हाथ, guiding and helping each other on the way.
And for that, I assure you that Dist CoreTeam हम हैं … न will always be at your beck and call. As I have been telling you at various functions since the past few months, do call any member of Team हम हैं … न whenever you have a query and the team member will try to provide a solution immediately. If they do not have the solution at that time, they will get back to you within 24 hours. And that is a promise. I say this because words are the biggest promise and guarantee we can give each other.
हम हैं … न has been putting the format for the year together right since March 2015 when it was formed. We have had three Presidents’ Meets –, परिचय, मुलाकात and हम तुम and a meeting of AGs and ATs – चौपाल. Our formal training at an informal gathering – Pre PETS that we called साथ-साथ took place in December 2016. सुस्वागतम was the programme when Vidyottama and I returned from the International Assembly and DTTS – संकल्प took shape in February 2017. उदय, our PETS and अध्ययन our DTA took place in March 2017.
As most of you are aware, we have begun the practice of गपशप (chit-chat), an informal meeting of Presidents, Assistant Governors and District Team with spouses (wherever possible). So successful are these गपशप sessions that I thought of escalating them to the level of the College of Governors too and am humbled with the spontaneous and positive response of the COGs. These sessions have helped us break the ice and bond with each other, They have brought us all closer. They are based on our age-old idea of गपशप – informal chats – that we have all grown up watching our parents, grandparents, neighbours, friends and colleagues indulge in. These are great models of connecting affectionately. And now I hear that First Lady Vidyottama is beginning the Gupshup sessions of the spouses of COGs, District Team, AGs, ATs and Presidents. This bonding, I am sure, will reflect in our projects as it will help us deliver better.
We are all a part of an am amazing organization that the world believes in and looks up to given its commitment to make the world a better place to live in. Our thrust areas Water Harvesting & Conservation, Renewable Energy, Vocational Skill Development and Organ Donation, and our special emphasis areas Generic Medicines, adoption of Railway Stations and Literacy will need our focus, commitment and zeal throughout the year and beyond. For literacy, all the DGs of India for 2017-18 have decided to have a Run for Literacy event on Sunday, the 25 th of February 2018 by all the Rotary Clubs throughout India. If the entire humankind is literate, most of the problems of the world will vanish. I look forward to your support in all these areas.
The success of Rotary International’s polio eradication program shows us that we indeed can make a difference to the world. Apart from literacy, peace and environment are two of the other areas that our R.I. President Ian Riseley is committed to. I am sure that with your support, we all will fulfil his wish of each Rotarian planting a tree to make our environment a more healthy place to live in. And our duty does not end with planting, as you all know. We have to make concerted efforts to see that all these plants survive and blossom. Rotary Peace Ambassadors too will be a program that will see renewed success this year as Rotary, a peace-loving organization with its vast network throughout the world, can play a bigger role in world peace through its initiatives.
I urge you all to invite more women and more youth in Rotary because their unique skills and perspectives will enrich our Rotary movement. You all must be aware that GSE (Group Study Exchange) program is back as GCE (Group Cultural Exchange, in a new format) program now. Do get more information from your district officers and make these awesome projects successful. I would also like to remind you that we have taken some new initiatives for the year 2017-18. We have begun having no-frills programs. That means, following the RI model, we will have no-frills programs, there will be no seating on the dais, no lighting of lamp, and no unwanted rituals. The programs will begin and end on time, irrespective of who is able to reach on time, the Chief Gust included. Time-management in all Rotary activities is of utmost importance and the programs should preferably end by 9 pm. The fellowship for all those who want can continue after that though. We have begun maximum transparency in financial transactions and have begun the process of reporting of the accounts of each Rotary program within month. Though each club is an autonomous body, we will be happy if you follow these initiatives. As we have been doing in all the programs so far, I request that my or Vidyottama’s photograph should not be used on the backdrop or banner or standee for ANY program. I am serious about this and I request you all to please follow that. At the end of the day, we have to promote Rotary, and only Rotary. We are, because Rotary is. Our Rotarianism comes from the organization and it is not the other way round.
I wish President ….. and family of RC of …… very Best for the year 2017-18.
Yours in Rotary