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RCC in Sector 52

Further to the meeting President G.S. Lakhmna and I had yesterday with the Finance Secretary, Mr. Sanjay Kumar, IAS, who has allocated a cluster of 100 houses in Sector 52, at the transit camp set up for the slum dwellers, who have been moved there from various slums in the city, we along with Chairman RCC visited the colony in the morning as well as in the evening.

There are numerous issues that need to be tackled at the Administration level but at our Club level we have decided to set up another RCC there to engage the residents in their own upliftment.

We shall require everyone’s inputs and more importantly, active participation to make this project a success and make a difference in the lives of the people there. We are meeting again on Wednesday, 23rd December at 5pm in Sector 52 colony, and shall request as many Rotarians who can join in to see the state of affairs.

Some of the issues that we have identified include :

a. Assisting small children to get into government schools
b. Encouraging teenagers who are working to get into afternoon schools
c. Provide warm clothings and chappals/shoes for children
d. Micro loan for those who want to set up their own business
e. Adult education for women
f. Vocational training centre for the women
g. Additional vocational training at RVTC in embroidery, tailoring, beautician course, computer course
h. Medical health check up
i. Cleaning up the area and inculcating self-hygiene
j. General awareness about self-hygiene, immunization, etc.
k. Books and stationery for those children willing to learn

We shall appreciate everyone’s participation, and suggestions. Please get in touch with Rtn. Hasan Mejie.

Another RCC planned

Thanks to the endeavours of Pres. G.S. Lakhmna, and Rtn. Hassan Mejie, RCC Chair of Rotary Club of Chandigarh, a preliminary meeting was held in Sector 38West with the residents of the slums rehabilitation colony built by Chandigarh Housing Board. With more than 2000 people resettled in this new housing complex built for the slum dwellers, the Rotary Club identified various challenges the new settlement faces. In order to make it self-sustaining, an RCC has been planned in this resettlement colony to work towards better sanitation, hygiene, upkeep of the parks, beautification, adult literacy, health, creche facilities etc, in which the RCC members would work together.
The preliminary meeting held today with the ladies and other residents, the agenda was set very clearly and hopefully next week another meeting will be held to start the process of empowering the residents for upgrading their lives.
All members are requested to join in with their suggestions to support the RCC. CJ

Vocational Seminar at Panipat

To read the report on the Vocational Service Seminar discussions held at Panipat, please click here. Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, and Member of Parliament was the chief guest along with many luminaries. PDG Kawal Bedi spoke at the inaugural session, and DGE Madhukar Malhotra was one of the panelists at the seminar, which was attended by Pres G.S. Lakhmna, Secy Prof Paramjit Singh, PP Praveen Goyal, and me.

Fight Against Polio

As our fight against polio continues, Rotarians are reminded to join in the Special National Immunisation Day, SNID, tomorrow, 6th December 2009 in their respective areas. The information in this regard was circulated by PP Praveen Chander Goyal earlier. Please get in touch with him with your activity plan.

A legend passes away

Our Club has become poorer today. One of the charter members of our Club and an affable father-figure, Past President Rtn. B.K. Mehan, passed away this morning.
We had breakfast together and later he enjoyed a cup of coffee sitting in the Sunday sun and went to bed thereafter when the attendant noticed that his head collapsed while in sleep. Arvind rushed him to the doctor, but unfortunately, he had already left for his Heavenly Abode.
We shall miss him. The Rotary world would miss him. He leaves behind the deep memories of his affection and friendship in everyone's heart. A great legacy of selfless service and contribution he made to the society through Rotary and Aurobindo Ashram. We feel poorer today in his absence. And we join the Mehan's family in their sorrow, and pray for peace of this noble departed soul.

Medical Camp at Colony No 5

Our Club and the RCC at Colony No 5 are making sure that the residents remain healthy and in case of any health problem, it should get identified immediately and attended to.
In order to provide health cover to all, especially the residents of colony, our Club and RCC are holding the third medical check up camp on Sunday, 29th November from 9am till 2pm.
The Doctors from our Club assisted by team from their respective clinics are conducting the medical checkup for gynae, pediatrics, skin, eyes, ENT, and general medical problems.
We shall be requiring extra hands at this camp, and hence, your presence anytime convenient to you for at least one hour would be of great help.
Please get in touch with Pres G.S. Lakhmna, or Rtn. Neena Singh or Rtn. Hassan Mejie, immediately, or report at the camp in Colony No.5 tomorrow morning.

Blood Donation

The most noblest of the act that anyone can do at any time... in fact every three months is to give blood.
On 25th and 26th, we saw two blood donation camps that Rtn Hassan Mejie conducted for the Club at Fatehgarh Saheb. The local administration was actively involved and the team of doctors from Rotary Blood Bank Society Blood Resource Centre, led by Col. Dr. R.S. Shah was there.
The Deputy Commissioner and other district functionaries were present on the first day. On the second day, Mr. Rajan Kashyap, Chairman of our Blood Resource Centre was the chief guest and even on the second day DC visited the place.
Our heartiest compliments to everyone who made these camps a success.

50 Units of Blood donated

Our Club had organised a blood donation camp in association with the Darshan Darvesh Foundation of Kohli family at Hotel Aroma today, and was supported by the management and students of Allied Institute of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts, Panchkula.

Fifty units of blood were collected in which the students of the Institute, staff and family of Hotel Aroma, and Rotarians participated.

Mr. Ram Niwas, IAS, Home Secretary, UT was the chief guest who commended the Kohli family and the Rotarians for their continued commitment to the cause. “Do a good act and you will sleep well with happiness in your heart,” he said. He called upon the Rotarians to join with the Chandigarh Administration and tackling various challenges of literacy, poverty, malnourishment, health, sanitation, environment, etc.

Mr. Man Mohan Singh Kohli, proprietor of Hotel Aroma said that the camp is an annual feature which is held to pay our tributes to our elders especially our late parents Sardar Darshan Singh and mother Amrita Darshan, and deceased elders.

Mr. D.K. Bansal, MLA from Panchkula also presided over the camp, and many other dignitaries including former mayors Mrs. Harjinder Kaur, Mr. Pardip Chhabra, Mrs. Saroop Krishan and other functionaries of the Blood Bank Society, attended the camp.

The camp was managed by the team of doctors and staff from Rotary Blood Bank Society Resource Centre led by Dr R.S. Shah.

RCC Colony No.5 in news

The good work that the Rotary Community Corps, set up by our Club in Colony No:5, is making a world of difference to the residents. When the adult literacy program, 'Roshni' was conceived and launched, we were not expecting more than 25 women. But there were nearly 100 women who wanted to learn the basic alphabets and counting.
The credit goes to Pres. G.S. Lakhmna, Director Community Service Neena Singh, and Chairman RCC Rtn Hasan Mejie, who brought it together and nurturing it with all their heart and soul.

Chandigarh Newsline of Indian Express has covered the story beautifully today. Just click here to read it.


How strong is Your Club?

I found a Rotarian generally passing a comment, "Our club is very weak", and that made me wonder as to what does it mean? Is it that a club is an exclusive responsibility of the leadership in a particular year? Or is it collective responsibility?
As I proded further, I found that all of us have the tendency to point a finger at someone else. We can pontificate and advice yet refuse to become a part of the solution.
Just ask yourself...what makes an organisation or a club? A club is not one person. It is the members or the people who constitute a club. If we label our club to be weak, what does it mean? We are weak. But just ask yourself: Are You Weak? No? Emphatic NO? If you are strong, committed, vibrant, and enthusiastic about the values that Rotary portrays, there is no way that any club can go weak.
Look within. You are the powerhouse and the driver as a valuable part of your club. Surely, you are strong enough to help the client to stay strong. So you will, so be it. CJ

New Members Orientation

All members who have joined in the last two years are requested to join in for the New Members Orientation Workshop being hosted by our Club.
The workshop registration is Rs 500 only and is being held at Rotary House, top floor, on Sunday, 8th November.
Please do register immediately.
Please report by 9:30am. The session shall start at 10am and conclude at about 3pm.

Great Family Day Out

With celebration of Dussehra in the air, all roads, for Rotarians, led to CGA lawns at 7:30pm, for the regular meeting over dinner. It was a Rotarians' family day out. The inviting green lawns presented a festive look as the Rotarians and their families walked down the cemented path...dressed in their bests...hi's and hugs, and energetic handshakes floated in abundance. A great reunion to connect with each other. And discovered new talent too including Ann Mona Dhiman, Mr P.P. Singh, Rtn Tejinder Kaur, to name just a few, that left everyone asking for more.
A great memorable evening. Congrats to Pres G.S.Lakhmana and his team.

We will miss Rtn Oberoi

I was travelling when I received the shocking SMS from Secy Rtn. Dr. Paramjit Singh about the loss of our dear friend Rtn. J.S. Oberoi. We will miss his broad smile, a strong shakehand, with his perennial greetings "Hor Bhape kee haal ne?". I reproduce here the obituary penned by Rtn. A P Singh :

The news of the sudden and sad demise of our fellow Rotarian J S Oberoi on 14th Septeber, 2009 came as a shock to all of us. He was hale and hearty and attended the Monday meeting not so long ago, hence the disbelief in the fact that he is no more amongst us. The rotary family has lost a wonderful Rotarian. Fellow members and friends remember him as an excellent Rotarian, always immaculately dressed, jovial, open minded, always smiling, an excellent host, a keen golfer, a successful businessman and a loving family man.

Rtn. J S Oberoi, lovingly addressed as Jaggi Bhapa by his friends, joined rotary in 1964 in Ambala. A Paul Harris Fellow, Rtn. Oberoi joined Rotary Club Chandigarh when he shifted to Chandigarh thereby continuing his relation with Rotary till the day he passed away. He was always associated with the Club’s projects and would invariably be the first one to raise his hand whenever any appeal for any contributions towards projects was made from the podium during meetings. I remember his last contribution towards the medicines for the mega medical camp held at Colony no. 5 about a month back.

He was born on 11th of December 1926,and after his formal education he got married to Raminder Ji,on 2nd of March 1951. She belonged to a very known family of Ambala city .He initiated his career as a transporter. He owned several oil tankers to transport oil of Indian Oil company from Ambala Depot to various destinations in Punjab and J&K. He also owned petrol pumps in Ambala and Chandigarh.

Rtn. Oberoi enjoyed life to the fullest, throwing parties and relishing good fellowship. A keen golfer, he had the distinction of having achieved a hole in one. Rtn. Oberoi is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

He did not accept any official position in Rotary but he was a true Rotarian as far as the concept of Service to others is concerned. Rtn KK Gupta fondly remembered him and shared important information about his life and family. Maj. B M Singh says he will miss a wonderful person, full of beans. Manmohan ji remembers how Rtn Oberoi will always address him as “Hi Handsome”. He would keep calling me “Secretary General” even though I had ceased to be the secretary of the Club. Standing at the cremation ground during the funeral of Rtn. J S Oberoi, everyone said one thing in chorus,”What a great human being…We will miss him deeply”. May God bless his soul.

The Rotarian on Google

Now check out past issues of The Rotarian are which are now available on Google Books. Flip back the pages of time to see what the magazine looked like in decades past.
Just click here. The Rotarian On Google

Why am I a Rotarian?

Our Club had an interesting panel discussion on "Why am I a Rotarian" in its regular meeting today. Rtn. Pres. H.S. Saggu from Rotary Chandigarh Central, along with PP Inderjit Singh, Rtn. H.S. Nanda and Rtn. Neeraj Punj attended. Rtn. PP B.L. Ramsisaria represented Rotary Chandigarh Midtown, while Rtn. PE Arvind Mahajan of Rotary Club Chandigarh was the third panelist.
The objective was to have a brain-storming session to raise certain key issues and make the Rotarians think about the importance of membership, bringing in new members, and initiate a self-analysis on the fundamental element that converts a member of the Rotary Club into a Rotarian.
The panelists as well as the audience shared their experiences how after joining Rotary they have understood and enjoyed the varied hues of their organisation. The key reasons expressed by the panelists for joining Rotary included, fellowship and networking opportunity, the opportunity to serve, or in order to be just a member of "elite" group.
Many admitted that initial months are mostly spent on observing and checking out other members, and it is only once one gets involved into the real project activities that one learns about its usefulness to oneself. It is other think, PP Rtn. Dr. P.S. Chari very aptly remarked, that some remain "ornamental members" who can be seen only in the club Roster, and others become Rotarians by attending the club meetings regularly.
Attending meetings religiously is, of course, the first step that helps one learn the first lesson of discipline, which opens up the gates to other opportunities through fellowship and service, panelists believed.
Number examples were cited where Rotarians enjoyed the friendship and prompt help that the Rotarians extended across the globe in other countries in an hour of need, which truly represents the internationality of Rotary and makes one feel a global citizen.
Discussing another very significant aspect of Rotary's impact on the lives of Rotarians, every one expressed the great learning experience they enjoyed being able to do good for the betterment of the society. Everyone had a human story to share that provided them utmost satisfaction and true joy and meaning of their lives.
The values of Rotary and the Four Way Test has indeed made the Rotarians to apply its principles in one's personal and professional lives felt another Rotarian which everyone endorsed.
"It grows on you gradually and depends primarily on an individual" said Rtn PE Arvind Mahajan. Rtn. Pres H.S. Saggu felt that "the experience of selfless giving is most satisfying that sustains you in Rotary." PP B.L. Ramsisaria said that a member becomes a Rotarian the moment he gets involved in the service of the community.
It was a truly thought provoking session with a great participation by every one who attended the meeting.

Why am I a Rotarian?

This is a question that perhaps we may not have asked ourselves so far. Have we? I think you have. Isn't it? Do you remember the day someone approached you and invited you to "join" Rotary? And then you "joined" and became "a member". It has been many years now for most of us. We lose count of the days and the months and the years. How many times do we attend regular meeting? And in how many projects of the club you were there and participated in it? What projects you are working with at the moment in the Club?
All of us have our own answers. And perhaps, many questions. I shall be grateful if you can come and open your heart on Monday, 24th August 2009 at our regular club meeting, which is dedicated to you, to seek answers to the question "Why am I a Rotarian?"
We shall together try to look into this aspect in the panel discussion, in which each one of you would be a panelist.
Do I have your yes? Thank you. Look forward to meeting you on Monday.

More Hands More Service

Any organisation exists, prospers, and serves effectively only because of its members. It is only members like you and me who are true ambassadors of our great organisation Rotary, its ideals of service, and its mission. Yet, as we move ahead, it is very essential to continue to strengthen our organisation by proposing new members, inducting them, and changing their lives too. Rotary values help us become better friends, ethical and honest professionals and business people, and better human beings who care for others.
To discuss these and many other issues, let us participate and express our views at the Membership Development Seminar on Sunday, 30th August at Kamal Palace, Industrial Area, Yamunanagar.
This half day event would discuss various aspects of membership development and retention.
The registration fee is Rs.550 (single) and Rs.1050 (couple) till 15th August. However, we shall accept the same fee till 17th August, Monday.
Please register with Pres G.S. Lakhmna or Secy Prof Paramjeet Singh immediately.

Kalyan Banerjee visits Chandigarh

It was a great day. On 13th August, the Rotarians in Chandigarh were privileged to meet with the nominee of the Rotary International nominating committee, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, who has been selected to lead the Rotary world for 2011-12.
Both Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee and Ann Binota were received at the airport by Past Rotary International President R.K. Saboo and Usha ji, District Governor Chetan Aggarwal, and later in the evening, a quick reception was organised in his honour at Hotel Taj, which was attended by most of the RI Officers of our District with their spouses, some of the Assistant Governors and District functionaries who could make it to the city at such a short notice.
Speaking on the occasion Past Rotary International President recalled his first meeting in Surat in December 1978 at the District Conference where he made an audio-visual presentation on the District activities. "He has grown taller in all those years, and has made India proud", he said.
"Kalyan has brought a special gift to all of us in India, as he would be touching the Rotarians around the world with Indian ethos and Indian culture," Rtn Saboo added.
Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, humbly expressed his gratitude to all the Rotarians of District 3080 for his first "unofficial reception" since, he said, he is the nominee of the Rotary International President's Nominating Committee at the moment.
"We are however going to start a new chapter in Rotary life by meeting you all, here in a city where heart of Rotary resides, and for Binota and I, it is a pilgrimage to the Mecca of Rotary," Kalyan Banerjee remarked.
"I am sure that we would not have reached thismilestone in Rotary without Raja and Usha, who had been so humble, and when the announcement came, Raja called up to thank me for the perfect birthday gift that he received from me, which perfectly demonstrate his greatness as a true leader."
"I will look at the future with guidance of all Rotarians to meet the challenges of tomorrow," he concluded.
As a token of their gratitude, Rtn Kalyan Banerjee and Ann Binota presented shawl each to Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo and Usha.
On behalf of the District senior RI Officer, PDG Lakshmi Sagar, presented a beautifully carved idol of Ganesha to the couple.
It was momentous occasion to share those beautiful evening with Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, whom District Governor Chetan Aggarwal described as a Savior, a dedicated humanitarian who is out to serve the humanity most befittingly, true to his name, "Kalyan".

Bhavan Vidyalaya Interact Club installed

The new team of young Interactors of Bhavan Vidyalaya, organised the Installation function on 6th August 2009.
President G.S. Lakhmana was the chief guest, who was accompanied by Past Rotary International President R.K. Saboo (who is also the chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan), District Governor Elect Madhukar Malhotra, Immediate Past President S.K. Duggal, Director Community Service Mahesh Gupta, Past President K.K. Gupta, Interact Chair Rtn Subhash Marriya, Past President Charanjit Singh, along with the School Principal Mrs Vinita Arora, and Vice Principal, Interact coordinator, and the school staff.
Outgoing President Apporva presented the report of their last year's activities and the newly installed President Intr. Rochak Singla, assured his club's participation in various service projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Past Rotary International President R.K. Saboo, said that the students participating in Interact become happy persons with good character and ethical qualities which are great asset for the lifetime for any individual.
He emphasised that each year new leadership comes and takes over the reins of the clubs with the promise to excel. Excellence, he emphasised, does not mean competing with others but, more importantly, competing with yourself. He advised the young Interactors to set up their own benchmarks for excellence and do not compare yourself with others.

Monday Meeting is very Special

This Monday is very special meeting day for all of us. As hosts of the District Intercity assigned to us by DG Chetan Aggarwal, to welcome Rotary International Director 2009-11, Rtn. K.R. Ravindran, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, it is our special obligation that we are there as perfect host to receive our guests from various Rotary Clubs of the District.
We assemble at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh at 4:00pm sharp to stand along our President Rtn. G.S. Lakhmana, and his team, and take charge of various responsibilities to make this function a success.
We need people to look after our guests, handle registration, hospitality, venue arrangements, and more than anything else, your presence.
Surely, we shall see each other on Monday.

RI Director's Visit

Let us greet and meet with RI Director K.R. Ravindran on 3rd August.

Our District is fortunate to have many opportunities to interact with and get inspired by various distinguished Rotary leaders and excellent speakers.

One such opportunity is right there…the visit of our current Rotary International Director 2009-11, Rtn. K.R. Ravindran, from Sri Lanka, who is visiting Chandigarh on 2-3 August 2009.

The Registration Fee for the evening hi-tea and intercity is Rs.150 (single) and Rs.250 (couple).

Kindly register immediately with President Rtn. G.S. Lakhmana or Secretary Rtn. Prof Paramjit Singh.

"You and I are created for goodness"

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says, ‘You and I are created for goodness’ during his keynote address Thursday, 18 June, at the Rotary World Peace Symposium as a part of the RI Birmingham Convention.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said Rotary's dedication to peace in the world makes God smile.
He said how he envisions God looking down on His creation and crying when He sees all the bad things His children are doing to each other. But, Tutu said, then God looks again and sees Rotary. Rotary's dedication to peace in the world makes God smile.
More on RI Convention Update

Arnab Goswami, chief editor of India's English-news network Times Now, which broadcast three days of live coverage of the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, used the incident as a case history of how media coverage shapes government response. Goswami said that in India and Pakistan, pressure from the media influenced how both countries' governments handled the crisis.
Goswami advocated a global perspective for the decision makers in the media. "The attacks weren't just an Indian story. When we look at conflict, we often look at it as someone else's conflict," he said.

Past RI President Rajendra K. Saboo encouraged attendees to forge stronger ties with the media to help get the good news out about Rotary's contributions. In addition, he suggested that media professionals apply to the certificate program at Chulalongkorn University, home to one of the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution. The program has already trained five journalists and several other professionals who regularly work with the media in peace and conflict resolution.

Accountability and telling it like it is are critical components of building peace, said Jan Egeland, director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Egeland was the UN secretary-general's special adviser for conflict prevention and resolution from 2006 to 2008.

International Dolls Museum

Those of us who might have forgotten, the International Dolls Museum in Sector 23, Chandigarh, has been refurbished and is now ready for reopening.
The museum was the brain child of past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, who started collecting the dolls from various countries in 1983, and he would request every Rotarian travelling abroad to bring along a doll from that country.
Gradually he worked on that and collected over 100 such dolls, for which meticulously, the captions and historical background was put together with each doll.
He also spoke with the Rotarians in Ebingen, Germany, who gifted a beautiful working model of electrical toy trains and on its arrival, in 1985, our Club handed over the dolls and the train to the Chandigarh Administration, who housed it in the Sector 23 Bal Bhavan.
With the efforts of Mr. V.N. Singh, the nodal officer of the Le Corbusier Centre has worked on this dolls museum for past several months to give it a new look.
Rotarians must visit the museum and may be add to the collection by bringing in more dolls from different parts of the world where they travel

Indian Electorate and its Expectations

This would be the subject of discussions in our next Club meeting on 15th June 2009. One of the senior journalists, Mr. Sarabjit Pandher, a special correspondent with The Hindu and President of the Chandigarh Press Club would be speaking on the subject. Please join in the discussions.

Our Club's eGroup

Our proactive Rotarian friend, Rtn. Mahesh Kumar Gupta, has started an e-group to keep each one of us updated. You can subscribe to it, and even my blog entries too will be shared with all you friends. Enjoy Rotary!

Power of Belief

Neena Verma, chief guest on our Monday meeting, is a practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming and her lecture on 'Power of Belief' is a must for the entire family. Please join with your children and spouse.

And check out your club bulletin #49 on our e-group.

Club Responds to Save 17 Year Old

Today's Indian Express' Chandigarh Newsline carried a story on the front page about a 17 year old Nepalese girl, Moti Kala, who was trying to collect money for her heart surgery. Suffering from congenital rheumatic heart disease, Moti Kala was running from pillar to post.
Responding to the story, our Heartline Project Chairman Rtn. PP Kewal Seth got in touch with her and got her admitted to the Fortis Hospital immediately so that she can be taken care of immediately.
What a prompt response. As you are aware that Rotary Heartline project is the saviour of children suffering from congenital cardiac disease belonging to economically challenged section of our society. And our Club has made a commitment to save the lives of such children. Since the project started in 1999, the Club has been able to save over 267 lives so far. And the credit for this goes to each and every Rotarian who has been contributing to this project and supported every time, notwithstanding the contribution of many other partners like CATS who continue to voluntarily collect blood to supprt the Heartline project.
Our special thanks to everyone who supports the lives of these little children. Please continue to support us.

Astrology in Marriage

Shri Madan Gupta Sapattu is one of the well known astrologer, who would be the chief guest in our club and speak about the role of astrology in marriage. So let us have a peep into the science of stars and how it impacts our lives.

Our Ambassador of Goodwill is back

GSE Team leader from our District 3080, Rtn. PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli has returned from USA after successfully leading the group of four other young members of his ambassadorial team. We welcome him back home and look forward to hearing more about his enriching experience.

No Ragging Please!

Our Club organised a debate on ragging, "How safe is your child?" this Monday. The chief guest was Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta of Panjab and Haryana High Court, a former Rotarian of our Club who was accompanied by his gracious wife, Mrs. Alka Gupta.  Other penalists included former Principal of DAV College Rtn. Subhash Marriya, leading High Court lawyer Rtn Deepak Sibal, and representing the parent's concern was another leading gynaecologist of our city, Rtn Dr Mangla Dogra. 
The meeting was conceived by the Program Chair Rtn PP Man Mohan Singh and Rtn. A.P. Singh, while yours truly moderated the discussions.
Rotaractors of our Club set the ball rolling with two students providing their perspective on ragging, which they deemed it as a necessary ice-breaker. 
Another surprise finds were Rtn DGN Madhukar Malhotra and visiting Rtn. PP Ajit Gulati, who turned out to be alumni of same engineering college. Rtn Gulati recalled being ragged in the room of Rtn Malhotra, while the later said that it used to be a clean fun which led to life-time of friendships with their seniors and juniors. 
Rtn. Subhash Marriya, referring to the recent death of a student in Himachal Pradesh, said that the onus squarely lies on the college administration to ensure that ragging does not happen. He informed that in his college he introduced the system of friendly interaction and a welcome party was organised to greet the freshers. 
Rtn. Dr. Mangla Dogra however felt that the ragging in professional institutions is predominant and majority of the time no one talks about it. "My son was ragged in her medical college in Himachal Pradesh, and it appears, that it is more of a psychological issue and the people coming from the rural backgrounds want to take it out on the city lads because of complex."  She said that the victims of ragging invariably become the perpetrators next year to take revenge for their humiliation. 
Rtn. Deepak Sibal informed that ragging leading to death has been termed as homicide and strict laws are being implemented with Supreme Court's clear verdict to hold the institutions responsible for the act.  He informed that though the Supreme Court had issued mandate against ragging as far back as 2001 but implementation had been lax and now many of the states are putting the law in place. 
Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta wrapping up the discussions remarked that it is not a legal issue but a veritable social problem which need to be dealt with at various levels with the involvement of the parents, teachers, educational institutions, and the society together. "It is shameful that despite living in a so-called civilised society we continue to have such heinous practices", he remarked.
Mr Justice Gupta lamented that till now everyone wanted to put these incidents under the carpet since no one wanted to be seen in the bad light. 
Police as a deterrent should be resorted to at a last resort, he emphasised, and the police force should be brought in only if all other fails. 
The need, he said, was the inculcate human values amongst the children right from the childhood, so that societal mindset can be changed against this malice. 
The panel discussion generated great interest with a very active participation from the audience, which was rounded up beautifully by a short nazm that our own poet, Rtn. S.D. Sharda penned it on the spot and recited it. 
What next? The question was posed to the Rotaractors who said that they would sensitise the youngsters in their educational institutions against this practice.  
Rtn. Man Mohan Singh and Rtn. Neena Singh suggested constitution of an independent monitoring body having respected citizens on board to check this practice in the educational instutitons, besides putting up counselling facilities. 

NID Visit Video

The group of volunteers from various countries who were with us in January for the NID returned home and have numerous pleasant memories to share with everyone back home.  Many of us had the opportunity to host them in our homes; many of us moved around with them immunising little children against polio.  Here's a video to refresh your memories of this visit. Just click here and enjoy. 

How Safe is Your Child!

An open debate on ragging requires you in the Rotary House coming Monday. Open your hearts, and interact with some of the people who had been in the thick of ragging issues.  But each one of us as a Parent is concerned. Even if your children have grown up and married, YOU have equal responsibilities as grand-ones to have a say on this issue and get our society rid of this malice. 

And those of us who are the teachers, and heads of educational institutions, have double responsibility since the parents put their little ones in the care of their teachers for most hours of the day. 

In whatever little time we have for the meeting, let us be there, to raise our voice, and make the tri-city area, or for that matter all that area within our influence, "Ragging Free".  Can we do something about this?

Show us the way.  Thrash the issue out with the panelists, Rtn. Subhash Marriya, former principal of DAV College, Chandigarh, Rtn Deepak Sibal, a leading lawyer at Punjab and Haryana High Court;  Dr. Mangla Dogra, a parent; and our view own Rotaractors who are perhaps been through this rut too. 

And to sum it up all we have the leading judicial mind and our former Rotarian, Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta, Hon'ble Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

Let's be there.

Blood Donation Camp

Rtn. PP K.K. Gupta and his family organised a blood donation camp yesterday at their factory in which employees of his factory participated enthusiastically. His son Vinay was amongst the first to donate blood.  Rtn. Pres Dr S.K. Duggal, Rtn PP J.B. Bhasin, Inner Wheel President Kanchan Bhasin, Rtn PP Anil Khanna, Ann Usha Gupta, and members of their family, and I were present at the camp. 
Rtn. Gupta has always been supportive of every good cause, and his dedication to Rotary ideals is exemplary. 
In all 73 units of blood were collected in which the team of our Rotary & Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, led by Dr. R.S. Shah, conducted the camp.

Slumdog Millionnaire

David Denby, the movie critic of New Yorker dismisses Slumdog as “fairy tale for adults” and states:  “What I will remember of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a disorderly exploitation of disorder, a kind of visual salad of glowing rotten fruit, constantly tossed. I object to the way that the director, Danny Boyle, orchestrates Jamal’s life.  Boyle has created what looks like a jumpy, hyper-edited commercial for poverty—he uses the squalor and violence touristically, as an aspect of the fabulous.”

The editor of La Lassurophobe on the other hand says, “Boyle has captured the rich tapestry of Indian life, expressed how a country so mired in such extreme poverty can manage to triumph as one of the world’s great democracies nonetheless.  The Bollywood dance number that finishes the picture shows there heroic people thumbing their nose at tragedy and daring to be happy despite their circumstances.  Rather than turning into bleak, morose devils yearning to bring forth a dictator like Stalin, the people of India choose hope and defiance.”

Bravo we say to Slumdog Millionaire; it winning 8 Oscars would be a minor victory for those who struggle for democracy throughout the world.

Dear members, what do you think the movie means for India and its image? Would you like to discuss this issue with the much accomplished Ms. Neelam Man Singh who has established her forte all over the world through theatre and who has studied other societies while treating the audiences the world over to some excellent plays directed by her.

Ms. Neelam Man Singh will be our chief guest this Monday, 2nd March 2009 and talk to us on the current debate of what Slundog Millionaire means to India and the world.


Join CATS for Blood

Blood - one component in your body that you recover within 24 hours and in just 5 minutes, you would have perhaps saved three lives. 

Voluntary blood donation is the most noble act that one can perform every three months without fail...year after year. And we have people like our selfless CATS, a self-motivated group of CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs, who besides being adventurous never go back to their promise to the world they live in.  And religiously, every third month, they are bringing their families and friends to donate blood and help our Club, meet the need for blood by the children who are operated free for congenital cardiac disease under Rotary Heartline Project. 

On 27th February once again, the 5th time, the members of CATS - Chandigarh Adventures, Treks & Sports, are getting together from 9:00am till 5pm at Rotary & Blood Bank Society Resource Centre in Sector 37, to contribute to this cause...selflessly.  Let's join to cheer them up, and bring our own staff to be a part of the drive. 

Polio: Every Rotarian's Commitment to Every Child

As a Rotarian we have a commitment. A commitment that we made to the children of the world, and the generation to come, that we will rid this earth of Polio.  Most of the world is already free...thanks to the concerted effort that the Rotarians have put together. Our country, unfortunately, remains one of the four countries in the world, which have yet to kick it out and protect our children. 

It is time for each one of us...for every Rotarian...for every member in a Rotary family, to rise once again and let not the efforts of 20 years of hard work go waste. 

We are almost there. We can do it.  Being a Rotarian it is a great responsibility that we had taken upon ourselves and we just cannot step back and hope that someone would be out there on Sunday morning to administer the drop anyway.  Who someone? It is only YOU who can make the difference, and no one else. If YOU get out of your bed on Sunday morning, say your prayers, express your gratitude to the God for blessing you with all His bounties and good health, and dress up to be there in the morning with the firm belief that YOU would check it out every where and anywhere, whether a child under five, has taken the polio drop. If not, YOU will have complete the task. 

Count the number of children you have touched today and administered polio drops. Count the number of children you have checked whether his finger had the permanent mark assuring that the child has been protected.  And even if you are able to do it even for one child...it will make a tremendous amount of difference to the lives of the children. Because we hope that on Sunday, YOU will not be alone.  There are Rotarians from USA, Canada, Cayman Island, Jamaica, and Australia, who have flown in just for two days to be a part of this world-wide movement, to join you, and reach out to the maximum number of children who are at risk. 

Let's be there. YOU will be there I'm sure. Because YOU are a Rotarian...who stands by the word. 

RI Theme and Role of Rotarians

The 2009-10 RI theme acknowledges the important role individual Rotary clubs will play in shaping the future of Rotary.

RI President-elect John Kenny unveiled the theme, The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands, on Monday during the opening plenary session of the International Assembly , an annual training event in San Diego, California, USA, for incoming district governors.

"The future of Rotary will not be shaped at RI headquarters -- it will be shaped in each and every Rotary club," Kenny said, "because it is for each of us -- as Rotarians -- to do what is necessary to keep Rotary strong."

Kenny acknowledged the foundation established by past Rotary leaders and laid the responsibility for building upon that success on every Rotarian.

"Each one of us is standing on the shoulders of generations of Rotarians past, and it is our responsibility to determine Rotary’s future," Kenny said.

"Everything begins and ends with our clubs," he said. "Our clubs can and do work together; they work through their own districts, in cooperation with other clubs and districts, and with the support of our Foundation.

"But at the end of the day, everything that we accomplish is done through the strength of our clubs. And so each club must have autonomy to serve where and how it can serve best."

At the same time, Kenny highlighted the importance of the RI Strategic Plan , adopted by the RI Board of Directors, as an essential tool in providing continuity. 

"The plan is designed to strengthen and proclaim the core values of Rotary: service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership," Kenny said. The training sessions for incoming governors during the weeklong assembly are all tied to some component of the strategic plan, and a final group discussion on Saturday will seek to tie all the pieces together and show the future district leaders how to take the strategic plan to the club level.

Kenny concluded his remarks by sharing a favorite saying from his homeland, Scotland: "We must look beyond our own parish pump."

"It means that we must look beyond our own home and our own community," Kenny said. "We must look beyond our own needs, and we must be aware that ours is only one community, of one country, of the many communities and countries in this world."

PRIP Raja Saboo bereaved

The elder sister of Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, Smt. Savitri Mohunta, passed away at her Panchkula residence today. The cremation will take place in Sector 25 Cremation Ground, Chandigarh, tomorrow, i.e. 20th January at 2pm.

Rotary Theme 2009-10

The incoming world leader of Rotary International, John Kenny, has announced
the next Rotary year’s theme (2009-10) at the International Assembly: “The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands”
Indeed.  Considering the challenges that our world faces today on various fronts including population, health, hunger, literacy, climate changes, which would have far-reaching repercussions on our planet Earth, the time to bring about the positive change is now.  
You, who are going to be the leaders of your club next year, will have to start planning for all those good things that you would like to leave for your children as a legacy for their future.  Dream now, so that the Future of the next generation is secure. 

Bon Voyage on 11th January

This Sunday on 11th January, our Club - the home club of DGN Madhukar Malhotra - is hosting the Bon Voyage.  
As hosts, every Rotarian with spouses are requested to join in this special occasion at 11am at CGA Golf Range, to give a warm send off to our incoming district leader, DGE Chetan Aggarwal and his gracious wife Neelam, as they leave for International Assembly in USA the very next day. 
The Bon Voyage would be followed by lunch in the salubrious and hopefully, sunny Sunday afternoon. 
Look forward to having you all there!