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It was a nine days of life-changing experience to be a part of the India-Nigeria Rotary Polio Surgeries Mission in Abuja. 

Having returned home yesterday, the team was agog yet humbled for having transformed the lives of 353 patients by conducting 780 surgical procedures. 

The amount of work that the team of our doctors put in, may have come in a surprise for the local doctors and nurses, but they stood by us and actively involved themselves, in making this mission a success.

From our District 3080, we had the Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo who conceived this unique medicare mission dedicated to polio corrective surgeries, orthpedician Dr. J.P. Nawani from Dehradun, a young dynamic anesthesiologist Dr. Sunil Mehta from Panipat, Dr. S.K. Sablok from Nahan and myself as volunteers. 

There had been many moving moments when little children with multiple deformities were wheeled in by the nursing staff.  Many sat silently wondering what next?  

Many little ones did not even whimper when drip needle was inserted into their veins, yet a few wept having been away from their parents.  And here was a little girl who would not let go of Raja Saboo and clinged on to him firmly 

Besides the local media supports, Rotary International has provided extensive coverage. Here are links to some of the reports that have appeared on the Rotary websites, for your ready reference.  

Why Give?

This must have been an enriching interactive session where Rotarians shared their thoughts on the 'Joy of Giving' this Monday.   Having yesterday shared Rtn Arvind Mehan's thoughts on the subject, another of our Rotarian friend, Dinesh Kumar, has shared the pointers to his talk. 

Dinesh says that giving alms to beggars is something like an automated activity when we just toss a coin to a beggar without much thought.  One needs to look beyond and search for those in genuine need in whose life we can make a difference.  For example, Dinesh says, that at times we use to give Barbie Dolls and Teddy Bears in an orphanage, but once we visited there, the inmates needed cold cream and woolen socks.  This we had never thought of earlier, he adds.
Giving is not about giving money or goods, since most of the time, it is giving of your time is more meaningful and needed than any material good, he says.  But, to conclude, the best one can do is to give from the heart, by fulfilling a real need...something that will have a lasting impact.

We also reproduce below the speech from Ms Supreet Dhiman, sister of our Rtn. AP Singh Dhiman, and who, though not formally a Rotarian, is engaged in so much of humanitarian work that we commend her for her leadership, care and concern that she has for the people around her.  Her contribution to collection of blood every three months for the Rotary Heartline project is one commendable example.  

Lead the Way when it comes to Giving.
Supreet Dhiman

They say that at times the best thing one can give is an opportunity. So allow me to thank you Mr President for inviting me here this evening, a place which is home to me, a dais I treat with respect. As we have heard two perspectives already about the joy of giving, I would like to share my thoughts with you from a personal experience. I can’t imagine the joy Bill and Melinda Gates might have experienced when they gave billions to eradicate polio as I have trouble in scribbling the number of zeros that sum represents. However, I can connect much easily with the satisfaction felt by all who participated in every pulse polio drive held by our club or held events to raise funds for the same. My experience is much more localised.

Today, when I am supposed to share my thoughts with you on Giving, I would like to begin from the other end of the thread, ‘why don’t we give?’ Giving should come very easily in a country which is ruled by the ‘soon to be rich’ and lived in by the poorest of the poor.

The sight of the grimy bodies in tattered clothes approaching us at a traffic signal makes us squirm. We are glad for the glass between us and them, as they press their filthy noses against it, trying to catch a glimpse of our comfortable world inside — sleek cell phones, laptops, wallet, and perhaps food. Impatiently, we wait for the traffic to move as they tap incessantly on the glass. Sometimes, we toss a few coins towards them. Our conscience at ease, we move on. That’s our giving done.

Drop the coin and move on, this is our general attitude towards giving. This is how most of us would like to do something by way of charity. It has no before and after, no emotional dilemmas. The notion that giving to beggars is wrong, that begging scams abound, allows a huge population of educated Indians to sleep easy. We can walk past the countless outstretched palms on the street and into our thousand rupee buffet lunches without a pang of guilt. A horde of beggars asking for burgers and pizzas in Khan Market ofcourse does not help, just as seeing the same set of beggars exchanging their tuppence and soiled tenners at the counter of the shop nearest to the traffic lights they have been begging at through the day, for crisp notes of 100’s and 500’s.

However, is this enough evidence for us to ignore the millions who go hungry, live without a means to earn a livelihood, fight diseases without comfort of medical care are too far removed from our comfortable lives. We live in denial of that world. That which we cannot see, does not exist.

Not long ago I was in Delhi to collect some official documents at an appointed time and the time lag between the arrival of Shatabdi in Delhi and my appointment was barely comfortable. On the way from the train station, we were approached by a stream of beggars tapping on the windows which we kept ignoring. Traffic lights after traffic lights, the scenario remained the same, till we reached the last set.

(Courtesy: Rilla Jaggia's blog)
There was this young boy wearing clean shirt and half pants, gingerly walked towards our cab. He was not asking for money or burgers but was clutching onto a dozen pens in his hand which he gently brought upto the cab window. Something made me roll down the glass and I asked him if he ever went to school? He said till Class 3. When I asked him why was he not in the school that day, at first he went white but then with downcast eyes he said softly, ‘because my papa can’t afford to send me to school anymore and needs me to sell these pens so that we can buy medicines for my dadi.’ As my heart went out for this obedient little boy who obviously missed being in school, I empathise and commend the father who opted to teach his son the craft of selling rather than the trade of begging. I bought all the pens he was clutching and then used the same pen to write down my telephone number on a piece of paper before the light turned green. I am still waiting for a call. Even now I wonder if my appointment was more important than perhaps talking to him a little more and open a window of opportunity to speak with his father. I could have done more. I could have given him my time!

If we look around and want to see, we will notice an odd emaciated man licking leftovers from discarded meals at the garbage dump; the little girl turned out of school for not wearing shoes; the poor patient’s family agonising over the decision to sell their last piece of land to pay for the medical treatment. In a world so riddled with greed and corruption, where every man seems to be out to get another, it is not easy to trust.

Deceipt happens, but does that mean we stop giving? Rumi, the mystic-poet, narrated this incident of a man who, walking past a beggar, asked, “Why, God, do you not do something for these people?” God replied, “I did do something. I made you.”

Perhaps we don’t give because in the fear the unknown future may hold for us, we forget to appreciate life we have today? A vicar friend of mine in England shared a story with me years ago. He said, ‘A man and woman who gave a sizeable contribution to the church to honor the memory of their son who lost his life in the war. After the announcement was made of the generous donation, another church-goer woman approached me, "Can I give the same amount for our boy!" Her husband immediately said, "What are you talking about? Our son wasn't killed." "That's just the point," she said. "Let's give it as an expression of our gratitude to God for sparing his life!" Giving is a celebration of life itself and no celebration can take place without inner joy.

There’s another example of a devout Christian family having donated a sizeable sum of their fortune to help establish Baylor University in the US in the 19th century. As luck would have it, soon after they lost their riches and someone asked them, ‘Do you regret having donated such a large sum to the university? That money would have surely helped you today?’ He promptly responded, ‘No regrets in the least for had I held on to that money, I would have lost that too in my current misfortune!’ It’s the perspective that matters in the end.

How much do we really need to horde?
Sai itna deejiye, jitna kutumb samaaye....
Main bhi bhookha na rahoon, sadhu na bhookha jaye. 

When we give freely, we feel full and complete; when we withhold, we feel small, petty, impotent, and lacking. We are meant to learn this great truth, that giving fulfills us, while withholding causes us to feel empty and even more needy. This truth runs counter to our current programming of greed, which drives us to try to get something from others to fulfill our neediness, only to end up even more needy, grasping, lacking, and unfulfilled. Is it our greed which stops us from giving? Have we forgotten that when we spend, we loose but when we give, we gain! Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

Khalil Gibran had said “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” Is this the joy that arises from giving we are discussing today?

Let’s focus on giving once again. Giving, taking, earning, stealing, squandering, hoarding. These are all human impulses, and we wouldn't be human without them. Yet on this list only one item — giving — appears in the world's wisdom traditions. Why is giving set apart? After all, there's no mystery to why someone might want to earn, hoard, squander, or steal a million dollars. What is so special about GIVING? Is it because it's easier to take than to give? Is giving special because it's nobler to give than to take? It has been widely said that the thrill of taking lasts a day. The thrill of giving lasts a lifetime.”

So what constitutes GIVING? Giving can take any kind of shape of form. Giving can be done in any of the three forms – tan se, mann aur dhan se. I would add a fourth one to this tenet  dimaag se. Each one of these ways of giving are vital to fulfil a need.’ If our work does not permit us from being physically present, then at least we can make a monetary contribution. Even if people are willing to do the work, nothing can be achieved if there is no one to put forth feasible ideas into practice  If we look around, Rotary Ann Babbi Ji is a prime role model of sewa, tann se. The likes of Rtn Rajiv Bali and Rtn Jaspal Kandhari do their sewa, dhan se.  I have witnessed Rtn Pratap Agarwal givng mann se, by helping streamline current vocational training programs while working with his office team to help establish a sustainable model for some new ones. And then we also have the honour of having Rtn PJ Singh who gives to the Rotary Foundation so that the sum he donates there comes back manifold to the community. Could that be giving, dimaag se? I guess in this club the one who leads in all the three departments of giving is Rtn Raja Saboo. You guys are way ahead in giving, but could we make it a lifestyle rather than a statement?

Let us not wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly... lead the way!

The Joy of Giving

Beautiful thoughts penned by Rtn. Arvind Mehan which we share with everyone. A must read:                                    
Just for a moment, pause and think why did someone say, “Give, give till it hurts.” It means that when you give, you must give part of yourself – pouring your heart out with feelings of empathy and concern to the less fortunate. Giving your blood to save a life is a wonderful example. And like they say, money alone cannot buy you happiness; similarly it cannot buy you the “Joy of Giving”. In addition, you have got to volunteer your time and space to share your love and compassion.

To experience this “gift of joy”, giving has to become a way of life. Your action can be as small as giving a smile to someone. You will look beautiful and spread the beauty around. It can be a bit bigger by trying to put a smile on someone's face, be it a stranger, by speaking nicely to him; especially a stranger from whom you have nothing to expect. You will be sweet and spread the sweetness around. Now try to be sensitive and caring to those around you - at home, the neighbourhood or work place. Lend your ear to someone, give a healing touch to a sick person, or show your respect and care to a lonely, elderly person. You will be kind and spread the kindness around you. It’s time to start counting your blessings! You will start enjoying life again – every breath, every heartbeat.

Now, try to part with a portion of your earnings to help the poor, or take some of your time out of your busy schedule to go out and serve a needy in distress. Then go ahead thank him for giving you the opportunity to serve. You will feel so powerful, yet so humbled. You will start realizing that giving more of yourself strengthens your bond with humanity and also with the real provider, God. If you want to create a wall between you and Him, hold back your giving. The more you hold back your hand the weaker your connection with Him. Give Him your all – in total surrender, and then see the joy. If you just think when you give, it is He who is giving through you, He starts flowing through your Bloodstream!

It is an amazing, uplifting feeling only to be experienced – how, by giving, you get that wonderful sense of gratitude, much more than the recipient; the satisfaction bestowed on you through an action where God simply made you an instrument for helping society through you. He especially chose you because He had confidence in your abilities. Do not let this opportunity pass. It may never come again. You never know, in the cycle of life, it may return one day staring you in the face when you may be at the receiving end. Let us not wait for that to happen. Let us celebrate our good fortunes and "Give, give till it heals the soul ".


Indian doctors to conduct polio surgery in Nigeria

A 24-member team of doctors is ready to fly to capital city Abuja in Nigeria on 2nd December, to conduct over 400 polio-corrective surgeries.
The team of India-Nigeria Polio Surgeries Medicare Mission comprises 12 ortho-surgeons, five anesthesiologists, one pathologist, one general surgeon, and five volunteers from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Himachal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttrakhand.
The team of Doctors and Volunteers for this mission is from Districts 3131, 3132, 3080, 3201 & 3150 in India, who are being assisted by Rotarians from District 9125 & 9140 in Nigeria, with PDG Rtn. Dr. Deepak Purohit from District 3131 as the Chief Project Coordinator, and PDG Rtn. Dr. Rajiv Pradhan as the contact person for this Matching Grant project.
Inter-continental Medicare Missions were conceived by Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo in 1998, and since then he has led various medicare missions to different countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Cambodia, Madagascar, Lesotho, Congo, Rwanda, etc., besides leading similar missions to the interiors and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh.
Nigeria is one of the three remaining endemic countries in the world along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so long as there is even one country in the world affected by polio, it would continue to endanger the lives of the children everywhere, Rtn. Saboo feels.
This polio corrective surgery project is different; since it is for the first time a single speciality surgical team is going to Africa.
“Certain sections of the population in Nigeria, which is still a polio endemic country, are resisting immunization efforts due to several misconceptions, and we hope that an initiative like polio corrective surgeries would help us send a strong message to the people and create an atmosphere of faith in this world-wide efforts to immunize children against polio,” Mr Saboo informed.
Similar situation in India was tackled in UP and Bihar through Rotary’s efforts to conduct similar camp in which nearly 4,000 children and adults underwent polio-corrective surgeries, he added.
“India as a country was always looked upon as a nation that would be looking for help from the outside help but with a whole lot of talent and expertise available in the medical field, the medical mission provided us the opportunity to reach across the borders with medical care for the people in need,” Rajendra K. Saboo says.
The doctors from India would be taking along specialized surgical equipment, medical supplies and would also train the local doctors in the procedures as well as making of prosthetic limbs.
From our District 3080, the team members include Rtn. Dr. J.P. Nawani from Dehradun as ortho-surgeon, along with three volunteers, namely PRIP Rtn Raja Saboo, and Rtn. Charanjit Singh from Chandigarh, and Dr. S.K. Sablok from Nahan.

Why do we do the things the way we do?

This was the moot question that nearly 300 Rotarians from all over our District 3080 converged to discuss at Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43, Chandigarh. 
It was an Intercity meet with a difference.  The agenda, the format, the line up of speakers distinguished it from a normal intercity format, and rather made every participant look within and probe one's conscience and ask, am I walking the right way?
The Rotary Colloquium on "Living Your Values: Do Values of Life Change with Changing Times?” concluded successfully with everyone affirming a commitment deep within themselves, "I must do something about it?"   
Though not all questions were answered. It could not be in a half day session. But the learned speakers provided different perspectives on how one can leave a better world for our children just by following ethical values. 
Addressing the Colloquium Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rajive Bhalla of Punjab and Haryana High Court said that values need to be looked at from the personal, societal and global angle and though these may differ from person to person, values must bring to the fore the humane aspect of one’s life. 
However, he lamented at the societal "values" of female foeticide which continues as a practice since centuries till today in the northern region and the only change had been in  the mechanism of killing the girl child.  Mr Justice Bhalla also questioned the value systems of the relentless development of colonies wiping away the greenery and rivulets from our midst and impacting the entire ecosystem, leaving a barren land for the next generation.  Everyone has its own value proposition, but what is right from a wider perspective is what one need to look at, he added. 
Brahmchari Suvir Chaitanya of Chinnmaya Mission Patiala, a young B.Tech from Delhi College of Engineering who decided to take the Vedanta route, said that the real transformation of the society, the nation and the world begins with the transformation within us. Responding to a question from a student of Bhavan Vidyalaya he said that the values as conceived after much deliberations by great thinkers, rishis and philosophers, continue to be relevant as these transcend time and space, and relate more to one’s behavior.

KPMG India’s partner and head of risk consulting Mr. Deepankar Salwalka, and has investigated most of large white collar crime cases including Satyam and Commonwealth Games, admitted that under pressure of business performance, business ethics and values are getting compromised, but corporate India should take heart since our ability to better detect, build public opinion and development of counter-balancing forces like social media are eventually bringing guilty to justice.

Neville D. Gandhi, Regional Compliance Officer of Siemens Ltd,  asserted that it is possible to do business with ethics without any dilemma provided one is determined to follow the ethical way.  He presented the case study of world’s largest German company Siemens Ltd, which till 2006 became one of the worst companies to work with losing credibility and being hauled up in US courts for rigging and bribery to obtain contracts, decided to proactively transform the organization and adopted strict discipline based on transparency, honesty, and ethical work practices.  Siemens, he said has become today one of the world’s best ethical companies.

Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, who had been the thought leader of this Colloquium said that the objective of the colloquium had been to revive interest amongst the youth, business and professional people, about the simple values of life that can only create a better world.  The best way to inculcate the values of honorable ethical living is for the present generation to walk the talk and be a role model to them. 

Past District Governor of District 3140, Dr Bharat Pandya,  underlined the need for personal integrity and doing the right things when no one is looking. As a passionate speaker he cited numerous challenges that face any person whether it is societal, peer or superior's pressure, or the desire to earn quick money, an unethical act would remain unacceptable.  He said that the value-based living is best reflected in relentless pursuit of good conduct even when no one is looking. 

District Governor Manmohan Singh quoted the scriptures where value-based living is well defined and that the best way for anyone to excel in life is to follow the right course and earn one's living honestly. 
He also explained that Rotary Colloquium on values system was organised since October is the Rotary’s focus area for promoting ethical practices in one’s vocation.

Later CNN-IBN’s senior editor, Jyoti Kamal, conducted an interesting interactive session and moderated the questions from the audience that further focussed on  personal or professional value system whether it was  a question of euthanasia amongst the medical professionals, or miscarriage of justice or outdated laws, or even the media assault on the sensibilities of the people.

I wish to thank all the Rotarians of Rotary Club of Chandigarh under the leadership of President Rtn. Vivek Gupta, with the wise counsel of Past Rotary International President  Rajendra K. Saboo, past district governors Kawal Bedi and Madhukar Malhotra, the co-chairs in past president Man Mohan Singh Kohli, and Hassen S. Mejie, assisted by Secretary I.D. Shukla, Kewal K. Seth, Praveen C. Goyal, Baldev Aggarwal, Arvind Mehan, D.P. Singh, Jatinder Kapoor, Sukhjit Singh Gill, Darpan Kapoor, Shuchita Luthra, AP Singh, Manju Chaudhary, Anil Khanna, and of course the staff of Rotary House, that made it a memorable event. 

With diverse perspectives at the fore, the seeds were sown in the minds of the people who attended.  To transform the world for the better, the transformation must begin from within...from ourselves.  Post this colloquium, if each one of us take the topic on our dinner tables and take the first step...WITHIN...the miracle of change would start happening. 

Living Your Values

Values are great determinants of our actions.  
And actions lead us to happiness.
Do you know what is important for you in your life ?
Are your actions leading you to your happiness?

On Sunday, the 28th October 2012 you might find the answer to these and many other questions.. Bring your friends, business associates, family, children to the Rotary Colloquium (the second intercity of our District), on "Living Your Values: Do Values Change with Changing Times?" 

Chandigarh Judicial Academy
The reporting time is 9am for registration and breakfast (till 10am only) at Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43, Chandigarh. The Colloquium would be over after lunch.

Some of the noted speakers in the Rotary Colloquium include Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rajive Bhalla of Panjab & Haryana High Court, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman of Medanta-The Medicity; Brahmchari Suvir Chaitanaya of Chinmaya Mission, Mr.  Neville Gandhi, Regional Compliance Officer of Siemens Limited, Mumbai; Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, and PDG Bharat Pandaya from RI District 3140 Mumbai, along with Mr. Jyoti Kamal, senior editor CNN-IBN as the moderator.

Please confirm your registration immediately to Rtn. Jatinder Kapoor, jkkapur@gmail.com, or Rotary Colloquium Chair Rtn. Charanjit Singh, seejaysingh@gmail.com, or call 93161 33924.

Registration Fee Rs.750 single and Rs.1400 for couple.

Have you voiced your support?

Rotary created a page on the social media service Thunderclap, which enables supporters to sign up to share a single message through their social media accounts. The message will go out at a designated date and time to amplify the voice of our cause.
If we reach our goal of having 100 people add their account, our polio eradication message will be shared simultaneously across all supporting accounts on World Polio Day to raise awareness of the fight to end this crippling disease.
Visit RI's page on Thunderclap to add your voice. For more information about polio, visit www.endpolio.org.Visit RI's page on Thunderclap to add your voice. For more information about polio, visit www.endpolio.org.

How You Can Make a Difference

As we celebrate the Friendship Day, expecting that each one of you will bring along with your family, at least one friend each to our regular club meeting, you will be making a world of difference in the life of your friend...and the world around you.

Make it happen. Think of the time you were proposed by a friend of yours. Pay back with equal gusto. Bring along a friend to Monday Rotary meeting.

After all, we are all explorers...seeking the truth...to find the answers to human misery, and believing that yes, together we can make a difference. 

Despite the dramatic drop in polio cases in the last year, the threat of continued transmission due to funding and immunization gaps has driven the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to launch the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan 2012-13.

The plan aims to boost vaccination coverage in the three remaining polio-endemic countries -- Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan -- to levels needed to stop polio transmission. Health ministers meeting at the World Health Assembly in Geneva adopted a resolution on 25 May that declared “the completion of polio eradication to be a programmatic emergency for global public health.”

Polio eradication activities have resulted in several landmark successes since 2010. India, long regarded as the nation facing the greatest challenges to eradication, was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February. Outbreaks in previously polio-free countries were nearly all stopped.

During that same time span, however, polio outbreaks in China and West Africa due to importation from Pakistan and Nigeria, respectively, have highlighted the continued threat of resurgence. Failure to eradicate the disease could lead within a decade to paralysis of as many as 200,000 children per year worldwide.

Polio has declined rapidly since 1985, but the fight isn't over. While polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease, for as little as US$0.60, a child can be vaccinated for life. If we don't finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years. Rotary raises funds to make sure every child receives access to the polio vaccine. See the impact your contribution can make.

Consul General of Canada to address Rotary Chandigarh

Mr. Scott Slessor, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada in Chandigarh, would be addressing our Club on Monday, 24th September on "Sustainable Peace for Sustainable Future".

His address is in the light of the UN's International Day of Peace that falls on 21st September, and more importantly when this year the entire Rotary world is charged with RI President Sakuji Tanaka's theme, "Peace through Service".

Do join in with your families especially with the youngsters who are our future and have the responsibility to ensure that peace prevails in the world that can only ensure a brighter future for the generations to cocme. 

Living Your Values

We have lost our values...a common refrain when we talk in our drawing rooms discussing the behavior of people in different facets of life.  Some of us perhaps wish to brush it off as a changing trend of our changing times.  Others still wonder what values our children are carrying into the future. Amidst this change the only change perhaps that we can bring about is to look within and have a reality check: how effective we had been in representing the ethical values in our business, professional and personal life?  

These and numerous other life issues would form the core of deliberations from a group of very high profile speakers, on Sunday, the 28th October 2012.  The most important factor is that this is our opportunity to bring our families together at this forum and understand why we need to look deeply into our own values.  

The early bird registration is just Rs.700 for single and Rs.1300 for couple, which includes your breakfast and lunch. 

This is also the greatest gift that you can give to the young generation.  Sponsor a Rotaract, Interact, or even your own children for this meet. And surely, you won't regret it. 

Act now for a life changing experience. 

Please register with Rtn. Jatinder Kapur  099159 77632

Learn. Grow. Lead

Learning and leadership go hand in hand. In fact, learning never ceases.  And as a Rotarian, you are not only the leader of your business or profession, but also the one who leads the change in the society. You are the one who make the positive change possible for larger good. You make a difference.

A life-changing experience for the Rotarians who have graduated successfully from the Academy, the programme comprises a six-lessons correspondence course on various aspects of Rotary's functioning culminating with a 3-days residential workshop on personal leadership.   The workshop is conducted by a team of external management trainers and is exclusively devoted to improving your life and management skills that can help you successfully manage your personal, professional or business, and social life.

The residential workshop shall be held at Hotel Beckons, Chandigarh, on 12-14 April 2013, with an exciting line-up of activities, case studies, role play, and presentation skills.

The registration fee is Rs.11,000 only for this programme and applications are now invited to reach us on or before 15th September, with initial payment of Rs.6,000 only by way of a cheque drawn in favour of "Rotary District 3080 Leadership Academy".  The balance Rs.5,000 would be payable before 15th of March 2013.

For any further information you may please contact
PDG Major Som Dutt, Dean, dla3080@gmail.com;
PDG Shaju Peter, Associate Dean, daftech@sify.com

Visit our Blog : http://leadershipacademy3080.blogspot.in

Watch the Presentation.

Share Your Story

Every Rotarian is an ambassador of Rotary's values and mission. However, the Rotary clubs must continue strengthen Rotary's public image as world's largest voluntary service organisation committed to peace and better understanding in the world through humanitarian service projects. 
This requires telling your story and sharing it with the community and other stakeholders on regular basis using various communication tools, like website, club bulletin, etc. At the same time the story must be shared with the media, to win better understanding as well as to engage them to reach out to the needy.  The club leadership and each committee chair can prepare a small note about the project they are doing, list out the ultimate benefits, invite the media and brief them. 
For further information or clarification, you can contact seejaysingh@gmail.com

What we need to do to eradicate polio?

"What? Polio? In India? It has already been eradicated."

That is the most mistaken statement of our times today. And a challenge too?  Though polio has been TAKEN OFF THE LIST OF POLIO-ENDEMIC NATIONS, we have to continue to work and ensure that the next 18 months pass off peacefully, and without any case of polio in India.  But there are still other three nations...Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.  There is a regular migration of people from these areas and till the time polio gets eliminated from these countries, our children remain at high risk.

Last Sunday, a regional level polio meet was organised to review the strategy to combat any emergency and the way forward. The past, incoming and current District Governors from District 3070, 3080 and 3090, covering almost the entire northern region, interacted with Past Rotary International President, Rajendra K. Saboo, Rotary International Director Yash Pal Das, Chairman of the RI India National PolioPlus Committee(INPPC) PDG Deepak Kapur, and INPPC member PDG Shubh Karn Gupta, along with the  north India representative of WHO Dr. Prashant Roy.

There could not have been the most crucial time than now for Rotary to get more active, engaged and responsive to the evolving situation to ensure that not only there is 100 percent coverage of under-5 years children during the NIDs and SNIDs, but also generate awareness for routine immunisation. 

Later, the District Level PolioPlus Coordinators attended the meeting where the panel along with DG Manmohan Singh, District Chair PolioPlus Praveen Goyal, and WHO's representative Dr. Shivani Gupta, answered the queries of Rotarians.

Just today morning I received a call from PDG Sunilk. Zachariah who manages Rotary eFlash, about a video which is a must-see for every Rotarian.  It is a highly articulate, expressive video of Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General - Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration, who is a Canadian physician and epidemiologist, who addressed a group of opinion leaders in the TED conference. (If you can't see the video, please click here to visit the blog and watch the video)

Raja Saboo on Reach Out to Africa

Past Rotary International President Rajendra Saboo's presentation at the Reach out to Africa "Off and Running" Meeting in Livingstone, Zambia on 22-23 July, 2012

Differently Challenged but Differently Winners

9-yr-old Helps Disabled Brother Finish Triathlons

Over the weekend, brothers Cayden and Connor Long joined hundreds of other children as they competed in the first annual New England Kids Triathlon in Cambridge.
The boys did not win the event -- they didn't even come close. But that didn't stop them from winning hearts across the Internet.
The Long brothers are not your typical triathletes. Six-year-old Cayden has cerebral palsy and can neither walk nor talk. But thanks to the dedication of his older brother, Connor, the young boy has participated in several triathlons. A touching video and article outlining their journey on Daily Good website.

India amidst drinking water crisis

According to a report published today in The Economic Times, India is in for a drinking water crisis. With rainfall 40% below average in key crop-growing areas in north and northwest, India's 84 important reservoirs have been filled only to 19% of their capacity which is 41% lower than last year.
The reservoir situation, the report states, is similar to conditions in 2009 when the country faced one of the worst droughts in 100 years, which will impact agriculture as well as the power sector. 

Spiritualism is key to manage stress, advices Swami Avdeshanand Giri

Stress is growing because of man’s insatiable desire to wrest power, position, wealth, and material possessions, said Swami Avdeshanand Giri ji maharaj while addressing our Club on Monday evening
Swami Avdeshanand Giri who is the Acharya Mahamandleshwar of the Junapeeth Akhara in Haridwar and incharge of ashrams in Haridwar, Varanasi, and Baroda, blessed the Club with his gracious presence and highly inspirational discourse.
He lamented the man’s indiscriminate violation of laws of Nature because of the desire to acquire quick money, wealth, status in the community he lives in by whatever means and unfortunately, such people of so-called success have become the ideals for many resulting in acute mental stress.  This continued internal fight to make everything favourable to one’s own wants and desires ultimately are providing only temporary joy and pleasant feelings, with no end to stress and distress inside.
In an age of information, advertising, and consumerism, there is instant panacea to all ills being sold whether it is for quick health, or quick beauty, taking us away from the reality of this world, Swami ji said.
Our quest to create a beautiful peaceful world, the oneness of human kind, would be realized only when we adopt the path of spiritualism, he added.
Spirutalism, he said, is not following religious rituals but returning to one’s own inner self – a state of extreme bliss that one enjoys when one goes off to a deep dream-less slumber. A state when human being returns within his inner folds and if he retains this inner peace, he would get wiser, more in control of one’s life, a happy, joyous, loving and caring being, Swami ji said.
Spiritualism makes you stronger and in control of yourself and complete.  Swami ji revealed the true meaning of ‘Bhagwan’ that we all yearn for and worship, and yet continue to disintegrate and destroy it mercilessly. He said that the word ‘bhagwan’ represents the five elements of Nature around us, i.e. ‘bha’ for ‘bhumi’ or earth; ‘ga’ for ‘gagan’ or sky; ‘va’ for ‘vayu’ or air; ‘aa’ for ‘agni’ or fire; and ‘na’ for ‘neer’ or water.  Swami ji said that the man has polluted all these elements in his quest for worldly acquisitions and comforts, killing the essence of Nature, which has taken us all away from ‘bhagwan’ or god.
On being asked about the relationship, he said that each one of us are related to each other and it is man’s responsibility towards another being for everything, which alone can build better relations. Only a truly spiritual person can maintain proper relationship with one’s fellow beings, he added.
He expressed his gratitude on being a part of intellectual gathering of Rotarians and blessed all for the exceptional good work they are doing for the humanity, and even commended Rotary’s efforts in eradicating polio from the world.
This was a meeting that was charged with high positive energy in which Rotarians with their spouses joined to listen to Swami ji.
The atmosphere was so charged that the meeting culminated with an equally enlightened and spiritually-motivated expression of gratitude from President Elect Rtn. Hassan Mejie.  Expressing his inability to say the words of gratitude to Swami ji, he paid a befitting tribute to his presence by offering to save another life of a poor child under Rotary’s Heartline project by promising to pay Rs.65,000, and paid, as a token, a sum of Rs.1000 to the Club.
The evening fellowship was hosted by PP Rtn. Man Mohan Singh Kohli and PP Rtn. Praveen Chander Goyal.

Rotary should instill an attitude of giving amongst people

His Excellency Shri Shivraj V. Patil, the Governor of Panjab and Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh, addressed the Rotarians on the Installation Ceremony of District Governor Rtn. Manmohan Singh on 1st July 2012.  His address was highly motivational and I reproduce below some of the excerpts : 

I am very pleased to be here and I am very happy to see the model of elections of your District Governor where no canvassing is allowed.  I think the politicians should model their own elections and learn from you.
The outgoing government of District has done well and I appreciate it. I am very happy to hear DG Manmohan Singh that the plans he has for the District will add to the glory of Rotary and we wish him all the best.
I am reminded of Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) which was founded in France and has become an international organization with members of all Parliaments around th world.  It meets twice in a year in different countries.  The concept of League of Nations was born out of IPU, which later turned out to be the United Nations.  UN has presence around the globe, but Rotary is present in many more countries than the United Nations.  If this is understood we can understand the importance of Rotary in nthe world.
Rotary is an independent non-government organization. United Nations is not so, and it is the governments of various nations who support it and run it.   The best part I have realized in Rotary is that it never asks for financial help or for that matter for anything, and instead believes in giving.  In my public life I meet numerous people who come asking for something or complaining about this and that.  But I have not found Rotarians complaining against anything. They have positive attitude towards life, and they do not complain but instead come forward to find solution and help.
Our world has numerous problems. Neither the United Nations or the governments of various nations can resolve them or find solution. But I have seen Rotarians providing solution. It is not possible to solve all problems but whatever is possible they come forward and make it happen.
Rotarians are complete in themselves, successful and more than anything else, have an attitude to help others.  This is the attitude to help others which is required in the world today.  They work together as a united force to help others, and if they can do it, others can also do it.
The concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one single family) is an ancient concept of our country. In order to unite and have peace, this asks for broad-mindedness of people, while the short-sightedness can divide this world. Rotary is trying to unite the world.  You represent different communities, cultures and countries, all united to work together. You are united as one force.  This attitude of oneness and being helpful to others is an attitude which needs to be inculcated amongst people, and only then we can create a better place.
Your theme of ‘Peace through Service’ this year is excellent. But let there is peace in your mind, and we can have peace in the world. I have no doubt that the Rotarians, endowed with the spirit of oneness and the positive attitude of helping others and finding solutions to problems, can bring peace in the world. 

Plastic Surgeons needed in Rwanda

An Appeal for Plastic Surgeons to Help in Rwanda
(Rotary leaders from all countries are asked to distribute this appeal widely.)

At the request of the Health Minister of Rwanda, a medical mission is contemplated for a group of plastic surgeons to repair damaged bodies resulting from the unrest there in the mid 1990's. Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo will be organizing a group or doctors from India and would welcome surgeons from other countries to build a truly international team.
PRIP Saboo expects that the medical mission would take place some time between mid-November 2012 and be completed by mid-April 2013. The actual length of time a surgeon would remain in Rwanda would will also depend upon the suitability of the host country, our own team building process and the funding arrangement.
 Inquiries should be sent to PRIP Saboo at rksaboo@kddl.com

When our last Intercontinental medicare mission, "Reach Out to Africa" was in Rwanda, Past Rotary International President flashed the following message to the Rotary world. . 
"Last night we had a major Rotary event at which the Health Minister of Rwanda was present. This was the third meeting we had with her in course of our stay. She was extraordinarily helpful and friendly person who has not spared any words to admire and praise Rotary. She gave a challenge and I think she was also speaking on behalf of the President and the First Lady of the country.

"What she spoke very emotionally is something that we need to pay attention to. As you may know, Rwanda went through genocide in which more than a million people were butchered in hundred days. Those stories are just horrible and one cannot have enough courage to listen to all of them. Anyway the health minister indicated that there are at least 2900 such people who have been disfigured bodily, their faces totally distorted and their appearance being so gruesome that they have confined themselves to their homes and are not able to come out of their houses so as not to show their body or faces to the public.

"The other side of it is that the government is also afraid that if they would come out, their appearance itself might trigger a revengeful action which might lead to yet another violence, disturbing the very articulated peace process that the country is going through.

"Can Rotary do something for them?
 This was the question that the Health Minister put. I discussed this matter with the Rotarians of Rwanda including Governor Fred who happens to belong to Congo and they are all excited about it."

Vivek Gupta takes over as Club President

Justice S.S. Sodhi blesses the new team and implores for Rotary's action to make city more beautiful

(R-L) Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo,
Hon'ble Justice S.S. Sodhi (retd), Rtn Pres Vivek Gupta, and
Immediate Past President Rtn. Neena Singh 
On the first meeting of our Club today, outgoing President Rtn. Neena Singh handed over the baton of leadership to Rtn. Pres Vivek Gupta. 

Hon'ble former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, and President of The Tribune Trust, was the chief guest and District Governor Manmohan Singh, the Guest of Honor. 

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Justice Sodhi asked the Rotarians to find solution to the depressing state of Sukhna Lake. He also suggested that organization like Rotary must come forward and address some of the pressing social needs to maintain the beauty of the city.

He commended Rotary for its ethos of serving with dedication and commitment, and hoped that organizations like Rotary can make the difference in keeping our city clean and traffic regulated to make it safe for other road users.  He suggested that Rotary club should adopt at least one market with the help of the shopkeepers and convert it into a model market in terms of overall cleanliness, regulated parking and traffic.

The senior citizens whose children live abroad are in dire need of learning basic computer skills which project, he proposed,  Rotary should undertake in the city.  

Earlier the outgoing president of the Club Rtn. Neena Singh presented the wide spectrum of community service projects for literacy, hygiene, sanitation, empowerment of women, voluntary blood donation, etc., were taken. 

Taking it forward for the next year, the new President Rtn. Vivek Gupta committed to make the city anaemia free which is a rampant problem amongst children, besides undertaking a city-wide campaign to detect hearing problem amongst children studying in government schools and living in the slums.

The Team 2012-13
District Governor Manmohan Singh congratulated both the outgoing and the incoming teams of the Club and said that the Club has much greater responsibilities to maintain stature and prestige of the club by undertaking the projects that meet the urgent need of the community.

On this occasion Rotary Club of Chandigarh honoured Dr. T.S. Mahant, Executive Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery of Fortis Hospital, which is one of the partner hospital for the club’s Rotary Heartline Project.  Since 1999, 431 free heart surgeries have been done by the club with the help of its partner hospitals, PGIMER and Fortis, and this year again Rtn. Vivek Gupta intends to reach out to at least 60 more children and save their lives.

Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo informed that on 1st of July in the Rotary world the new team of leadership takes place around the globe in nearly 34,000 clubs in 200 countries besides 530 new District Governors, 8 Rotary International Directors, and the world President of Rotary International also changes bringing in new vigour and vision to this world’s largest voluntary service organization. 

GSE Applications Invited

This year the Rotary's Group Study Exchange team would be visiting Florida, USA in October 2012.  Rotarians who know eligible candidates are requested to spread the word around so that they can apply and appear for the interview. 

The last date for receipt of application in Rotary Club of Chandigarh, Rotary House, 107A, Sector 18A, Chandigarh, is 1st July 2012. 
GSE team member applicants must be 
• Between the ages of 25 and 40
• fully employed with at least two years of work experience in their chosen field
• in the early stages of their careers or professions
• Reside in or be employed in the sending Rotary district and also be citizens of the country in which they reside
•  proficient in the language of the country being visited
• personable, articulate, cooperative, motivated team players, and enthusiastic about their vocations. 

This is Rotary's premier educational exchange programme intended to build bridges of goodwill, understanding, and peace amongst nations.  The candidate must be able to spend at least five weeks of rigorous routine of international travel and addressing various Rotary meetings. 

The application duly filled in must reach the Rotary House on or before 1st July 2012.  
The candidate should be available for interview within the next one week.  The date and time of the interview shall be intimated. 

Rotary's Biggest Smile enters into Ripley's Believe it Or Not

It was a memorable four days at the grand Impact Convention Centre that hosted the 103rd Rotary International Convention.  There was a large contingent from India to cheer their RI President Kalyan Banerjee, and reaffirm their commitment to Rotary's mission of 'Service Above Self'.
On Monday, the 7th May 2012, exactly 2,012 Rotarians put on yellow and blue hooded jackets and formed biggest smiley at the convention centre, which qualified it to get into Ripley's Believe It Or Not.  The number of participants, 2,012 in forming this human smiley was to celebrate the year 2012 when Rotarians have been able to exceed the Rotary's US$ 200 million challenge for eradicating polio. 
The event was splashed across various newspapers published in Thailand the next day giving Rotary's image a great boost. 

Magazine Month Gift for our Rotary Club

Just yesterday, we had our Monday meeting dedicated to the Rotary Magazine Month, that brought to the fore how Rotary magazine is changing life, and filling us all with information and inspiration to do more.  Our Rotarians, including PDG Kawal Bedi, IPDG Madhukar Malhotra, Director Club Service PP Manmohan Singh Kohli, Director Community Service AP Singh, and co-editor of our club bulletin 'Rotary Open Hand' Desh Deepak Khanna shared their insights.  It was enriching and refreshing.
And just today morning when I glanced through the April issue of THE ROTARIAN which had arrived in mail just yesterday, page 15 had a surprise under the 'Woirld roundup'.  It features the story of 'Hamari Beti' and the tieup our club had made with the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, for producing radio programmes on community radio Jyotigamaya 91.2fm.
You can also read it on the Rotary's online edition.  Just Click Here.
Congratulations to all.

Keeping the Hearts Beating

The Pacemaker Bank of our Club keeps many hearts beating, helping numerous lives to continue to have a healthy life.

Every year a number of pacemakers are fitted free of cost on the patients in PGI, thanks to the project that was conceived way back in 1990-91, and continues to run even today.
It was in 1990-91, our Club provided pacemaker to a patient in PGI.
In 1991-92, the Club entered into collaboration with Heart Beat International, USA, for providing free pacemakers to poor patients in PGI.  Rtn Abhilash Kapoor was the then president of the Club, and he continues to be the Project Incharge for this. 
The process involves PGI recommending poor patients for pacemakers, and through Heartbeat International, the pacemakers are arranged.
In 2004, the most touching  scenario was when PGI requested a tiny pacemaker for a two years old child.  It was an emergency.  The team of Rotarians got active immediately and was able to get from USA the required pacemaker within 7 days.  It was collaboration at its best in which Rotarians and Heartbeat International, as well as the government of India worked at tandem to save the life of the little soul.
In 2004-05, however, it became essential to bear the cost of importing and handling charges, and the Club raised US$ 2,500 and remitted to Heartbeat International in order to get 30 pacemakers for the Pacemaker Bank.
During 2011-12, under the leadership of Rtn Madhukar Malhotra, District Governor, the project was extended to other areas in the District, especially Shimla and Dehradun. 
The video shows how Rotary and Heartbeat International is saving lives. 

Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

On March 8, tomorrow, the world would be celebrating the International Women's Day.  This year, the theme for world-wide activities is, CONNECTING GIRLS, INSPIRING FUTURES

If every International Women's Day event held in 2012 includes girls in some way, then thousands of minds will be inspired globally.
Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
It is sad that in certain parts of our country the female foeticide is a disgraceful act that people indulge in.  Some women succumb to family and societal pressures to get rid of the female fetus even before birth, just for a stupid, irrational craving for a boy child. 
Though 'Hamari Beti' , an initiative of our Club to sensitise the people against female foeticide is endeavouring to make a difference and change people's attitudes, the task is challenging. 
A recent survey by a student journalist in the village Mubarkpur near Chandigarh, revealed how a lady had to undergo five abortions to avoid the birth of girl, thanks to sex determination test being conducted by unscrupulous doctors, and finally, she was able to conceive a boy, who was born mentally challenged.  
Think about this. 'Hamari Beti' needs to be protected. We need to own up the responsibility and put our foot down to curb any such inhuman act against the girl child the moment we learn about it.  
Connecting Girls would always inspire future...a better future for everyone.  

Polio: The New Challenge

Post Polio Summit 2012, Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo exhorts us all to meet new challenges 

Dear friends,

The Polio Summit is behind us, leaving its mark on our memory pad.  Most of you were there to be a part of this historic occasion which was truly Divinely blessed when the official letter from W.H.O. arrived taking India off the list of Polio endemic countries.  Your participation meant much as it did for other  Rotarians who came from different districts. 

What was an idea 18 months back has become a reality and we want to thank our President Kalyan Banerjee for the guidance  and encouragement he gave for holding up this Summit.  It has brought a new dimension to the bonding between the government and Rotary, also encompassing our other global and local partners.  It is true that the media has not given much recognition to Rotary for this event.  I am sure media will eventually see the role that Rotary has played and will bring the facts to the eyes of the people.  Those who were part of the Summit fully recognize that.

Whereas Polio Summit ended with compliments flowing all over to Rotary and the role that Rotarians played in setting the goal of Polio-free world and working towards it, my friends, it has opened new challenges for us. The "Delhi Commitment" which spells out the commitment that each Rotarian present  including you, needs to be worked upon until the ultimate objective is achieved. 

I am, therefore, urging you to make the document, the "Delhi Commitment"attached herewith be circulated by you to each of your club members, each Rotary leader in your district be made aware of the commitment, each person to become aware of the commitment he or she has to fulfill.  Thus, the document the "DelhiCommitment" is not just a piece of paper, it is an honour that we have to keep.

In the closing, let me thank you once again for making the Polio Summit 2012 a historic occasion.

Warm greetings and regards.

Delhi Commitment. (Please click here to view/download and share with others)