Deputy High Commissioner joins Rotarians for Christmas celebrations

British Deputy High Commissioner in Chandigarh David Lelliott and his wife Lizeth celebrated Christmas with nearly 70 children from Bapu Dham Colony and Dhanas, at Rotary House here today. 

Lelliott with her two children reached the Rotary House at 11am sharp and thoroughly enjoyed, distributed goodies and Christmas cake, and danced with them to the beat of dhol.

Our Santa Claus, Pres. Hassan S. Mejie, was in full joy and mood to make this Xmas a very special day for over 70 children from Rotary Balwari in Dhanas and Bal Bahar School in Bapu Dham Colony Sector 26.

He had organised Kachi Ghorri folk dancers and puppeteers from Jaipur to regale the little kids, and for many a Rotarians and their families it was a great experience and exciting moment to recall her childhood days when she had last seen the puppet show.

To complete the fun every child had a camel ride, while the melodious choir from choir from Chandigarh Bible Fellowship sang the carols on the occasion.

David Lelliott joined the fun and eagerly distributed refreshment to little children, and later both, David and Lizeth handed over Xmas gifts to children.

Thanks to all Rotarians and Rotaractors who made the Xmas celebrations a great success.

From Silence to Sound... Slideshow for You!

Just in case you are not able to see this video, please click here. 

From Silence to Sound

Imagine a child born without a basic faculty of hearing...something that we take for granted. Imagine a world where the dance party, loud music, sounds of traffic or chirping of the birds do not evince any interest.  Imagine a world where the shouts, cries and laughters are mere visual gesticulations with no emotional chord for someone without the ability to hear them.  

I happened to visit such a school for deaf and mute in our city, and it was the recess time.  There were hundreds of children who were quitely running around, some just sitting on a bench and stairing at the moving figures, others quitely standing along a pole, while a few sat under a tree... trying to talk to each other in sign language.
Their condition moved the Rotarians of Rotary Club of Chandigarh to start a project last year with the support of The Rotary Foundation under its matching grant with Rotary Club of Charlotte, USA, as partner, to not only provide cochlear implant where possible but also extensively examine the children in schools to detect hearing loss and provide hearing aids to them. 

President Hassan Singh Mejie and Secretary Desh Deepak Khanna along with another member of the club who is a trained audiologist and speech therapist, Rtn. Ritu Chaudhary, came across Patiala School for Deaf, and found that many of the children with hearing impairment had been abandoned by their parents. 

Most heart rending part is that during vacations there are many children who have nowhere to go and they stay put in the school's hostel, informed Col. Karminder Singh, Director of Patiala School for the Deaf, and if some of these children can be treated to overcome this physical disability, they would be able to enter the society's mainstream, he added. 

The team of Rotarians visited earlier to the school and Rtn. Ritu Chaudhary identified 24 such children who had moderate to severe hearing loss and could possibly hear the sound with the help of hearing aides.  

On Tuesday, 17th December, the team drove 80kms through the early morning fog to the school, re-examined them and fitted them appropriate hearing aides.

Though the children would start hearing the sound but would require the support and coaching by a trained audiologist to help them understand various sounds and learn to decipher them and use their vocal chords too, because the deaf students are also mute and can learn to speak only after they hear various sounds, informed Rtn Ritu Chaudhary. 

The children after receiving their hearing aids were ecastic and jumped with excitement on hearing the world around them, and once they get to develop their speaking abilities and understand language, they would be able to enjoy their life more fully, Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna said. 

According to an estimate, over 24 million children suffer from this debilitating disability and nearly 1 lakh babies are born every year with profound hearing loss. This project would change lives of many such children who have partial hearing loss, he added.

We spent 90-minutes of our drive back home almost silently; perhaps each one of us was quitely expressing our gratitude to the Almighty for giving us the opportunity to change these little lives, Pres. Hassan S. Mejie said. 

Bhavan Vidyalaya gifts a School to flood-ravaged Uttrakhand

The students and staff of Bhavan Vidyalaya of Chandigarh have embarked on an ambitious plan of building a school in the flood-struck Uttrakhand.

On an appeal that the Chairman of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Mr. R.K. Saboo made last month, the children and staff responded enthusiastically and have worked in unison to collect Rs.10 lakh within a week, informed Ms Vineeta Arora, Principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh.

Both the junior and the senior sections of the school collected the amount by reaching out to their parents and community to ensure that children in many villages who have been deprived of their school would be able to return to resume their studies, she said.

A cheque of Rs.10 lakh was presented by the students, staff and Principals of both schools namely Ms Vineeta Arora of the seniors branch and Ms Taruna Vashisht of the junior school, to the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, to make this project possible.

The senior school collected Rs.6.47 lakh and the junior wing in Sector 33 collected Rs. 3.53 lakh for the project.

So much was the involvement of the children that they designed the entire campaign and several entries were received for the brochure too out of which the one designed by Charvi Kaul of 7th class got selected which was printed and sent out.

The Rotarians in the country have committed to build and /or undertake major repair of all the schools upto Primary level numbering 175 schools in the districts of Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi, the most ravaged region of Uttarakhand due to the disastrous floods of September 2013.   In addition, desks and benches for 67,000 children will aiso be provided by Rotary.  Nation-wide efforts are afoot to ensure that the children in this area are empowered to become better citizens, former world president of Rotary International Rajendra K. Saboo informed.

Each school in the village built by Rotary will have proper classrooms, toilets and drinking water facilities and shall be managed by the managing committee.   .

Club News - September 23, 2013

Thank you
We received a request from Govt Home Science College to sponsor  study cost of two girls from very poor families. We are grateful to Rtn Dr I.D. Shukla and Rtn Vinod Arora for agreeing to bear the cost of Rs 20,000 each. Their noble gesture will go a long way in helping these two academically brilliant girls finish their studies. Due to lack of resources both the girls were planning to drop-out.

We will also like to thank Rtn Atma Ram Singh (Rs 10,000), Rtn Anil Chadda (Rs 10,000), Rtn P.J. Singh (Rs 10,000) Rtn Mahesh Gupta (Rs 3,270), Rtn Hatinder Khattar (Rs 3270) and PP Abhilash Kapoor (Rs 3,270) for together sponsoring RYLA participation fee of 12 children from EWS families. Thank you PDG Kawal Bedi for motivating the donors.

Home Science College Rotaract Club Installation

The Installation ceremony of the Home Science College Rotaract Club was held on 23 September. Rtr Roopi Rupinder Kaur took over as the new President. The new team was pinned by President Hassan Mejie. Among the Rotarians present were: Rtn Mona Khattar, PP Praveen Goyal, Rtn R.K. Taneja, Rtn Jatinder Kapur and Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna.

Principal of Home Science College, Rtn Madhu Nanda and the counsellor, Dr. Jagjiwan Kaur also braced the occasion.

President Mejie congratulated the outgoing President, Saloni Jain and her team for the excellent work done, as also the incoming President and her team. He also appreciated the huge jump in membership, from just 37 a year back to over 70 now.

He invited the Rotaractors to join him this year in various out of box activities he has planned to hold and also encouraged the Rotaractors to come up with a grand plan for showcasing Rotary as the champion of Polio eradication, as also organize a mega Blood Donation camp.

Help for a Nepali  labourer
We received a request from Ms Anuradha of PGI to help Mr Man Bahadur, a poor labourer from Nepal, get heart operation done from PGI, costing Rs 75,000. A sum of Rs 40,000 had already been collected. We decided to contribute Rs 20,000 from the Sunshine collection.

Lucky  Draw
The Lucky Draw (a gold coin) this Monday was won by Rtn Shuchita Luthra.


Our heartfelt condolences to Rtn Pawan Katia on demise of his Brother-in-law.

We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of PRID O.P. Vaishnav who died on 18 September 2013. A Rotarian since 1959, he was a member of the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown and had served RI as Director in 1999-2001 and as a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation in 1996-2000. As per his wish, his body was donated to AIIMS.

Our heartfelt condolences are also extended to PDG Manpreet Singh Gandhoke and his family, on demise of his father, S. Gurbachan Singh Gandhoke on 25 September.

Country needs decisive, bold and a true leader as PM

Chandigarh, September 23:  "Decisive", "bold policy maker", "visionary", "communicative" were some of the adjectives that the Rotarians used to describe the expectations they have from the prime minister of the country at a panel discussion organised here at Rotary Club of Chandigarh. 
Looking at the dismal socio-economic situation and freebies being doled out by the government as populist measure to garner votes is ruining the country, said Atma Ram Singh, Director, Drish Shoes.  The unstable policy and poor execution of existing policies is bane for the businesses, he said 
Providing a professional's perspective, Dr Raman Abrol, an ENT specialist remarked that despite the country having immense knowledge base of technocrats and professionals we remain an under-developed country. Absence of rational policies deployment of doctors and paramedics in the country are not available in rural areas despite the fact that these medical professionals are admitted in medical colleges under rural or reserved quota, he lamented. 
Nagina Bains, a young professional, said that the PM should take the responsibility for the ministers and other departments, besides being transparent in its governance initiatives with open communication which is absent currently. 
Chief Guest at the meeting, Mr. Dinesh Kumar, Associate Editor, The Tribune who has also been a Rotary Peace Scholar, remarked that governing a country like India has become difficult especially with the advent of coalition governments that are more of 'collision' government, leading to indecisions and ineffective policies. 
Unfortunately every ill in the society can be attributed to the weak leadership and non-accountability that is breeding corruption and other social evils in the country. 
The time has come that the politicians are given a fixed tenure who should expressly demonstrate good leadership qualities, he said. 
It is time also, he added, that the PM after elections should become apolitical and rise above even beyond his own political party to provide a wholesome visionary leadership. 
There had been an interesting exchange of ideas and audience participation. 
PP Rtn. C.J. Singh conducted the panel discussion with PP Rtn Arvind Mehan proposed a vote of thanks.  PDG Rtn. Kawal Bedi presented a memento to the chief guest Mr Dinesh Kumar, while Rtn. S.S. Kakkar, presented personalised Rotary club mugs to each of the panelists. 

Club News - 9 September

Rwanda High Commissioner visits to express gratitude
H.E. Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of Rwanda to India, visited us on 10 September to express his country’s gratitude for treating children from Rwanda under the Heartline project and for the forthcoming medical mission. 

A medical mission to Ethiopia and Rwanda is going on 29 September. The mission to Ethiopia is being led by PDG Madhukar Malhotra and the mission to Rwanda is being led by PDG Ranjit Bhatia, under overall leadership of PRIP R.K. Saboo.

E-Club Meeting
Rotary E-Club of Chandigarh Technocity  held its once a month formal meeting at JW Marriot on 8 September. Other than President Hassan S Mejie, there were Rotarian visitors from Nasik and Rotary Club of Canada Corner.

Blood Donation Camp at DAV College

Rotaract Club of DAV College organised a blood donation camp on 9 September. [In the pic] PP Parveen Goyal, President Hassan Mejie, Mr Vineet Joshi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Punjab & Media Advisor to Chief Minster and Mr. Joshan, Principal DAV College.

Lucky Draw

The Lucky Draw on 6 September (a crystal vase) was won by Rtn Jaiprakash Hasrajani.


Installation of Team 2013-14 of St Stephen’s School, Sector 45

The 2013-14 Team of Interact Club, St Stephen's, Sector 45, Chandigarh was installed on 9 September 2013 by President Hassan Singh Mejie. He was accompanied by: Rtn R.K. Taneja, Rtn Lalita Jagmohan, Rtn Mona Khattar, Rtn O.P. Sukhija and Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna.

Heartline Update
Surgery # 477: Bhawna Devi, 6 years old daughter of Mr Sunil Dutt from Village Binoi, Tehsil Kasauli, was successfully operated on 2 September.  Patient’s father is a farmer.

Surgery # 478: Taranveer Singh Nehal, 2 years old son of Mr Gurpreet Singh from District Sangrur, was successfully operated on 5 September. Patient’s father is working as daily wager.

Surgery # 479:
Mithlesh Kumar, 15 years old son of Raj Dev Yadav from  District Supaul (Bihar), was successfully operated on 6 September. Patient’s brother is working as a labourer.   This was the 16th surgery of 2013-14.

All surgeries were performed by Dr Mahant at Fortis Hospital.

Economic Challenges Facing India

 When a renowned management guru and an economist speaks everyone listens. The same was true of our Club too, which saw a record attendance at the 9 September meeting in which we had Dr S.P.S. Pruthi as the guest speaker.

The current economic crisis, said Dr Pruthi, was triggered by the announcement by USA to tone-down the Quantitative Easing it had triggered to tackle the 2007 sub-prime economic crisis. More than 12 trillion dollars were pumped-in by USA as part of the quantitative easing and that kept everyone going  since then.

But, was the announcement of QE tone-down the sole cause of the rupee tumbling and the beginning of India’s economic problems. Certainly not, said Dr Pruthi. We wasted the first 40 years after our independence doing nothing for the economy. he said. Since 1991 we did usher-in reforms and that helped to turn the tide. But, these reforms have been half-hearted. Political and bureaucratic controls have not been withdrawn the way they should have been.

To meet the economic crisis head-on, we need to ensure growth. For that we require structural changes, foreign money, infrastructure development and, above all, we need to improve the faith of others in us. The comfort level for investors also needs to be improved manifold.

Reserve Bank of India, he added has very limited options available to it. Besides, he added, it has no control over corruption, import & export and business environment.

Dr Pruthi also felt that in today’s globalized environment the authority of the State is limited, especially in economic matters. Markets have their own mechanisms and reasons to go up or down. They do not listen to any authority. Thus, we need to change our decision making patterns to be able to compete better in the international environment.

Dr Pruthi also emphasized on the need for  a strong leadership that  respects constitutional authorities. Besides, it is important that we ensure that money is invested in talent and technology development.
Pragmatic foreign policy is another very essential requirement to become economically strong. Dr Pruthi gave examples of USA and Japan post World War-II, as also USA and China in recent years who improved their relations for strategic reasons and thus gained economically.  “Practical and intelligent policies only can help us become an economic power”, he said. “Soch (thought process) is important. Soch ko badlo,” he added.

Dr Pruthi’s talk was followed by a Q&A session. PP Arvind Mehan wondered why India has inconsistent and changing policies? Inconsistency is due to lack of will, said Dr Pruthi. Today, the need is to indigenise our Railways, Defence etc requirements to save on foreign exchange and improve balance of trade but nothing much is done on this end.

Rtn G.S. Chawla wondered if India can do without FDI. To this Dr Pruthi replied, “There is no need to restrict FDI. USA thrives because the whole world gives money to it. The need of the hour is to promote savings and restrict imports by indigenisation.”

Rtn Ashok Khanna asked “when can we hope to see stability again.” Dr Pruthi was of the opinion that eventually India is an ideal place for growth. It consumes a big percentage of what the world produces. “All we need to do is to take the right economic decisions and things will improve,” he said.

Dr Pruthi was jointly introduced by PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli and President Hassan Mejie. Rtn Mahesh Gupta presented him a memento. PDG Kawal Bedi presented him a bouquet. Rtn Dr Rajinder Kaur presented a bouquet to Mrs Vanita Pruthi. Vote of thanks was proposed by PRIP R.K. Saboo.

Club News - September 2

Farewell to children from Rwanda

On 4 September, the children from Rwanda, their mothers and nurse Chris were seen off at the Chandigarh airport by Rtn Mona Khattar, Rtn Geetika Rao. and Rtn Sukhjit Singh Gill.
Earlier, on September 3, a grand farewell dinner was hosted by PP Man Mohan S. Kohli at Hotel Aquamarine. PRIP Raja Saboo and R’Ann Usha, Presi. Hassan Mejie & R’Ann Harkiran, Rtn Jatinder Kapoor, Rtn Mona Khattar, Rtn Geetika Rao, and Rtn Sukhjit Singh Gill attended.
The children were presented toys, and their mothers and nurse Chris were given gifts. A farewell cake was cut and  everyone  wished them a safe journey.

Rtn Naresh Nanda and R’Ann Reema have been blessed with twin daughters. Our heartiest congratulations to them.

Get Well Soon
R’Ann Neeraj, wife of PP Charanjit Singh, was operated on 4 September. We wish her speedy recovery.

Thank You
We thank Rtn Jagesh Khaitan and his TPK Welfare Trust for donating Rs 65,000 for one heart surgery under our Heartline project.
We also thank Rtn Neenu Vij, Chair Club Administration, for working hard to get the termite ridden RVTC basement rooms cleaned and prepared to house the Library.

Bon Voyage
We wish PP Arvind Mahajan Bon Voyage for his trip to Europe from September  5 to October 11.

MCM DAV Rotaract Club Installation
The Installation Ceremony  of 2013-14 team of Rotaract Club of MCM DAV College for Women was held on 27 August. PP Baldev Aggarwal was the Chief Guest. Ms Manshul Jain has taken over as the new President.

President Hassan Mejie, in his speech, asked Rotaractors to think of out of the box programs and activities for the year. They were also encouraged to organise a big blood donation camp and raise funds for The Rotary Foundation and Uttarakhand Flood victims relief.

Interact Installation
Installation Ceremony of Interact Club, St. Stephen’s School Sector 45, Chandigarh will be held on September 9, at 12.20 pm. Members are requested to attend.

Lucky Draw

The Lucky Draw on 2 September (a crystal vase) was won by PP Vijay Wadhawan. [In the pic] Swami Krishnananda Giri giving the Lucky Gift to PP Vijay Wadhawan (right). Rtn Vivek Atray is standing in the Centre.

Fundraising Dinner

Celebrate Diwali with Rotary
Join us for an Evening with a Difference
To Ensure that no Child Dies for Want of Money!

Please join us for the Rotary Club of Chandigarh’s Fund Raising Dinner 2013, as we partner to provide Heartline, Gift of Sight & Hearing surgeries, as also  for  Gift of Knowledge and safe water and sanitation for communities in need.

 Open to Club Members and the public, the signature event will feature live Dance Performances, outstanding local cuisine, a sit down dinner, cocktails, and live auctions.

DATE: Saturday, October 19, 2013, 
Time:  7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
VENUE: A 5 star Hotel in Chandigarh.

Donate  generously and reserve your seats as a Diwali gift for your spouse

Individual Plate: Rs 11,000,  VIP tables for: Rs 21,000 per plate

LIMITED SEATS. Register before 10 September 2013.

Unique & Exciting options on offer for Corporate Diwali Gifting
Contact President or Club Secretary.

Club News - August 26

Generous Donation
We are grateful to Mr Sandeep Dhawan, son-in-law of Late PP Janak raj Grover, for donating Rs 2.60 lakh for four Heartline surgeries.

Vocational Training Programme Update
As on August 26, 2013, we have 28 students in Tailoring class, five students in Beautician class and 36 students learning computers.

Emergency Preparedness Polio Workshop
PP Praveen Chander Goyal, DPPC 3080, attended the Emergency Preparedness and Response for Polio Workshop at Jaipur on 6-7 August, 2013. He was among the team that attended on behalf of Rotary International. The workshop was jointly hosted by World Health Organization and UNICEF. Topic of discussion was: Action to be taken by Rapid Response teams in case a polio case is detected.

D-3080 Polio Orientation Workshop
The District 3080 Polio Orientation and Planning Workshop for the States of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh was held at Competent Palace, Seilaqui, near Dehradun on 11 August. It  was hosted by Rotary Club of Doon Vikas.

Health Minister of Uttarakhand, Mr Surinder Singh Negi, was the Chief Guest. DG Rakesh Aggarwal, in his address, appreciated the role of Rotarians in the Polio program and wanted them to keep working on it till Polio is eradicated from the face of the earth.

District 3080 Polio Chairman, PP Praveen Chander Goyal told the gathering that although three countries are still having Polio cases, this year there had been an onslaught of Polio cases from Somalia (100 cases) and Kenya (10 cases). These countries were Polio free and the virus was imported to these countries. He also spoke on the Children for Children project, in which school children are motivated to collect funds for  Polio.

Presentation on Hypno-therapy
On August 26, as part of the programme of our weekly meeting, Mr Sandeep Kumar gave a presentation on hypno-therapy and explained how this technique is being successfully used to treat alcohol and drug addiction. He claimed a very high success rate—93 per cent people recover in six sessions, he claimed. Hypno-therapy works on thought, emotion, energy and state of mind, he said, and helps in inculcating  positive thinking for healthy living.

Railings Installed
Railings have been installed on the stairs outside, as well as those leading to the stage in the meeting hall, for the benefit of our senior members. This meets a long pending demand.


The Lucky Draw on 26 August (a crystal vase) was won by Rtn Jaspal Sidhu. [In the pic] R’Ann Harjeet Kaur, wife of PE Prof Paramjit Singh, giving away the gift to Rtn Jaspal.

Celebrating Friendship

On August 26, we celebrated friendship day. PP Arvind Mehan, Rtn Reema Dewan and Rtn S.D. Sharda gave a very beautiful and thought provoking enunciation on friendship.

On the occasion we had among us some special guests: Dr B.N.S. Walia, Hon. Rotarian, friends of Rtn S.D. Sharda—Mr S.S. Bhatia, former CIT, and Mr B.D. Gupta, Settlement Officer—Col G.S. Suri and his wife Kuljit Suri, Arun & Archana Jain from USA, Gen Majithia and his wife Meenu and Pooja Guliani.

PDG Madhukar Malhotra initiated the programme “We are all Rotarians and friends of Rotary,” he said. He impressed upon the members to “enjoy their friendships through service. “Through service we strengthen our friendships,” he added.

PP Arvind Mehan said that friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. But, if you have not learned the meaning of friendship, you have not learned anything at all. While preparing his speech for the occasion, he said, he asked his wife Sadhana what friendship meant to her within their own marriage and how it stood apart from love and companionship? “A friend is the one who not only touches your heart, he touches your soul, was her answer”.

PP Arvind also felt that the only way to have a friend is to be one. “You can wait for years for people to start liking you enough to be friends or you can extend a hand of friendship and become one in an instant.”

“Basically, your friend is a person who knows all about you and still likes you. He neither leads nor follows you, but walks besides you,” he added.

Rtn Reema Dewan was of the view that friends bring an aura of positivity, and the best part is that “they are chosen, not inherited”. She added that “we need to be friends with our self first and only then we can be good friends to others.

Rtn S.D. Sharda compared friendship to that between stars and moon. “Chand aur sitaron kee dosti ek misal hai. Jab chand roashan hota hai, sitaron kee roshni dugni ho jaati hai”. He recited a couplet to elucidate his point: “Jalwe nahin hote, woh nazare nahin hote, jab chand ke pehloo main sitare nahin hote.”

The vote of thanks was proposed by PDG Kawal Bedi.

The evening ended with a fellowship dinner and members enjoying karaoke singing.

RI Board meeting Highlights

The 2012–13 RI Board of Directors held its fourth and final meeting on 17–21 June 2013 in Cascais, Portugal. The Board also held a brief meeting in April just before the Council on Legislation. The 2013–14 RI Board held its first meeting on 28 June 2013 in Lisbon, Portugal. At these meetings the Board reviewed reports from 13 committees and recorded 93 decisions.

June 2013 Board Meeting Highlights

The 2012–13 RI Board of Directors held its fourth and final meeting on 17–21 June 2013 in Cascais, Portugal. The Board also held a brief meeting in April just before the Council on Legislation.
Club and District Matters

The Board increased RI extension into China by placing Guangdong Province into District 3450. The Board reorganized clubs in District 2980 (India) into new Districts 2981 and 2982, effective 1 July 2015.

Noting that the 2013 Council did not adopt legislation to allow flexibility in meeting frequency, which effectively ended the Meeting Frequency pilot project, the Board approved the establishment of a transition plan for those clubs in the pilot to return to the standard club model.

RI Administration and Finances

The Board adopted the 2013–14 RI budget, reflecting revenues of US$98,797,000, the use of $9,585,000 in general surplus funds, $301,000 in convention reserves, and $108,647,000 in expenses, resulting in an excess of revenues, general surplus funds, and convention reserve over expenditures of $36,000. As approved by the RI Bylaws and by a three-quarters vote of all directors, the Board also approved an additional $2 million in unallocated general surplus funds for operational and other strategic initiatives in 2013–14.

The Board approved a 2012–13 budget variance of US$3 million for program award expenditures from unrestricted contributions in the Annual Fund (WF) for 2012–13 matching grants, contingent upon approval by the Trustees. The Trustees approved this variance at their June meeting.

The Board designated conveners and meeting places for RI director nominating committees that will meet in September 2013 to select directors-nominee for election at the 2014 RI (Sydney) Convention. Directors will be selected from Zones 4, 6B, 10B, 13, 22, 26, 29, and 30.

RI Programs, Communications, and Meetings

The Board amended New Generations Service Exchange policy by increasing the eligible age of participants from 21 to 30, and by setting the minimum age to the age of majority in the host country, but not younger than 18.

The Board agreed to enter into a service partnership, as a two-year pilot initiative, with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, located in Glendale, Arizona, USA.

The Board recognized the Alzheimer's/Dementia Rotarian Action Group.

Club News - August 19

Vistaar now in September
The District Membership Development Seminar, Vistaar, has been postponed to 29 September 2013, because of flooding and damaged roads in Saharanpur area. The registeration fee is Rs 600. Please get in touch with the President for registration.

Hamari Beti to shine in 25 States in India
“Hamari Beti” has been chosen as the mascot for the Uner-15 National Girls Hockey Championship being organised by MBCT Hockey Nursery, under the aegis of Indian Hockey Federation, from 14-21 September 2013, at Bassi Pathana, Fatehgarh Saheb. The mascot merchandise shall be prized possession with nearly 600 girls from 25 States who will be participating in this tournament.

Special Thanks
Our special thanks to Rtns Jatinder Kapur, P.S. Matharoo and PP Vijay Wadhawan for gifting 150 packs of eatables and drinks for children in Dhanas and Colony No. 5.

We are grateful to Rtn Jaspal Singh Sidhu and Nestle for supplying 150 Gift Hampers for distributing among children in Dhanas and Colony No. 5.

To Rtr Harneet Kaur, President of Rotaract Club of Chandigarh, and her team for making the August 15 evening so special with such excellent performances which made the Independence Day celebrations this year so special.

Last but not the least, thank you  PP Charanjit Singh for bringing out Issues 6 and 7 of Open Hand in absence of the Editor.

Helping a poor girl hear properly

Ms Satpal Kaur, 20 years old daughter of Mr Tarsem Singh, from Village Chandiyal, Tehsil Sunam, District Sangrur (Punjab), was referred to us by Rtn Dr Raman Abrol, for financial help to get corrective surgery done to restore proper hearing.  Her father  is working as a daily labourer. Your club has helped her with financial aid of Rs 9500 from the Sunshine collection.

Installation of new team at Interact Club , Bhawan Vidyalaya

The installation ceremony of 2013-14 team of Bhavan’s Interact Club, led by President Tanisha Garg, was held on 22 August. President Hassan Mejie was the Chief Guest.

A skit, “Main Hoon Chetna”, on the status of a daughter-in-law, was also enacted.

Among the Rotarians who attended the function were: PRIP R.K. Saboo, PDG Madhukar Malhotra, Rtn Dr. Pushpinder Chahal, Rtn. R.K. Taneja, Rtn. Reema Dewan, PP Arvind Mehan, PP Vijay Wadhawan, Rtn. Nandini Khanna, and Rtn. Mona Khattar.

Supported by RI Dist. 3600 Taiwan and RC of San Marino, D 5300, USA
Seven children from Rwanda were successfully operated upon by Dr T.S. Mahant, at Fortis Hospital. These children had arrived on 5 August and were received at the Chandigarh Airport by PP Kewal Seth, Rtn Mona Khattar, Pres. Hassan Mejie, Rtn Sukhjit S. Gill and Ms Meher. 

We would like to thank Rtns Sukhjit Gill, Geetika Rao, Mona Khattar and Rajnish Khattar who devoted not only time to take care of the children and their parents, but also used to take fruits and eatables for them throughout their stay in Chandigarh.

We also thank Thakur Mejie and Mehar from USA for distributing crayons, sketch books and world flags’ books to the Rwandan children.

PRIP R.K. Saboo also visited the children, along with President Hassan Mejie, and interacted with them.

Celebrating Independence Day

1st Stop: Dhanas

The celebrations started at the Rotary Balwari in village Dhanas. President Hassan S Mejie along with Rotarians Piara Singh Matharoo, Chairperson RCC, PP Vijay Wadhawan, PP Darshan Mehandru, Vice President Jatinder Kapur, PE Prof Paramjit Singh, IPP Vivek Gupta and Mona Khattar coordinated the Independence Day celebrations. Gift Hampers from NESTLE, thanks to our Rtn. Jaspal Singh Sidhu, and sandwiches, cold drinks and confectionary items contributed by Rtn. Jatinder Kapur & Rtn. P S Matharoo were distributed among 150 children and 6 staff members.

National flag was unfurled by President Hassan Mejie at 11.00am. Children sang patriotic songs and gave Gidda performance. An excellent motivational song on freedom was sung by a 63-years old student of the adult literacy class.

2nd Stop: Bapu Dham

At 12.30pm Pres. Hassan S Mejie, along with Rotarians P.S.Matharoo, PP Vijay Wadhawan, Mona Khattar and Jatinder Kapur met with 30 children and their teachers in colony No. 5. A painting competition was held, the first 5 best drawings were awarded with a paintbox and crayons. Sweets and confectionary items were also distributed. Children sang patriotic songs/

Evening at Peace monument at Sukhna Lake

It was an evening with a difference when Rotarians with their families, and Rotaractors, gathered at Sukhna Lake.

Nearly 500 strong general public gathered around the amphitheatre as Rotaractors and a Rock Band, “Curse” regaled the audience with patriotic songs. Rtr President Harneet Kaur handled the stage, Rtr Aarti Goyal spoke on the topic of independence. Rtr Balwinder and his team performed a skit on Fake Godmen– which kept the audience in splits. Thereafter, Rtr President Harneet led a team of six Rotaractors for an enthralling Giddha performance, and programme concluded with Bhangra.

The programme ended with lighting of candles at the Rotary Peace Monument. Tea and snacks were served to Rotarians and Rotaractors at the Lake Restaurant.

A Re-look at India’s Response to Foreign Military Aggression

If we can sleep at peace at night and go about our daily chores without any fear, it is because of our defence forces who stand guard at our country’s borders, and it was a privilege for the club to host an army officer of distinction, Maj Gen Charanjit Singh Panag (retd), on 19 August.

Maj Gen Panag gave a rundown on the aggression and skirmishes on Indian borders with our neighbours, and informed that these are pin-pricks which are a daily affair in the life of a soldier on the borders, which are blown out of proportion by the electronic media. However, he lamented the need for a more graduated response and a long-term plan with respect to various neighbouring countries.

The absence of strong foreign policy vis-à-vis our neighbours is the weakest point and it is high time that our country moves with a strategic plan, he said.  He pointed out the need for a think tank for defending our borders, just like Pakistan’s army which calls the shot, and Central Military Council of China, whose members do not retire and offer strategic advice on policy matters.

His engaging presentation kept the audience glued to their seats and was followed by an interactive session with the members.

PP Charanjit Singh introduced Maj Gen Panag, R’Ann Sadhana Mehan presented a bouquet, and Rtn Dr Rajinder Kaur presented a memento to him. PP Arvind Mehan proposed the vote of thanks.

Register your child for Youth Leadership Camp

Our Club is hosting the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp at Kufri on 27-29 September 2013. Rotarians  can register their children in the  age group of 14-18 years.  This would be a life-time experience for the young boys and girls to build their self-esteem and confidence in a highly interactive programme through creative activities amidst Nature's salubrious surroundings. 

For more details, check out this link. 

Club News - July 29

Paul Harris Fellows

Rtn Jagesh Khaitan presented the Paul Harris Fellow pin and certificate to Rtn S.P.S. Matharoo (left), Rtn Praveen Aggarwal (centre) and young Pranit Katia (grandson of Rtn Pawan Katia). Rtn S.P.S. Matharoo is a multiple PHF. Master Pranit is the youngest PHF of our Club.

Thank You DPS

Rtn Reema Dewan, Principal of Delhi Public School, presenting to PRIP Raja Saboo a cheque of Rs 1.5 lakh (donation from staff and teachers of DPS) and cash Rs 1.5 lakh (donation from children of DPS) towards the Uttarakhand Relief Fund. She wished that the donation be used to build a school in a village. PRIP Saboo informed that Rotary has indeed taken the decision to build schools in Uttarakhand as part of the rehabilitation work. Indeed a very commendable deed which was given a standing ovation.


Lucky Draw

The Lucky Draw this week (a crystal vase) was won by Rtn S.D. Sharda. [In the pic] Rtn Tajinder Kaur handing over the gift to Rtn Sharda

Our Ambassadors
Rtn Tajinder Kaur visited the Rotary Clubs in Rwanda and Kenya during her visit to both the countries in July 2013 She also met a child from Rwanda who had been treated under our Heartline project. She handed-over the two flags she received from the respective Clubs to PRIP R.K. Saboo.

PDG Madhukar Malhotra visited Rotary Club of  Jersey D1110 and exchanged flags with President Toni Roberts .

Blood Donation Camp
A Blood Donation camp was organised by us, in association with the Rotary Blood Resource Centre at the head-office of DTDC Courier, Sector 35, Chandigarh. PP Arvind Mehan coordinated the event. A total of 26 donations were received.

PP Praveen C. Goyal invited to be the Chief Guest
PP Praveen Chander Goyal was the Chief Guest at the Installation Ceremony of Rotary Club of Nalagarh on 30 July, 2013. He was accompanied by R’Anne Basu Goyal. In his speech, he projected the role of Rotary in humanitarian projects like Heartline and Medical missions. The gift received by him was put to American auction.  Rs 4000 generated through the auction was contributed towards the Uttarakhand Relief Fund. 

Inner-Wheel holds tree plantation drive
Inner Wheel Club of Chandigarh held a Tree Plantation drive at Sri Aurobindo School, Sector 27, Chandigarh. PP Arvind Mehan attended on behalf of our Club.

Fellowship Dinner on July 29

The Monday meeting was followed by a Fellowship Dinner and Karaoke Singing. The menu included a variety of tandoori paranthas and kulchas. Members were seen using this opportunity for exchange of ideas and lots of enjoying together.

Developing Leaders - For now and for the future

Joyce R. Gaufin
President-Elect, American Public Health Association

On July 29 we had Joyce R. Gaufin as our guest speaker. She talked on the importance of nurturing leaders for tomorrow. Quoting a 1989 report she said, “today, the need for leadership is too important to leave its emergence to chance.” She added that the next generation is ready to be a leader now, at a very young age. “The challenge is that they have the right mentors and coaches.”

She also emphasized on the importance of relationships, which, she said, is most fundamental of all human needs. To become a good leader, you have to learn to reach out to those who do not think and feel the same way as you do. “Good relationships help build trust, a very important ingredient for effective leadership,” she said.

Good leaders nurture their passion. “Only a small group of thoughtful and passionate people can change the world,” she added.

Leaders must also have vision as a good vision takes us forward. She gave the example of Walt Disney who went bankrupt several times before his idea of Disneyland actually fructified.

Ms Gaufin also emphasized on developing critical thinking abilities and having an open mind.

Leaders also have to be tough. “Leadership is not for the timid,” she added. And, one needs to keep it in mind that leadership is a journey and not destination.

Ms Joyce R. Gaufin was introduced by PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli. Rtn Ranjit Powar presented her a memento. The vote of thanks was proposed by PE Prof Paramjit Singh.

Club News - July 22


Rtn Anuraag Chopra, along with Col (Retd) K.J.S. Sandhu, has won the Indian final of the Audi Quattro Cup, held at the Kemer Golf and Country Club in Istanbul. They stood first among 13 pairs by scoring 42 points. The first-place finish has given them access to participate in the world final of the tournament, to be organised in Los Angles from 7 to 12 October, 2013. We wish Rtn Anuraag and his team-mate all the best for success in the world final.

Organ Talks Educational Workshop
The Department of Anatomy, PGIMER, organised the I.J. Dewan Memorial Educational Workshop, titled "Organs Talk: Time to take prevention" on 23-24 July. We sponsored 500 Verka Lassi tetra-packs that were distributed among children from various schools who visited the workshop over two days.

At the inauguration of the Workshop on 23 July, our Club was represented by R'Ann Harkiran Mejie, R'Ann Alpna Khanna and Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna.

The children and visitors were educated on effects of pollution, smoking, drinking, not wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler and wrong eating habits by showing them actual organs, both of a healthy person and diseased. It was a novel idea which definitely left a huge impact on youngsters and motivated them to not only desist from indulging in vices but also educate others against it.

Pune-Leh Polio Awareness Rally Flag-off

On 26 July, PRIP R.K. Saboo flagged-off the Chandigarh-Manali leg of the Pune-Leh Polio Awareness Rally from RVTC, Chandigarh. The team comprised of Rtn Pradeep Mulay & Rtn Anju Mulay (RC Pune Pashan), Mr Abhey Karmarker & Mrs Anuradha Karmarker.

PRIP Saboo, while wishing them safe journey, gave them each a gift hamper from our Club, along with our Club flag. Our Club members present  were: Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna, Rtn Surinder P. Kaur, Rtn Sukhjit S. Gill, PP Arvind Mehan, Rtn Mona Khattar and Rtn G.S. Chawla.

Investiture Ceremony - AKSIPS-41 Interact Club

The Investiture Ceremony of the Interact Club of AKSIPS-41 Smart School was organized on 25 July. The 2013-14 office-bearers were decorated by President Hassan Mejie and Secretary Desh Deepak Khanna. Following members attended the ceremony: PP Neena Singh, Rtn P.S. Matharoo, Rtn Mona Khattar, PP Vijay Wadhawan, Rtn A.P. Singh and PP Darshan Mehandru.

The outgoing President of the club, Shruti, showcased the achievements of the club in the year gone by through a power point presentation. Their activities included distribution of stationery items to poor school children, celebration of May Day and the Earth Day, holding of health check up camp for the needy and initiating literacy drives.

President Hassan Singh Mejie, in his address, urged the Interactors to carry on the torch of benevolence and keep it lighted forever.

The newly inducted members of the Interact Club are: Amninder Kaur (President), Geetansh (Vice President), Kritika, Lavisha, Ashima and Prajwal (Directors),  Apoorav (Secretary), Daksh (Joint Secretary), Mehak (Treasurer), Japneet (Sergeant-at Arms).

Investiture Ceremony - DPS Interact Club

The Investiture ceremony to install the 2013-14 team of DPS Interact School was held on 24 July.
The students of DPS presented an impressive dance and music show as part of the ceremony. From our Club following attended: President Hassan Mejie, Rtn Desh Deepak Khanna, Rtn Sukhjit S. Gill, PP Baldev Aggarwal, Rtn P.S. Matharoo, PP Parveen Goyal, Rtn Mona Khattar, PP Vijay Wadhawan, Rtn A.P. Singh  PP Darshan Mehandru and PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli.

The new office-bearers of the DPS Interact Club are: Rhea Jaspal (President), Sasaki Negi (Vice President), Shaira Kansal (Secretary), Jannat Brar (Joint Secretary) Ekta Chahal (Treasurer), Tanya Singh (Sergeant at Arms), Aastha Anand, Inayat Grewal, Aditya Dhingra & Rakshit Sharma (Directors).

Rest in Peace: Rtn Hari Mohan Monga and R’Ann Sangeeta Monga

On 19 July 2013, we lost a very old and dedicated member, Rtn Hari Mohan Monga, and his wife, R’Ann Sangeeta Monga, in a car accident near Sonipat.

The planned July 22 weekly meeting was cancelled and was converted to a condolence meeting to pay our respect and homage to the departed souls.

PRIP R.K. Saboo expressed his anguish over the way fate took away the two noble souls from us.

PRIP Saboo said that he had the privilege of being associated with Rtn Hari Mohan since the 1960s when they first came together to form the Industries Association in Chandigarh.

“He was a very ardent worker and his commitment to Rotary never diminished in all these years,” said PRIP Saboo.

Due to personal problems Rtn Monga had not been very active for last few years. But he was always there to help whenever his services were required. Despite the fact that he had lately shifted to Gurgaon, he continued to remain member of our Club. In fact, before leaving for Gurgaon on the fateful day, he had visited RVTC to pay his dues. “I will now see you next year,” he told Labh Singh. Sadly, that was not to be.

Raja Saboo praised him for never indulging in politics or groupism and remembered him as a very friendly and jovial person and a remarkable human being. “This Club is deeply grieved to loose a friend and member like Monga,” he said.

Paying his tribute to Rtn Monga and R’Ann Sangeeta, PP Maj B.M. Singh recalled his over 40 years of association with both. “He was very friendly and always smiling,” he said.

PP Maj B.M. Singh also recalled the lovely snacks that R’Ann Sangeeta Monga used to serve at the fellowships. “She would never say no whenever we asked her to prepare snacks for the fellowship,” he said. “We have lost a wonderful couple,” he added.

A one minute silence was observed in memory of the departed souls.

Rest in peace Rtn Hari Mohan Monga and R’Ann Sangeeta Monga.

Club News - July 15

Rtn Pushpinder Chahal—Our Ambassador to Rotary Club of El Dorado, Hills, CA, USA
Rtn Dr Pushpinder Kaur Chahal, during her trip to USA, visited Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills. She substituted as the Guest speaker there as the originally invited speaker could not attend. She gave a presentation on various projects of our Club. She was presented with a mug and a flag. “The Rotarian of El Dorado Hills were very impressed by our projects and showed keen interest to partner with us in future projects,” she said.

Thank You
Rtn Dr Santosh Gupta  for donating an additional Rs 3000 for the Uttarakhand Relief Fund on her birthday.

Paul Harris Fellows

Rtn Vikas Garg was presented the Paul Harris Fellow pin and certificate by Rtn Jagesh Khaitan.

Rtn Pawan Katia was presented the Paul Harris Fellow pin and certificate by IPP Vivek Gupta. Rtn Pawan Katia is a multiple PHF.


Blood Donation Camp by Rotaract Club of Chandigarh

Rotaract Club of Chandigarh organised a blood donation and eye donation camp at Rotary Blood Resource Centre, Sector 37-A Chandigarh on 13 July . The camp was held as part of Rotaract Club’s 6-week internship programme—Rotaract 360. 51 volunteers from all age groups donated blood.
The presence of the Rotarians from our Club—President Hassan S. Mejie, PP Baldev Aggarwal, Rtn. Desh Deepak Khanna, Rtn. Mona Khattar, PE Prof. Paramjit Singh and Rtn. Surinder Paul Kaur—motivated the Rotaractors and the interns to donate blood for a noble cause.
Rtn. Mona Khattar was among the donors to encourage the first-time young girl donors.
Many of the young donors were refused due to low haemoglobin count. This is a disturbing trend and it was decided to organise a seminar for the youngsters, especially girls to enlighten them about healthy eating habits and importance of having a healthy body.

The noble provision of eye donation was facilitated in accordance with provisions of the Eye Bank, PGIMER, Chandigarh. All the volunteers' got themselves registered for eye donation after  death.

Lucky Draw

Rtn Rajinder Jain was the winner of the Lucky Draw prize this week.

Teaming and Power Play

The 15 July meeting was a meeting with a difference. We had Dr Amandeep hold an activity based session on Teaming and Power play. The ball was set rolling with the “Marshmallow Tower Challenge”, a simple team-building exercise that forces the individuals to team-up quickly and collaborate and innovate to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, 36 inches each of tape and string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.

Members were divided in to eight teams of 7-8 members each. The task was to be accomplished in 15 minutes. There were no prizes for the winners. The idea was to show the importance of team work in achieving success, be it in a corporate world or in an organisation like our Rotary Club.

Walking around the tables, one could see the Rotarians challenged by the task. Many participants were found to be upset with tape not opening or the sticks getting broken or lack of coordination among the team members. Some just sat back and gave up, while others plodded on. “No project is blessed with perfect conditions, problems can arise unexpectedly. Such situations arise in all organisations and good team-work helps in dealing with them successfully,” said Dr Amandeep.

Building on the experiences from the activity, Dr Amandeep shared that organisational success comes from aligning individuals to perform well in teams, collaborate and contribute to the overall goals.
Talking on “power”, she said that it impacts organisations negatively, harms teams and can cause distress to individuals. Most individuals exercise position based power or formal power and their team members display compliance solely based on their leader’s role, position or title rather than the person specifically as a leader. Coercion and selective distribution of rewards are  ways in which position based power can get abused. Real power is the expert power that comes from your knowledge and expertise. This power helps you become a real leader, irrespective of the fact that you hold a position or not. Then, there is the referent power, gained by a leader who has strong interpersonal relationship skills. It is of particular interest as leadership today is more about collaboration and influence rather than command and control.

Taking the talk further, Dr Amandeep discussed the various ways in which individuals translate power bases into specific actions. The best teams are those where the leaders use rational persuasion, inspirational appeals and consultation. Jostling for power leads to organisational politics, and should be avoided.

The game also taught us the importance of systems thinking.  “Systems work the best when perfected at the design stage,” said Dr Amandeep.

All in all, it was an interesting and a very useful exercise that was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants. “It was a refreshing change,” said Rtn Dr Pushpinder Chahal.

Rtn Varun Rao welcomed Dr Amandeep with a bouquet. She was introduced by Rtn Vipin Dewan. PP Arvind Mehan presented her a memento. Rtn Jaiparkash Hasrajani proposed the vote of thanks.

Club News - July 8, 2013

Hunnar Se Rozgar Tak
Pres. Hassan Mejie and PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli visited Dr. Ambedkar Hotel Management Institute and met  with a batch of students sponsored jointly by our Club and Mehar Baba Charitable Trust. The students prepared and served a continental lunch. Mrs. Bharti Tyagi, Principal of the Institute and PP Man Mohan Singh gave the students a motivational talk. A majority of these students are from EWS families from rural areas.


Thank You
PRIP Raja Saboo has contributed `65,000 towards Heartline Project on the 50th Birthday of his younger son Jaivardhan.

Rtn Vinod Talwar sponsored the 22 cart Gold Coin for the Lucky Draw. There will be one gold coin prize to grab every month.

Prayer Meeting

A prayer meeting in memory of Munish, son of PDG Dhyan Chand, was held in Shimla on 10 July. From our Club, it was attended by Pres. Hassan S. Mejie & R’Anne Harkiran, PDG Kawal Bedi, PP Baldev Aggarwal, PP Praveen C. Goyal, PP Vijay Wadhawan, PP Atma Ram Singh & R’Anne Arti.

UT government taking steps to improve Education in Chandigarh

Mr V.K. Singh, IAS, Finance Secretary UT Chandigarh was to be the guest speaker on July 8 but he could not return from Delhi due to flight cancellation. Instead, Mr Ajoy Sharma, IAS, very kindly consented to be the speaker and present steps being taken by the UT administration to improve schooling in government schools in Chandigarh.

According to Mr Ajoy Sharma, in last one year the Chandigarh Administration had taken a series of very innovative steps that have laid the foundation to providing good education. Ten new senior secondary schools are being added this year and another 10 will be added in two years time, he said. Besides, huge effort has gone into plugging the human resource shortage. In 2012, the Chandigarh Administration has added 800 new teachers and in the next six months another 1500 will be recruited. Efforts have been made that the newly recruited teachers come with the required training to make a qualitative change in education being provided in the city.

Mr Sharma also added that more and more school classrooms are being converted to Smart classrooms. The teachers are being encouraged to have a sense of ownership and do their work with renewed passion. The focus is not on making the class “smart”, he added, but to also transform the thought process of the teachers.

While sharing his own experience of studying in poorly equipped and staffed schools, followed by exposure to institutions like IIT and some leading foreign universities, he said that he was well aware of the gap the existed and he, along with his colleagues in the Administration, are working to bridge the gap.

Mr Sharma added that a dedicated team of 18-20 teachers has been constituted to hand-hold and transform the school and teaching environment. Overall personality development and extra-curricular skills are being given a lot of weightage. More sports facilities are being created and existing infrastructure is being revamped and upgraded. “In coming years, you will see a lot of improvement in government schools due to the steps being taken currently,” he said.

In the interactive session Rtn Krishan Kumar suggested to open the school grounds to children in evening. Mr Sharma assured him that steps are already being taken in this regard.

Rtn Ashok Khanna suggested that yoga be made part of the curriculum.  In reply, Mr Sharma said while yoga is not yet part of curriculum, yoga teachers are being deployed and children are being encouraged to learn yoga.

Rtn Geetika Rao suggested that more efforts should be put in to imbibe social responsibility among school kids, to which Mr Sharma said that steps are already being taken in this regard.
President Hassan Mejie appraised the guest speaker about the projects being undertaken by our Club to help children from poor families get better education and training.

Mr Sharma was introduced by PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli. Rtn Reema Dewan  proposed the vote of thanks.   Rtn Surinder Paul Kaur presented a memento  to the Chief Guest.

The second Lucky Draw (a gold coin courtesy Rtn Vinod Talwar) was won by Rtn Jaspal Sidhu.

CLUB NEWS - July 1, 2013

E-Club Launched

On 30 June 2013 Rotary Club of Chandigarh Technocity was launched at RVTC, Chandigarh. The E-Club has been sponsored by our Club. IPDG Manmohan Singh collared Rtn Navpreet S. Aujla, the first President of the Club and also presented the Charter to him.

PRIP Raja Saboo, while welcoming the new Club’s members explained how the e-club concept evolved. He appreciated the fact that provision has been made to meet once in a month in the physical space.
IPDG Manmohan Singh said it was indeed a proud moment for him that the second E-club of District 3080 started during his term. He assured the new President and the members of all the help.

President Aujla thanked everyone for expressing confidence in his leadership. This E-Club, he said, will go a long way in providing many busy professionals an opportunity to join Rotary and use this platform to give back to the society.

Rtn Kushwant Gill has been appointed as the Club Secretary, Rtn S.S. Sodhi as Vice-President, Rtn Himanshu Jetly as the Treasurer and Rtn Atul Grover as Sergeant of Arms.

Lucky Draw
The winner of the first Lucky Draw, on 1 July, was Rtn Reema Dewan. We will be having a lucky draw at each regular meeting. Only members will be eligible to participate. This was the first in a row of new ideas/activities planned  for the year.

Fellowship Dinner
A Fellowship Dinner had been  planned for 1 July meeting, but we had to cancel it at the last minute to show our concern and solidarity towards those who lost their lives in the Uttarakhand Disaster. In coming months, we plan to have one fellowship dinner every month (12 in a year under fellowship account ) and the next one will now be on Monday 29 July.


PP Baldev Aggarwal hosted the Club Assembly on 16 June, followed by a sumptuous lunch. On 29 June, Rotary House had a blackout because the transmission cables were broken due to wind storm and heavy rains. PP Baldev Aggarwal opened his large heart once again and offered his facilities at Sip n Dine to host the Joint Board of Directors Meetings. Thank you PP Baldev Aggarwal.

Installation—Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik

Pres. Hassan Mejie and PP Praveen C. Goyal attended the installation ceremony of Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik at Sip n Dine on 2 July and  congratulated President Arvinder Kaur Bedi, Secretary Brig. Daljit Singh Dhillon and other team members.

We express our heartfelt condolences to Rtn Sanjiv Bawa, who lost his father, and PDG Dhian Chand who lost his son. Our hearts go out to the bereaved families

Installation of Team 2013-14

On July 1 every year the Rotary wheel completes full circle. This is the date on which Rotary leadership all over the world changes. It was no different at our Club. The Installation Ceremony on July 1 led to IPP Vivek Gupta handing over the baton to President Hassan Mejie. Prof Hardarshan Singh Mejie was the Chief Guest.

The entire programme was planned and executed by PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli. The function started by observing a one minute silence in remembrance of all the victims of flash flood in Uttarakahand. This was followed by a rendition of Rabindra Sangeet by Sh Subhash Ghosh. His singing of Rabindranath Tagore’s  “Ekla Cholo Re” transported the audience to the cultural capital of India—Bengal.

IPP Vivek Gupta and Rtn Dr I.D. Shukla then gave a presentation on the activities and events held during their tenure. IPP Vivek proudly presented to the members the Best Club of the District trophy and many more awards won at the District Awards function held on 30 June. Among the major achievements were: contribution of  $63,000 to The Rotary Foundation and the exemplary work done under various projects like Heartline and Gift of Vision.

President Hassan Mejie formally took over as the President as IPP Vivek Gupta passed on the collar to him. In his acceptance speech, President Mejie pledged to continue the good work done by his predecessors. He added that he has planned some strategic programmes and events that will involve the youth. “We will also work to enhance the image of Rotary among the general public, as also work towards doubling the contribution to The Rotary Foundation,” he said.

Among the signature programmes he listed the Rotary Big Wheel project to help expand the message of Rotary. Pamphlet dispensers for health education, and the Rotary Magic Fountain to commemorate the eradication of polio from India were other two new projects announced. Also in the pipeline is a mega tree plantation drive in the Sukhna lake catchment area that will not only be addressing the ecological issues but will also help in tackling the monkey menace.

President Mejie also pledged to improve facilities at the Rotary House, as also work to involve the families of the members. Among other major events planned are: food festival to raise funds; encourage citizens to create Endowment funds and leave a part of their estate as a corpus fund with Rotary Club Chandigarh Service Trust, to be used for a cause close to their heart; fund-raising Dinner to collect major funds for The Rotary Foundation.

Chief Guest, Prof Hardarshan Singh Mejie belongs to a family that was at forefront of the freedom struggle of India. He started his professional career a teacher in Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana. Later, he ventured out into business and left an inedible mark both in India and abroad. During his teaching and business life he was always very closely connected with the problems being faced by the society and worked earnestly to resolve them—whether it was collection of funds during Indo-China war or helping engineering student to go abroad in 1960s or helping migrants fleeing war zone in the middle-east. He hung his business boots in 2004 and after distributing most of his assets among his three sons, he transferred assets left with him to Mehar Baba Charitable Trust. Today, his mission and motivation is to serve rural youth and elderly living in over 200 villages of Fatehgarh Saheb.

Prof Mejie began his speech with a question that, he said, has been asked by people for years: “What would it take to change the world?” He then went on to answer it:  “Members of the Rotary already knew the answer. They reached out across the world to help and change the world”.  He added: “Today more than ever there is a requirement to rise above self and reach out across communities.  As Vivekananda said, ‘You cannot help anyone, you can only serve’.”

He very humbly introduced himself as “Hassan’s father”. “It gives me immense pleasure to see my son take over the reins of a wonderful and prestigious Institution,” he said.

He announced a donation of Rs One lakh for the Uttarakhand Flood victims, for which we remain ever so thankful to him.

AG Ajit Singh Gulati read the message of DG Rakesh Aggarwal for the new team.

PDG Kanwal Bedi proposed the vote of thanks. 

Rotary felicitates its partner hospital Fortis on completion of 300 heart surgeries

Rotary Club of Chandigarh recognized its partner, Fortis Hospital Mohali’s contribution on the completion of 300th heart surgeries at the Hospital.

In a function organized in the hospital, Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, who had initiated the project, complimented the management of Fortis for their fruitful partnership that helped save the lives of 300 children since 2006.

“Let no child suffering from any congenital cardiac disease, die for want of money,” was the commitment that the Rotary Club had made way back in 1999 when it initiated the project as ‘Gift of Life’ and later on renamed it as Rotary Heartline, informed Mr Saboo.

Rotary Club Chandigarh’s president Vivek Gupta informed that the Club had PGI as its initial partner hospital, and later in June 2006 the Fortis Hospital Mohali was also included as partner in order to have the infant patients operated..

Front Row: (L-R) PDG Kawal Bedi, first lady Promilla Gupta
Mrs. Usha Saboo, Club Secretary ID Shukla,
President Vivek Gupta, District Governor Manmohan Singh
Our Partners in Heartline
Fortis CEO Mr. Aditya Vij with Regional Director
Col. H.S. Chahal, Facility Director Mr. Abhijit Singh,
Medical Director & Regional Medical Advisor
Dr. Gurbir Singh

Though the Rotary Club of Chandigarh has so far saved 457 lives since the start of the project in 1999 under leadership of the then club President PDG Rtn. Kawal Bedi, 300 surgeries were conducted in Fortis alone since 2006, added Rotary’s past district governor Madhukar Malhotra.

Thanking the Rotarians for giving Fortis the opportunity to be a part of the noble cause, Mr Aditya Vij, Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Hospital commended the team of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery led by Dr. T.S. Mahant and said that working with Rotary Club had been a great privilege since it was also in complete alignment with the corporate philosophy of Fortis which late Dr. Parvinder Singh, its founder chairman, proclaimed, “"To create a world-class integrated healthcare delivery system in India, entailing the finest medical skills combined with compassionate patient care."

Mr. Vij also announced that Fortis Hospital shall sponsor the free heart surgeries of three children to support the Rotary Club's efforts. 

Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo and club president Vivek Gupta presented a commemorative plaque to Mr Aditya Vij and his team from Fortis as a mark of gratitude on the completion of 300th heart surgeries.

Fortis CEO Arvind Vij, Dr. T.S. Mahant, Past Rotary International
President Rajendra K. Saboo, District Governor Manmohan Singh,
Rtn. Tapishwar Kumar and team Fortis with some of the
children who received the 'gift of life' under Rotary Heartline Project. 

Recalling the first few  surgeries in 2006, Dr. T.S. Mahant, Director, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery said that the 11-months old Junaid from Karachi, Pakistan was one of the first few infants who was brought in critical stage and was operated successfully.

Since then there had been children from Pakistan, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda besides from various parts of India have been successfully operated, irrespective of their country or creed, through the efforts of Rotary Club of Chandigarh, which had been raising money to fund the project from amongst themselves and the community.

District Governor of D3080, Rtn. Manmohan Singh, handed over gift hampers to the patients who had been operated under the programme.