Hats off to Rotarians in India

A must watch video...an inspiration that the entire world's eyes are on every Rotarian in India...for having accomplished and completed two years of polio-free period on 13th January.  There is one more year to go, that requires everyone of us ensuring that no child is left when we go ahead and participate in the next NID. We have to ensure that everyone follows the routine immunisation for their children...our children

Click here to watch the video.

Rotary Fights to End Polio Now (EN) from Rotary International on Vimeo.

Rotary Moments

I reproduce here the recent speech by Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo at the International Assembly at San Diego, USA, sharing his 'Rotary Moments' : 

Good Morning, 

When President-elect Ron Burton asked me to speak on my Rotary Moment, my mind flashed back to mid 80s when I was visiting his State Oklahoma and was staying with our very good friend late PRID Roy Trout. He had arranged for me to address a luncheon meeting of a Rotary Club about 100 miles away. A Rotarian owning a single engine plane had come to take Usha and me for that meeting. It was a very cloudy day and the flight was extremely bumpy. 

Usha was scared to death. 

With the rosary in her hand she leaned over to me and whispered, "Must you go to any place where you get free lunch?" 

That was some Rotary moment !! 

Rotary journey is full of moments of joy, laughter, compassion, care, even tear…… with the ultimate of fulfillment. 

My leaders, you are on that journey and I extend my salutation to you.

One idea, that not only changed a life, or may be many lives, one advice that gave a nation-wide identity to Rotary…… this is a story that happened in 1976 in a small town, Gurdaspur, in North India.

After serving a six year term in prison, When Gurbux Singh, a life convict was released on parole for good conduct, he found his family penniless and no body wanted to accept him. After all he was branded………..a murderer, a life convict., 

Dejected and totally broken, Gurbux Singh, returned to the prison and pleaded with the kind hearted Superintendent and said, "this is the only place I can call home now. Please take me back".

The Superintendent consoled him and directed him to the local Rotary club.. Gurbux had come to the end of the road and as a last straw of hope, approached the local Rotary Club. 

Earlier during his official visit to the Rotary Club of the town which did not have much economic activity, the District Governor had suggested a project, to rehabilitate ex–convicts. That would require not much funds but deep commitment of Rotarians. As is well known, the governor gives an idea and as soon as he turns his back the club forgets it. But not this club. The club took the idea seriously, and established contact with the Prison authorities.

Thus when Gurbux approached the Rotarians, they checked his antecedents. Except this one incident of a drunken brawl when he killed a man and was given life imprisonment, Gurbux had a clean record. 

Remembering the District Governor's advice, the club decided to help him. Rotarians stood surety and got him a bank loan of 1000 dollars to buy two buffaloes. Gurbux started small business of selling milk, but no body would buy from an ex-convict. Once again Rotarians came forward and started buying milk from him.

Because Gurbux was a changed man and was supplying quality milk, his customers increased and he started paying off his loan. His business enhanced. Thanks to Rotary, Gurbux was now a respected member of the society. But that is not the end of the story.

One fine morning the District Governor received a letter and I quote, "You do not know me but your advice to the Rotary Club has changed my life". He closed his letter with the words, "Thank you, Sir, and thanks to all the kind hearted Rotarians for helping the downtrodden and dejected people like me". 

Friends, I was that fortunate Governor and receiving that letter, was my proud Rotary moment. 

I hope in your term as District Governor as you will engage Rotary you will have many opportunities to change some life….many a life, lift many a Gurbax. Let those be your memorable Rotary moments, just as I remember after 36 years of my touching Rotary moment. 

Source: International Assembly 2013, San Diego
Courtesy: www.eflashonline.org