New Designated Months

The Board modified Rotary's calendar of special observances to designate specific months highlighting the Areas of Focus. The new special observance months are:
•    September: Basic Education and Literacy
•    October: Economic and Community Development
•    December: Disease Prevention and Treatment
•    January: Vocational Service
•    February: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution
•    March: Water and Sanitation
•    April: Maternal and Child Health
•    May: Youth Services

The R.I Board approved a change in the "additional per capita dues," as provided for in the RI Bylaws, to pay for the projected expenses of the Council on Legislation from $1.00 to $1.50, effective 1 July 2015.

Women are no less than Men

The Power of a WomanPast President Rtn. Arvind Mehan
Rotary Club of Chandigarh

In our last meeting we enjoyed a very elucidating talk by Ms. Gul Panag on Women Empowerment. The main emphasis was put on Gender inequality and bias. Be that as it may, an important aspect to know  for the woman is to unleash her inherent strength and power. The more confidently she projects it in society the more it will be recognized by man and she will earn her rightful respect and honour. The woman should not consider herself as the weaker sex, not even the fairer.

On watching the hindi movie “Mardani” recently, in my naiveté, I did not know but then realized that this attribute was not the private domain of men. It belongs to them as well. It is all about valour and courage and women only need to pledge to have it.

Let an inner voice resound in them that they are great just the way they are in the way they look but to change the way they become in their physical and mental strength.

Let a day come when the Miss India contest is held not for beauty or poise but for a track record of bravery or courage, sports or martial arts and for their leadership skills.

Our daughters, sisters or even the mothers of young children should be encouraged to go to gyms for physical fitness or to learn martial arts rather than beauty parlours which may be patronized only by senior ladies and men who may want to cheat their own age. Not that looking good in life is not important but only after one is physically fit and strong.

Basically the mindset has to be changed right from the age of toddlers so that they learn about gender equality right from the start. Boys should be sensitized right in kindergarten about gender respect. Girls should be made to realize from a very young age that they may very well be but are not supposed to look just pretty but grow up to be as important bread winners as men. They should not think of marriage as a position of shelter or support of a man in life but as being an equal if not stronger partner. It seems like an easy way out but girls have to be hard working and capable as well. They should pursue professional education seriously to make good careers and become financially independent if they have to fight the age-old scourge of dowry and other social evils.

On the same token, men of course should know that women have an equal right to go out and work and the responsibility of looking after children and the household as well as cooking is not the private domain of women. It belongs to them as well. All this conditioning for the children has to be done seriously as parents and teachers.

On hearing Gul Panag speak, one could make out that she is a ‘Mardani’ in many ways and was truly great leadership material and not just pushed into politics because of her celebrity image. Same is the case with Smriti Irani, whom one thought of similarly, once you get a chance to listen to her and realize how strong and able she is.

We have umpteen cases of such strong women leaders, past and present, who could take on the strongest of men leaders in any arena. But we need a lot more in society – much, much more. Let every young girl and woman of our country carry a conviction that she is no less in any field involving physical or mental dexterity than a man.

Let her carry a halo around her exuding strength, courage and power. Then let us see how men misbehave in any way with her. Once they know that women are not an ‘underdog’ in any field, they will cease to behave like ‘dogs’ like some of them are known to do when you hear of cases of rape and sexual harassment. Let there not be any modesty in women about their raging power lest the men attempt to outrage it!

Gul Panag speaks for Women Empowerment

Change the mindset to empower women, says Gul Panag

Bollywood actor Gul Panag addressed our Club on 2nd September during the regular Monday meeting of the Club on ‘Women Empowerment in the 21st Century’ at the Rotary House.

Speaking to Rotarians she emphasized the need to organizations like Rotary to take up the women related social issues to make a difference in their lives.

The change is possible that a relentless efforts need to be made to bring about the positive change in the society that could give equality to women and freedom to pursue their dreams.

I was lucky, she said, that I got the parents, and now my husband, who have been completely supporting me in whatever I wanted to do in my life, though not all girls are that lucky.

The mindset needs to be changed though I know, she emphasised it would take years, and decades and may be centuries.  The social ills like sati took hundred of years to vanish from India despite the draconic laws that British government tried to enforce to ban this practice.

Though the judicial intervention would be required to bring about the change it is the men and women alike have to raise their voice against women atrocities, she said.

Later PDG Kawal Bedi, another epitome of women empowerment, presented a memento to Gul Panag.

Why must youngsters join Rotaract?

As the new academic session starts, it is time for the Rotaract Clubs to gear up their act, plan their activities, and more importantly, start recruiting new members.

A hassled Rotaract Club's President came up to me with the question, "Sir, when we approach the new students to join Rotaract, they ask what benefit they will get out of it, and even my teachers often ask me, 'Why should anyone join Rotaract?' "

Well, for all those hassled and harried Rotaract leaders, here are a few facts which you may use for your pitch.

Rotaract simply means Rotary In Action, and is an affiliate of Rotary international.  Rotaract is the official program of Rotary International which came into existence in 1968. The first club chartered was Rotaract club of North Charlotte, North Carolina USA on March 13, 1968. It comprises of young adults between the age of 18 to 30 either community or institutional based.   Today, Rotaract has grown into a strong, international network of over 8,000 clubs in more than 167 countries.

The purpose to Rotaract is to provide an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical needs of their communities and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a frame work of friendship and service.

The reasons for joining Rotaract are:
- To develop professional and leadership skills.
- To emphasis respect for the right of others, and promote ethnical standards and the dignity of all useful occupation.
- To provide opportunities for young people to address the needs and concerns of the community and our world.
- To provide opportunities for working in cooperation with sponsoring Rotary club.
- To motivate young people for eventual membership in Rotary
In addition, you must have the mind to render selfless service to humanity and also at every time you must be ready to surrender your Time, Talent, Treasure and Thinking (4T's).

Leadership Development: Rotaract is an organisation of leaders and successful people, serving in Rotaract Positions like a college education. Leadership learning, how to motivate, influence and lead leaders.

Continuing Education: Rotaract is a learning opportunity and is a continuous training in doing research and assessment of critical community needs, strategizing, developing plans, creating and managing teams and other resources, raising funds, and celebrating achievements.   This is a complete education in developing multifarious management skills encompassing management of resources, production, humans, finances, publicity, promotions, and projects.

Global Citizenship: Rotaractors wears pin that say "Rotaract Club". There are many places on the globe that do have a Rotary club. Every Rotaractors is welcome, even encourage to attend any of the Rotary Clubs meeting or that of the Rotaract clubs around the globe; this means instant friends in both one's community and in the world community.

Professional Network: This is a significant advantage which Rotaractors enjoy over other professionals. Everyone needs to network especially when a young boy and girl wants to work as an intern or is looking for a job after studies.  Rotary’s network of business people and professionals help them get the desired internship/placement.

Career Advancement/Professional Growth: Being a member of the Rotaract Club helps young boys and girls receive instant recognition for their community service projects, which gives them credit rating during further studies abroad or during internship/placements, since Rotaract and its sponsoring organization Rotary enjoys international recognition, and Rotaractors get a headstart.

The Opportunity to Serve: Rotaract is service; its business is mankind while its product is service. Rotaractor provide community service to both local and international communities. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotaractor, the chance to do something for somebody else; to sense the self-fulfillment that comes in the process, and the return of that satisfaction to one's own life. It’s richly rewarded.

Ethical Living: Rotaract movement infuses amongst its members the spirit of giving, and ethical behavior, which augurs well generally for the world at large.

Participation in National and International Conferences: Rotaractors are eligible to register for any of the Rotary or Rotaract conferences held around the world.

Youth Exchange Programme: Rotaractors can also join in many of the youth exchange programmes that Rotary organizes giving youngsters the opportunity to travel to other countries, attend short term workshops, or long-term academic studies.

Rotary Club Chandigarh wins Best Club Trophy

Rotary Club of Chandigarh won the running trophy, second time in a row, for the Best Club in Rotary District 3080. 
The trophy was presented at the District Annual Awards function, 'Abhinandan', and was received by President of the Club Rtn. Hassan Singh Mejie, Secretary Desh Deepak Khanna, and all other members of the Club.
The outgoing District Governor Rtn. Rakesh Aggarwal, whose term also finishes today for 2013-14, congratulated the Club which under the leadership of President, Rtn. Hassan Singh Mejie, outdid every other club in the District in its overall performance, from managing excellent projects to raising funds and contributing to The Rotary Foundation, out of the 79 clubs in the District.

The Club received several other awards for its multifaceted performance in the Rotary District 3080, which comprises Chandigarh, parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Utrakhand and Uttar Pradesh. 

Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, PDGs from the Club Rtn. Kawal Bedi and Rtn. Madhukar Malhotra, PE Prof Paramjit Singh, President Nominee D.P. Singh, along with many members of the Club including PP Abhilash Kapoor, PP Praveen Goyal, PP Baldev Aggarwal, PP C.J. Singh, PP Man Mohan Singh Kohli, IPP Vivek Gupta, Sukhjit Singh Gill, Rajneesh and Mona Khattar, Ann Alpana, received the trophy. 
Rtn. Col. Dilip Patnaik, District Governor 2014-15 formally received the baton of leadership from DG 2013-14 Rtn Rakesh Aggarwal.

Dainik Bhaskar Pride Award for Rotary Club Chandigarh

Dainik Bhaskar confers Pride Award on Rotary Club of Chandigarh for its Heartline Project

Governor of Punjab, His Excellency Shri Shivraj Patil, gave the trophy and a citation, which was received by the Club's team of Rotarians including Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, President Hassan Singh Mejie, Past Presidents Baldev Aggarwal, Charanjit Singh, Manmohan Singh Kohli, Neena Singh and Vivek Gupta, besides Project Chair Sukhjit Singh Gill and Mona Khattar.

The award is a community recognition of the great efforts of the Rotarians for their zeal and mission 'not to let any child die for want of money'.

Since 1999, when the project began as Gift of Life (now known as Rotary Heartline)  under matching grant project, the Club decided to continue with its mission even when the matching grant was over, and till date 500 lives of children have been saved by providing free cardiac surgery.

Our heartiest compliments to every Rotarian, their families, our partner Fortis Hospital Mohali, and the angel supporters who continue to bring back the smiles on the faces of these children and their families.

Rotarians to mend hearts of 7 children from Rwanda

Rotary Club of Chandigarh received seven children from Rwanda who arrived here on Sunday, for their heart surgeries.
The youngest of all, Evan is a 7 months old child suffering from Down syndrome and is accompanied by his mother, Uhiriwe Chantal.

Rtn. Pres. Hassan Singh Mejie with the first lady, besides Past Presidents Kewal Seth, Praveen Goyal, Baldev Aggarwal, Charanjit Singh, and Vivek Gupta, President Nominee Rtn. D.P. Singh, Rtn. Sukhjit Singh Gill, Rtn. Mona Khattar, and Rtn. Jatinder Kapoor, received the children at the airport and brought them to the Rotary House, where they met the media and had their lunch, before being shifted to the Fortis Hospital.

Rotary Club of Chandigarh had been engaged in providing free heart surgeries to children from various parts of the country as well as from abroad through our partner hospital, under Rotary Heartline project, since 1999, informed Rtn. Hassan Singh Mejie, President of the Club.

Former world president of Rotary International, Rtn. Rajendra K. Saboo, who conceived this project which has saved 499 lives of children already, is a happy man, who rejoices at the innocent smiles of these children, which transcends any boundaries.

Most of the children suffer from rheumatic heart disease (RHD) with some of them having the leaking heart valve, and will be operated by Dr. T.S. Mahant, Executive Director CTVS at the Fortis Hospital Mohali in the next two weeks, informed Rtn. Sukhjit Singh Gill, the chairman of the Heartline committee.

According to Rotary Club Chandigarh President Hassan Singh Mejie, this was a part of our commitment to the children of Rwanda to provide free heart surgeries to 30 children, and it is the third group of 7 children which has arrived now.

Amongst the children include Master Prince (9 years), Miss Brigitte (9), Miss Josiane (14), Miss Dativa (14), Master Fils (17), Miss Vedastine (15), and Evan (7 months).

The children are accompanied by Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza Kamanzi, and  Heshima Christophe, along with mother of Evan, Mrs. Uhiriwe Chantal.

The Club which launched the Rotary Heartline project in 1997, has already saved the lives of 499 children, which included children, besides from India, 15 each from Malawi, Nepal, and Rwanda, 33 from Pakistan, 7 from Uganda, two from Afghanistan, and one from Iraq.

ROTARY SCHOLARSHIPS for Water and Sanitation Professionals

Rotary International and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education have teamed up to tackle the world’s water and sanitation crisis by increasing the number of trained professionals to devise, plan, and implement solutions in developing and emerging countries. Through this partnership, The Rotary Foundation will provide grants to Rotary clubs and districts to select and sponsor 16 students each year.
The Rotary Scholarships for Water and Sanitation Professionals have been designed to promote long-term productive relationships between Rotarian's and highly skilled water and sanitation professionals in their communities. Rotary scholars will benefit from the support they receive through regular contact with sponsoring Rotarian's from their home country and the opportunity to interact with Rotarian's in the Netherlands.
After graduating, scholars’ expertise will be put to work improving water and sanitation conditions in their own community with a project the scholar and sponsoring Rotarians will design and implement together.
In addition, Rotary Foundation alumni are part of an extensive network of fellow Rotary scholarship recipients and Rotarians worldwide. Becoming involved with a local Rotary club and the alumni association allows scholars to stay connected to Rotary’s global community and resources.
Students eligible for this scholarship must be provisionally admitted to one of the following degree programs at UNESCO-IHE (joint programs are not eligible):
~ MSc in Urban Water and Sanitation
~ MSc in Water Management
~ MSc in Water Science and Engineering
Students provisionally admitted to one of the three eligible UNESCO-IHE academic programs will seek the sponsorship of their local Rotary club or district and  completed applications must be received by The Rotary Foundation from sponsor Rotarians no later than 15 July of the year in which studies begin.
Scholarship awards will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Early submission is highly encouraged.
TRF awards scholarships in the amount of €25,000. Funding to cover additional costs (including international travel) related to participation in the academic program will be coordinated by UNESCO-IHE.

Contact information
Questions about the scholarship and application process can be sent to
OR contact Ms Ineke Melis, Senior Fellowship and Admission Officer,
Phone   +31152151705
Rtn. Pres. Hassan S. Mejie, Rotary Club of Chanidgarh

Celebrating 3-Years of Polio-Free India

It is a matter of great pride for all Rotarians worldwide that India has completed three years without any case of polio, qualifying it for the WHO certification for Polio-Free India, said Rakesh Aggarwal, District Governor of Rotary International District 3080, who was in the city today on his official visit to the Rotary Club of Chandigarh.
People positioned themselves in front of the giant Rotary wheel
in front of the Neelam theatre and clicked their heart out. 

He complimented Rotary Club of Chandigarh for celebrating this milestone by illuminating the Neelam city building in Sector 17 Plaza by Mr. Anil Kumar, IAS, Home Secretary, UT Chandigarh, in the evening, as also the Rotary House.  Buildings all across the nation including India Gate and Red Fort would be illuminated to mark the occasion, he informed.

People eagerly watched the Rotary's journey and efforts in
eradicating polio
Rotary worldwide has contributed more than US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication efforts since 1985 when Rotary mooted this project and later brought on board WHO, UNICEF, US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the national governments of countries around the world.
District Governor Rakesh Aggarwal, IPDG Manmohan Singh,
Pres. Hassan Singh Mejie along with other Rotarians of
Rotary Club of Chandigarh, and the Rotaractors 
The three-year achievement also sets the stage for the polio-free certification of the entire South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization in the first quarter of 2014 by the Regional Certification Committee.
UT Home Secretary, Mr. Anil Kumar IAS (third from right)
watches the video after illuminating the Neelam theatre building,
along with PDG Madhukar Malhotra, and Assistant Governor
Ajit Gulati at Sector 17 Plaza.
Rotary says the challenge now is to replicate India’s success in neighboring Pakistan (which is in a different WHO region), one of three remaining polio-endemic countries. Afghanistan and Nigeria are the others. Collectively, they create a reservoir from which the opportunistic disease can emerge to re-infect areas where it had been previously stopped. So-called “imported cases” are occurring now in Syria and several African countries.  In 2013, imported cases in non-endemic countries outnumbered the total in the endemic countries 224 to 145, underscoring the importance of stopping the virus where it remains endemic.
Rotary Governor Rakesh Aggarwal also presented hearing aids to children of Patiala School for the Deaf.
President Hassan Singh Mejie of Rotary Club of Chandigarh informed that Gift of Hearing project was launched last year in collaboration with The Rotary Foundation and the partner Rotary Club of Charlotte, USA of Rotary District 7680, to restore the world of sounds amongst children with hearing disorders. So far, he informed, 29 aids have been given to the deaf and mute children who are now being further rehabilitated by speech therapist to decipher sound and language.
Earlier in the morning, Governor Rakesh Aggarwal and President Hassan Singh Mejie alongwith members of Rotary Club of Chandigarh presented two wheel chairs to the Chandigarh Railway Station for the convenience of the physically challenged, weak and old passengers.

‘Light Up Rotary’: New Rotary 2014-15 Theme Unveiled

RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang chose Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-15. Huang was inspired by the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucious who said: "It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness."

"There are so many problems in the world, so many people who need help. Many people say, 'There's nothing I can do.' So they sit there doing nothing. Meanwhile everything stays dark," Huang told the 537 district governors and their spouses and partners who are attending the 2014 International Assembly in San Diego, California.

"The Rotary way is the Confucius way. The Rotary way is to light a candle. I light one, you light one, 1.2 million Rotarians light one. Together, we light up the world," said Huang, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei in Taiwan.

After announcing his theme at the opening session of the five-day training meeting, Huang urged club members to Light Up Rotary in the coming year by hosting a Rotary Day in their community and including local Rotaract and Interact members in their service projects.

"How you Light Up Rotary is up to you," Huang said. "You know where you are strong, you know what your community needs, and you know how you can help."

Huang also shared his membership development goals, including the need for more women and young adults and his goal to increase membership to a total of 1.3 million members. He asked Rotarians to invite their spouses, family members, and friends to join Rotary.

"We need to assume leadership for building strong clubs, and that starts with bringing in new members," he said.

Addressing the status of the fight against polio, Huang noted that with the current momentum Rotary is on track to achieve full polio eradication by 2018.

"When we eradicate polio — and we will — we will have proved ourselves an organization capable of great things. And we'll be even better equipped for the next challenge we choose to take on. We'll have given the world a gift that will endure forever," he said.

By continuing to fight against polio, setting an example in local communities, and growing membership, Huang hopes to see Rotary shine brighter than ever.

"Light Up Rotary is our theme, but it is more than our theme. It is how we live in Rotary, how we think in Rotary, how we feel, how we work," Huang said. "It is how we make a difference — every day, in every club, every district, and every country where we serve."

Download the 2014-15 theme logo and materials

Rotary is Opportunity

Rtn. Frank Deaver, Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, Alabama USA, explains his concept of Rotary. 

What is Rotary? Reduced to a single word, Rotary is Opportunity. 

RI Past President Clem Renouf said, "Rotary takes ordinary men [and women], and gives them extra-ordinary opportunities."

Of course, Rotary is many other things. The words "service" and "fellowship" are often employed to describe the international organization. Other descriptions are valid, of course, but perhaps there is no better single word to encompass all that Rotary stands for. Rotary is opportunity, including – perhaps starting with – service and fellowship, but extending far beyond those two basics.

Rotary is opportunity for acquaintance. 
Without Rotary, members would have much more limited local acquaintance, limited perhaps to workplace and residential neighborhood. Through Rotary, acquaintance is spread across the community, and with the benefit of the classification system, it includes representatives of most of the local businesses and professions.

Rotary is opportunity for networking. 
Paul Harris initiated that first gathering of friends because of a desire for friendly social contacts. But one of their first decisions was to limit new members to one representative from each business and profession, and emphasis was given to targeting their business relations primarily to one another. Rotarians have confidence they can turn to each other for professional or business needs.

Rotary is opportunity for personal growth. 
A member becomes a committee chairman, a club secretary, or president, and rising to expectations of the job, gains self-confidence, poise, and increased leadership ability.

Rotary is opportunity for better citizenship. 
Through weekly programs, Rotarians enlarge their understanding of government, business, and society. Through participation in community projects, they gain appreciation for local needs, and their ability to meet some of those needs.

Rotary is opportunity for mentoring. 
Through club sponsorship of Interact and Rotaract clubs, through school projects or literacy programs, members are challenged to share their expertise in situations that would not be available to them other than through Rotary.

Rotary is opportunity for ethical awareness.
Emphasis is placed on high standards of personal integrity, for example those spelled out in the Four-Way Test. These expectations call on Rotarians to practice and encourage ethical behavior in the workplace and the community.

Rotary is opportunity for world understanding. 
Through exposure to Group Study Exchange teams, to departing and returning Ambassadorial Scholars, and to Youth Exchange, Rotarians gain a multi-cultural awareness, and insight into the world society.

Rotary is opportunity – let us not overlook this – for fellowship and service.
But isn’t that included in and enlarged upon in all of the other opportunities mentioned? The word "opportunity" obviously leads us to ask, and answer, "Opportunity for what?" The opportunities mentioned here are only a beginning; many more could be added.

But the central fact remains: Rotary is Opportunity

New Landmark in fight against poverty this year for India

India to be certified polio free in January this year.

This would be a landmark year in the history of India's fight against polio, and the history of Rotary's crusade to banish polio from this world.

Officially it would be 13th January when India would complete three polio-free years.  While the Rotary is all geared up to commemorate this event throughout the country, our Club has also ambitious plans.  We would expect every Rotarian to be a part of it and join in large number.

13th January being Monday is also the time when our District Governor Rtn Rakesh Aggarwal and the first lady would be with us on his Official Visit.

Watch out this video