As we celebrate AzadiKa Amrit Mahotsav this year, we take this opportunity with Blitz India to recount Rotary’s contribution to the service of the nation and its efforts in nation building activities in the last 75 years. Rotary International’s vision has been “to see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves’:Rotary began its journey in India from Kolkata in1920, and has grown to 4500+ clubs with 1.5 lakh+ Rotary members today.
During the last 75 years of Rotary’s activity in post-Independence india, several world leaders emerged to lead this leading social development organisation. Rotarians have used their professional experience and personal commitment to tackle communities’ most persistent problems and finding new, effective ways to enhance health, environment, education and prosperity.
The other world presidents from India include Kalyan Banerjee (2011-2012), Rajendra Saboo (1991-1992) and Nltlsh C Laharry (1962-63).
Following is a summary of the key initiatives undertaken by Rotary inpost-Independence India:
As a driving force behind global efforts to eradicate polio, Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to save nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease.
A total of 1.5 lakh Rotarians in India since 1995, stood shoulder to shoulder with the Government and WHO/UNICEF, to institute National Immunisation Days each year, and immunise 172 million children underfive years of age.
Rotarians have also helped administer the polio vaccine to children by organising polio awareness street rallies, distributing fliers, books in
order to motivate the health workers and in supporting the immunisation drive. India was declared polio-free in 2014.
Over the years Rotary has emerged as a dynamic player in extending swift disaster response during various calamities across India. To enumerate a few, in 2018 when Kerala was devastated by floods and thousands of people lost their homes,1600 Temporary shelters and 800 permanent shelters
were built. When the 2001 Bhuj earthquake rocked Gujarat, over a thousand houses were built at Bhuj (focussed on seven talukas), and 780 schools in 181 villages refurbished.
Rotarians have executed projects worth $30 Million to address urgent needs in the wake of the The other world presidents from India include Kalyan Banerjee (2011-2012), Rajendra Saboo (1991-1992) and Rotary India Literacy Mission, through the 4500+ Rotary clubs in India, has embarked upon one of the most Nltlsh C Laharry (1962-63). Covid-19 pandemic that includes setting up of numerous Covid safe home centres, vaccination camps, donation of oxygen concentrators, and setting up oxygen plants etc. that gave a boost to the country’s medical infrastructure in com batting the pandemic
Medical Aid and Disease prevention
Whether it’s setting up dialysis centres Rotary’s Mother and Childcare initiatives have given Rotary International prestigious recognitions, e.g.,CBI Champions of Change Award (2016) and Times Sternberg award(2016).
Literacy Education and
Literacy is one of the main focus areas of Rotary Inter national. Rotary India Literacy Mission, through the 4500+ Rotary clubs in India, has embarked upon one of the most comprehensive programmes on Total literacy and Quality education, called Rotary T-E-A-C-H.
T-E-A-C-H programme has taken huge strides in the last 10 years. Through NCERT-Rotary collaboration, millions of children during the pandemic have access to Rotary’s E-learning content (aligned to NCERT curriculum for classes 1- 10), being beamed on lONCERT-TV channels. Its Teachers Training programmes, both ofiline and online, have trained over two Lakh teachers. Rotary has upgraded 3000+schools’ infrastructure and constructed 3000+libraries in schools. Over40,000 dropouts have been mainstre amed into schools through Rotary India’s Asha Kiran prog ramme. Recently Rotary India has embarked on its ambitious target to address the scourge of Adult Illiteracy in India which impacts over 20% of our population. In collaboration with state Government education departments and universities, etc., an initial pilot was done, which produced very encouraging results.
Water and Sanitation
Rotary India had supported the Swachh Bharat Mission launched by the Government of India. Rotary clubs have provided clean drinking water and built public toilets across India, apart from Implementing WASH projects in over 30,000 Schools Hundreds of check dams built by Rotary across India have reduced the time it takes for lakhs of women to fetch daily water and support irrigation to local communities. A great example of Rotary intervention is in Rajkot, where the 1.8 Km long Aji Dam was built, augmenting 120 million cubic feet of water every year and providing water for 1 Lakh + people.
Protecting the environment is the latest focus area of Rotary India. Rotary Clubs across India supported environment protection with massive tree plantation drives and nature conservation initiatives. Rotary is also delivering major projects towards solid waste management and has continuously advocating for renewable energy. A great example of Rotary’ support in environment protection is the dean-up of toxic waste from the hillocks at Kolar Gold Fields near Bengaluru in 2017,that was causing serious health hazards in the region.
Rotary has a unique position of being rooted within our own communities, while having a global outlook. We strongly believe we have a shared responsibility to take action on the world’s pressing issues i.e. in disease prevention, growing local economies, providing dean water and sanitation; protecting mothers and children, providing quality education for all, and in protecting the environment.
Rotary India’s yearly contribution towards local and international service initiatives through The Rotary Foundation is second only to Rotary United States’ contribution.
Rotary India’s programmes will continue to delivery sustainable and impactful service projects, developing the next generation of social service leaders, as well as provide funding to make the world a better place to live. We thank Blitz India for the opportunity to lace our contributions in the inaugural issue, and wish them the very best in their onward journey to be a leading player in promoting social development activities across the nation through their exemplary coverage.