This year marks 50 years since the founding of the first Rotaract club — the Rotaract Club of Charlotte, North Carolina, chartered on March 13, 1968. However, as early as 1935, our founder Paul Harris encountered a youth organisation based on Rotary principles in Australia. The new programme’s name, Rotaract, was created by Rotary International as a combination of the words “Rotary” and “Action”. The aim of the programme was “to develop leadership and responsible citizenship through service to the community.”
I am reminded of Swami Vivekananda’s advice to youth to cultivate and nurture the ability to ‘feel’. He offered his Tarakamantra to youth — the most influential three Ps. They are: Purity: Purity of thought and achievement. Patience: Patience is not being passive, on the contrary, it is to be active and it is the concentrated strength to understand the dynamic form and need to focus on the area for improvement. Perseverance: Perseverance is the ability to keep doing something despite how hard it is or how long it takes to reach the goal. The three Ps are the great traits for the youth of today who are willing to adopt and be a part of positive change that will have an impact on an entire community.
Rotaractors are true “Partners in Service” and important members of the Rotary family, who work hand in hand with Rotarians. I am sure that Rotaractors of today will serve humanity with joy and enthusiasm and make Rotary prouder and stronger.
Rotary: Making a Difference.
Director, Rotary International