A mid-air installation of SEARIC Prez Kaushal

PDG Ashish Ajmera, DGN Nihir Dave, DG Santosh Pradhan, SEARIC MDIO President Kaushal Sahu, Rtr/Rtn Aakash Bhesaniya, Event secretary PDRR Khushal Shah and chairman DRR Vatsal Khimasiya ready to board the flight.
PDG Ashish Ajmera, DGN Nihir Dave, DG Santosh Pradhan, SEARIC MDIO President Kaushal Sahu, Rtr/Rtn Aakash Bhesaniya, Event secretary PDRR Khushal Shah and chairman DRR Vatsal Khimasiya ready to board the flight.

Rotaract is indeed the fun wing of Rotary and this event showcases how Rotaractors mix business with pleasure, and essentially enjoy Rotary…

PDRR Kaushal Sahu took charge of leading the SEARIC MDIO (South East Asian Rotaract Information Centre) this Rotary year in a unique manner when he was ‘hijacked’ blindfolded to the Surat airport to board a chartered aircraft. DRFC PDG ­Ashish Ajmera, the installing officer, installed him as president mid-air. The programme was hosted by RID 3060. “The mid-air installation was a total ­surprise for Sahu and he was very much pleased with it. All of us felt thrilled planning the programme,” said DRR Vatsal Khimasiya, RID 3060. Aagaz, the installation programme, happened when the host team had anxieties in planning the event on the ground amidst the Covid pandemic. “We planned this main event with just nine of us and Rtn / Rtr Aakash ­Bhesaniya of RC / RAC Surat Diamond City helped in arranging the charter flight. The entire event lasted just 45 minutes.” The rest of the board members were installed in a large swimming pool in Surat, in the presence of 15 DRRs and district leaders from RID 3053, Sahu’s home district, and the host district.

SEARIC MDIO President Sahu takes his oath at the swimming pool.
SEARIC MDIO President Sahu takes his oath at the swimming pool.

All delegates had to carry an RT-PCR test report and random tests for Covid were conducted at the pool venue. The visiting delegates were accommodated in a serviced apartment complex in the city. “The idea was to do something new and exciting. We had already had a DRR installation event in a swimming pool in 2017. The flight programme was totally new but Rotary connections helped,” said Khimasiya. Bright floral shirts added colour to the pool party and a special DJ nite made it all the more memorable.

As a guest of honour participating in the installation event both onboard the aircraft and at the pool, RID 3053 PDG ­Harish Gaur commented that he regretted not having been a Rotaractor. “They were having so much fun and such involvement,” he said.

Khimasiya was the programme chairman and PDRR Khushal Shah, the secretary. Members from 10 Rotaract clubs of RID 3060 volunteered in organising the event.

PDRR Sahu with the board members of SEARIC MDIO after their installation by the pool.
PDRR Sahu with the board members of SEARIC MDIO after their installation by the pool.

Sahu said that he had come a long way from “having begun my first ever Rotaract project in 2015 sitting on cement bags, along with my club members, and packing refurbished clothes for distribution to orphanages and destitute homes. I have enjoyed being in Rotaract ever since. It has shaped me with leadership and humanitarian qualities.”

SEARIC comprises 40 districts across seven countries — India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Timor Leste. “With guidance from RI’s Rotaract chair PDG Ravi Vadlamani my focus is to strengthen Rotaract with 25,000 new members worldwide by the year- end. We have inducted 12,000 new Rotaractors till September,” he said. Establishing a strong communication network between the districts and its Rotaractors, and between Rotaractors and Rotarians, is his other agenda. Over 150 international delegates have already registered for the annual SEARIC summit to be held in Gwalior for three days during mid-December. “We expect at least 300 registrations this year.”

DRFC PDG Ashish Ajmera collars PDRR Sahu as SEARIC MDIO president on the aircraft in the presence of DG Pradhan and DGN Dave. DRR Khimasiya and PDRR Shah are also seen.
DRFC PDG Ashish Ajmera collars PDRR Sahu as SEARIC MDIO president on the aircraft in the presence of DG Pradhan and DGN Dave. DRR Khimasiya and PDRR Shah are also seen.

He has led the launch of a Rotaract Business Connect platform this year through SEARIC, in association with RID 3132. “This will help Rotaractors establish connections with the S E Asian countries and it will be mutually beneficial. SEARIC will also help to streamline Rotaract membership data with RI so that Rotaractors benefit from RI’s various policies and programmes,” said Sahu, adding that zonal meets have been planned for the year to provide orientation to DR₹

He aims to double Rotaract membership and encourage dual membership in his district that presently has 31 Rotaract clubs. His home club, RAC Gwalior Youth is setting up ‘entrepreneurship clubs’ in government schools to train higher secondary schoolchildren on business skills and provide career counselling.

Sahu leads his district’s first dual member club — Rotary Club of Gwalior Ace — chartered this year. “Sixteen Rotaractors from my Rotaract club are its members,” he smiles. Both his clubs are presently active in organising Stop NCD health camps in Gwalior.

RID 3060 DG Santosh Pradhan, DGN Nihir Dave, PDG Pinky Patel, RID 3053 PDG Harish Gaur, PDRR and past president of Rotaract South Asia MDIO Yatin Sehgal and PDRR Nirav Trivedi were present at the installation event.

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