Recently in Mumbai, the DRRs had an exclusive meeting with RI President Elect Barry Rassin on the side-lines of the District Rotaract Zone Institute. “Rotaract is the secret weapon in Rotary which we have ignored for so long. You’re not workers; you’re leaders. You’re the future of Rotary,” said Rassin, acknowledging the valuable role played by Rotaractors. With a call to the Rotaractors to become Rotarians in due course, he listed out the expectations of Rotaractors from Rotary: “I know that basically you don’t want to go to a lot of meetings; you want to be efficient when you go to a meeting; you want to do service, you don’t want it to be expensive, and you want to enhance your leadership skills.”
While joining Rotary, he advised the Rotaractors to “look for a Rotary club that satisfies your needs. If you don’t find one that engages you, start your own Rotary club. Do it the way you want to do it with your friends so that you don’t lose the passion for Rotary. Our rules are very flexible today; so it can happen the way you want it to happen.”
Rassin appealed to the DRRs and the Secretaries to update the Rotaract data with RI. “I understand from RI that we have over 10,000 clubs, but less than 40 per cent have confirmed their existence. We must know the exact data so that we’ll know what you are doing and how we can help you.” Currently, Rotaract data is being updated at Evanston with help from Rotaract club presidents. The long-term goal is to ensure that Rotaractors enjoy the same rights and privileges as Rotarians.
Look for a Rotary club that satisfies your needs. If you don’t find one that engages you, start your own Rotary club.
A big applause greeted his announcement when he said that eventually he’d like to see Rotaractors have the same access to global grants, as Rotary clubs. He also hinted about a new programme being designed for Rotaract in association with the Toastmasters International. The content will have more of public speaking and leadership skill development and will be launched in July.
To a question on what he liked about Rotaractors and what he expected out of them, Rassin quickly replied: “Well, I love your youth. Your energy and optimism are fantastic. I want to spread that to Rotary. What I want from you is to take the lead and go to a Rotary club and say, ‘we want you to be involved with us and we want to involve with you’. Be proactive; don’t wait for Rotary to come to you.”
I love your youth. Your energy and optimism are fantastic. I want to spread that to Rotary.
Sharing his views with the Rotaract leaders at this impromptu meet, RI Director C Basker called for a better coordination between Rotarians and Rotaractors. “The connect between Rotary and Rotaract is vital for both partners to work in tandem. Don’t think that you are young and hence insignificant. Together you are a force. You can make a difference,” he said.
Rotaract Zone Institute 2018
The Rotaract Zone Institute was a four-day training session specially designed for the Incoming Rotaract District Representatives and Secretaries from 31 districts. It was held under the Chairmanship of PDRR Harikrishnan Pillai. Over 200 Rotaractors and 50 Rotarians attended the opening ceremony for which the Chief Guest was DG Prafull Sharma and the Guest of Honour DGN Harjit Singh.
RI Director Elect Bharat Pandya was the RI President’s Representative. PDG T N Subramanian introduced the delegates to the Rotaract bye-laws and guidelines, through his session titled Leading by the book. Other speakers included Ashish Vidyarthi who spoke on Service across age groups and Prof Uday Salunkhe who reiterated the importance of skilling to stay relevant to today’s jetset age.
A panel discussion on health and wellness was made interesting by Paediatric Surgeon Dr Suresh Rao, Mukesh Batra, the CMD of Batra Positive Health Clinic, Abhishek Sharma, the CMO of GOQII and football player Mayuri Morey. Senior journalist Bhawana Somaaya and Aditya Singh, Founder of The Athena School of Management, spoke on leadership skills.
The connect between Rotary and Rotaract is vital for both partners to work in tandem. Don’t think that you are young and hence insignificant. Together you are a force. You can make a difference.
– RI Director C Basker
While the iconic Dabbawalas of Mumbai enthused the audience with a talk on their efficient food delivery service, PDRRs Harikrishnan Pillai and Ravikiran Apte spoke on team building. The district secretaries had an orientation session on process adherence and leading the leader by PDRRs Manish Solanki and Ravikiran Apte.
DGE Shashikumar Sharma presided over the closing ceremony. D 3141 DRR Om Chawla thanked the host governor, Prafull Sharma, Youth Service Chair Rtn Manish Motwani and the Rotary clubs for extending their support in celebrating the golden jubilee of Rotaract.