At the Rotary Zone Institute held in Indore in December 2019, one of the most interesting sessions in which I had an opportunity to interact closely with Rotaractors was connecting with the DRRs and getting first-hand their views on why they are in the Rotary family. And, what is it that they enjoy the most about being Rotaractors? Anybody who attended this session, as well as a panel discussion with Rotaractors, will vouch for the confidence and boldness with which our young Rotaract leaders aired their views. While answering questions, they were honest and forthright and did not hesitate to express something which might be unpalatable to the RI officers — present and past — who attended the Institute.
The mantra of the day is “Elevate Rotaract”, after the CoL okayed at its meeting last year the very crucial proposal to make Rotaract a member of RI. We’ve always said that you are gen-next and the future of Rotary. But as I pointed out, while moderating the very candid panel discussion at Indore, now that RI has lifted boundaries such as age limit and a Rotary club having to sponsor a Rotaract club, your responsibility increases too.
We, the senior leaders in Rotary, take you very seriously, because you are the future of Rotary. Courage and youth — these are two words that go together; I would add two more words to this — innovation and change. I am positive and confident that with your innovative and new ways of thinking you will electrify our organisation and make Rotary much more diverse, dynamic, purposeful and a fun organisation.
You are the future of Rotary; we expect you to be honest, fearless and guide us to make Rotary more vibrant, embracing change and diversity. The ‘Elevate Rotaract’ decision was necessary, as we had found that barely five per cent of Rotaractors were becoming Rotarians. Let me reassure you that your views… what you think, say and do, are all taken very seriously on the 18th floor of the Rotary headquarters in Evanston where the RI Board meets.
Do not limit yourself in your thinking, and guide us through the next decades… till Rotary completes its second centennial.
Rotary needs you; Rotary welcomes you!
RI Director, 2019-21