The members of Rotaract Club of Vindhyachal, RID 3120, are on a food distribution drive since October last year. Cooked food packets are distributed to slum residents and pavement dwellers in Mirzapur in UP. “We undertake this service activity every Sunday. We assemble in a common place and then fan out in groups of two or three. We buy food packets for distribution from various roadside restaurants and mobile eateries,” says club secretary Niyati Agarwal.
The Rotaractors also visit the district hospital to serve food to the patients and their caretakers, and distribute food to people at railway stations, temple entrances and bus stands.
Another project “close to our heart is our monthly visits to an old age home on the outskirts of Mirzapur,” she says. The Rotaractors entertain the 30 elderly residents there during the visit to the home and provide them footwear, socks, blankets and clothes. “We check with them what they need before we go and plan our purchases. We have also got a water heater, mixer grinder and an air cooler for the home.” The Rotaractors mandatorily celebrate their special days such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries with a visit to the home and treating the inmates to a sumptuous feast.
Birthdays and special occasions are celebrated with slum children too. “It could be a movie show or a day at a gaming zone. But our special days are made extra special and soul satisfying when we are with these children. For them too it is a special day because they get to visit a theatre or a mall only when we take them there,” says Niyati.
It is the club’s tradition every year, just before the winter sets in, to organise a clothes collection and donation drive. The members spread the message among their friends and relatives to donate their sparingly used clothes which are systematically collected and sorted according to age and gender. Worn out or torn clothes are discarded and the good ones are cleaned and neatly packed. “We then take it to the slums for distribution. The entire project is like a mela for a week and everyone pitches in with all that they can,” smiles Niyati.
The club has 45 members and it is well supported by the parent club, RC Vindhyachal. The members, who are mostly employed or are entrepreneurs, contribute liberally for all service projects the club undertakes.