Chartered in July 2021, RAC Burdwan, RID 3240, is the brainchild of Dr Chandrajit Kundu, president of Rotary Club of Burdwan, who “took all efforts to set up a Rotaract club for students, business community and those employed in private firms. We had one such club in 1980s but it wound up within few years and now it has been revived with 21 members,” says club president Aslam Parbez.
Burdwan is the headquarters of Purba Bardhaman district, the rice bowl of West Bengal, and is dotted with tourist spots. “We have five Rotary clubs having around 250 members in the city and our monthly Rotaract bulletin Pragati is being circulated among Rotarians, Anns and Annets to draw more new members into our fold,” he says. Through the bulletin, the Rotaractors share their projects and community initiatives with the larger Rotary family in the city. “We partner with our parent Rotary in most of their projects and learn from this experience. Recently, a two-phase cataract surgery camp was organised and 57 people were treated for cataract at the Camri Hospital.”
On March 31, the Rotaractors distributed free spectacles to 200 out of 250 patients who were examined at an eye camp held in partnership with the Rotary club and Vision RX Labs. “We meet twice a month, on second and fourth Saturdays to discuss and chalk out our programmes. Rotaractors pay a monthly fee of `250, and we get donations and sponsors from businessmen to fund our outreach activities,” explains Parbez. The club has organised four blood donation camps in which 120 people have donated around 500 units of blood.
Engaging poor children
On Children’s Day, 38 inmates at the Tejganj Children Welfare Organisation were taken to Burdwan Science Centre and Meghnad Saha Planetarium. “It was a rewarding experience for us as the less privileged kids were thrilled and got enriched with an unusual experience of a lifetime.” In the coming months, the club is planning to hold a couple of health camps for the 250 children at this NGO which offers after-school coaching to children from Classes 5–12.
Another activity that enhances its public image is Project Upahar (Gift) in which the members collect sparingly-used clothes from the public at a drop point in Rotary Bhaban and package them neatly for distribution to underprivileged families. “We did the clothes distribution in January, and will do it again in April.” The club hosted a webinar on financial literacy for the benefit of students at the University of Burdwan and all Rotaractors from RID 3240. “Around 80 students and youth took part in the virtual session. We are holding such online meetings on a quarterly basis. Also, we leverage the social media to publicise our activities and gain visibility among the public,” says Parbez.
An Interact Club of Global Magnus School was chartered on April 1 and Rotaractors are ready to join hands with Interactors for impactful projects. With a new job posting at Powai, Mumbai, as chartered wealth manager, “I will be handling the Rotaract activities from this place,” says the 24-year-old financial analyst.