Celebrating a year of service and fellowship

I am retiring with a happy, but heavy heart. As I lay down office tomorrow, I am satisfied that I have given my best, continued the programmes initiated by my predecessors and introduced some of my own. More than anything we had a fantastic year,” says Archie Chhadwa, president of RAC Mumbai Mulund South, RID 3141, speaking to Rotary News on the penultimate day of the Rotary year 2022–23. She is especially happy to have inducted 25 new members raising the club’s strength to 99. “We are a 16-year-old community-based club, and there are members from 16 to 30, but then, age is just a number. We have college students, start-up entrepreneurs and employed individuals who bond so well over fellowship as well as service projects.”

Rotaractors painting tote bags.
Rotaractors painting tote bags.

The club recently distributed umbrellas and ration kits to transpeople through Project Naaz which is in its fifth year. “Some of them have requested us to find them jobs and we are taking it up with our relatives and friends. Every year we organise health camps and awareness programmes for the LGBTQIA+ community near Mulund. We have also been conducting online awareness programmes on transgenders among college and school students to help the public understand them better,” she adds.

We bought the bags from a group of tribal women and painted them. Carrying those tote bags now invokes a shared smile of remembrance among us.

Under Project Laadli, the club rallied together to raise ₹8,400 to sponsor the education of two girl students from less privileged families. The funds will be utilised towards school fee, uniform, school bags, books and shoes, for the students for the academic year 2023–24. “We have been supporting the girls for four years now.”

Ration kits being provided to transpeople.
Ration kits being provided to transpeople.

Recognising the growing threat of cybercrimes, the club’s IT experts initiated Project Sec-ur-ity, conducting informative sessions on cyber security specifically tailored for women. Lectures on cybercrimes and online scams, along with techniques to identify and protect against them, were delivered to the public. By equipping individuals with knowledge and awareness, the club aimed to safeguard the community from financial traps and digital threats.

Some transpeople have requested us to find them jobs and we are taking it up with our relatives and friends.
– Archie Chhadwa, president, RAC Mumbai Mulund South

Project Torch, another ongoing programme, focused on empowering children associated with Nirmal Jyot, an NGO in Mulund. Over four years, the Rotaractors have been providing two days of comprehensive soft skill training to 20 children, emphasising time management, communication and leadership skills. Through this initiative, the club strives to instil confidence and equip young minds with essential tools for personal and professional growth.

Women listen to a lecture on cybersecurity.
Women listen to a lecture on cybersecurity.

Addressing the pressing issue of menstrual health management, the Rotaractors initiated Project Period Pride. They visited schools and colleges in the vicinity to conduct educational lectures on this topic, reaching out to adolescent girls. At the end of each session, sanitary pad packets were distributed, ensuring these girls have access to essential menstrual hygiene products.

Archie is happy that her club has executed over 150 programmes including 40 community service projects under her leadership. Amidst the serious undertakings, she recalls a fun session where the club members bonded over a tote bag painting event. “We bought the bags from a group of tribal women and painted them. Carrying those tote bags now invokes a shared smile of remembrance among us.”

A Rotaractor gives a sanitary napkin pack to a woman.
A Rotaractor gives a sanitary napkin pack to a woman.

As Archie prepares to pass the torch to Mancha Dedia, she reflects on a year filled with meaningful Rotary service. She is relaxed with a sense of gratitude, knowing that her efforts, alongside those of the dedicated club members, have made a significant impact on the community.

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