In a proactive move to raise awareness and combat obesity among children, RAC Panvel Elite, RID 3131, in partnership with the National Paediatric Association, recently organised an obesity awareness camp at the Dr Pillai Global Academy, Panvel. “We designed the camp to provide practical solutions for children facing weight-related health issues,” says Samruddhi Munot, club president.
Dr Swati Likhite, past president, RC Panvel Elite, “first sensitised the Rotaractors about the various issues related to obesity, so that the camp could have a more holistic approach. We could understand how the students struggling with weight-related challenges feel and it helped us create a supportive environment at the camp,” says Samruddhi.
The camp went beyond measuring body mass index (BMI) and included workshops on nutrition, exercise and mental wellbeing. To make the process enjoyable, the club included physical activities and games, changing the perception of exercise from a chore to a fun part of daily life. She adds “we invited expert nutritionists and counsellors to give personalised advice to both children and parents, equipping these families with the knowledge to make informed decisions about nutrition and lifestyle.”
A separate parent workshop focused on creating a supportive environment at home for healthy living. “Reinforcing the lessons to the parents at the camp was important because they play a vital role in the child’s development,” she says.
Club members, who are also animal lovers, rescued a sick mother dog and her six puppies affected by jaundice. Rotaractors donated blankets, newspapers, food, and essential medicines for the dogs. This incident, recalls the club president, “transformed how we looked at street dogs, from being seen as strays to domestic pets that deserve care and compassion. While the contributions provided immediate relief to the rescued dogs, it also fuelled the idea of a new project to extend help to other street dogs in need.”
A recent garba event organised by the club raised funds to support tribal villages near Panvel, addressing issues such as providing smoke-free stoves, empowering children through education, and promoting women’s health and hygiene.
In another initiative, the club teamed up with skilled bakers and helped women who were interested in the baking business learn the art of baking, icing and packaging. A few club members also joined the workshop.
During Diwali, the Rotaractors distributed gift kits to children living in orphanages. The kits included a traditional outfit, sweets, snacks, and other festive essentials. This was followed by an event that showcased the children’s hidden talent.
As part of Project Jai Jawan, in collaboration with RC Panvel Elite, the club honoured soldiers on raksha bandhan and Independence Day. Rotaractors collected 880 rakhis, 730 greeting cards and 145 letters from various schools, and they were sent as heartfelt wishes to soldiers guarding our borders.