Children are the focus of the 35-year-old RAC Dahisar Coast, RID 3141, a community-based club in the northernmost suburb of Mumbai. For, a slew of projects is being done with the aim to motivate students and children in their studies, creating awareness on social issues and lifting their morale through fun events.
Diwali was celebrated with 50 slum children who were given diyas, paint brushes and colouring material for decorating the earthen lamps under Project Radiant Creation. “We joined hands with the Robinhood Army and gave diyas to the children who painted their imaginations on the clay lamps. We gave back the decorated diyas to them, and also distributed goody bags and sweets,” says Biplab Maity, club president. Rotaractors engaged 200 primary class students at the Tambe High School, Dahisar, in a ‘good touch, bad touch’ session as part of Project New Beginnings.
Rotaractors led by Maity gave an opportunity to around 30 deprived children seeking alms at traffic zones and busy localities to eat what they liked, at least once in their lifetime under Project Next Stop Food Stop. “We provided drawing sheets, sketches and crayons for these poor kids so that they can draw their favourite dishes or cuisine. And we delivered to them all the food items they had drawn on the white sheets; the joy they had eating their favourite food had a lasting impact on us all,” says the club president.
Project Pages of Possibility is a quarterly event where students from Class 1–4 at different schools across Dahisar were given notebooks, drawing books and stationery to motivate them to excel in their studies. “Recently our club secretary Harsh Dubey visited Tambe School and distributed notebooks and stationery to the primary students.”
Thanking Rotarians from their parent RC Mumbai Dahisar for their “absolutely fantastic support to our projects and initiatives,” Maity says apart from mentorship, “they guide us by providing resources, linking with contact persons and donating in both cash and kind for our events, programmes through the year.”
But still he has to tackle challenges on the RI dues front. “Our membership is made up of students and professionals like doctors, auditors and teachers. While the annual RI dues of $8 per head is okay for the working members, students find it tough to pay the amount,” he explains. Apart from RI dues, they have to pay club fee of ₹1,100 and district fee of ₹100. But he is hopeful of convincing the student members on the need to pay RI dues on time.
While he is keen to become a Rotarian, Maity (24) says, “I will complete my Rotaract journey till 31, beyond which one can’t be a Rotaractor. After which I will join by parent Rotary.”