Creating platforms and opportunities for youngsters to build a successful career has been the singular focus of RAC Deonar, RID 3141, ever since it was chartered 35 years ago. And their parent Rotary, RC Deonar, helps them through sponsorship and resources for holding big ticket events throughout the year. “RC Deonar president Sangita Shahani helps us in many ways. She lets out a spacious hall at her culinary institute for our bimonthly meetings where all our members do a healthy brainstorming,” says Vaishnavi Shetty, club president.
While this community-based club has 45 members with a good mix of college students, salaried people and professionals from all walks of life, “around 20 people will be inducted soon. We have members from as young as 18-year-old to 35-year-old professionals,” says Vaishnavi. Project Hire Me is a one-day workshop with two sessions in which experts and mentors give stimulating lectures to college students on shaping their career through enhancing their skill sets and developing the right attitude. “Basically, we empower students and professionals with guest lectures and interactive sessions. In July, two speakers, Saloni Satam, a soft skills trainer, and Zaid Khan, founder-CEO, Zedital, delivered lectures on ‘modules of professionalism’ and ‘how to build a startup’ respectively to over 100 participants including Rotaractors and college students,” she explains.
The career guidance event was done in partnership with five other Rotaract clubs — RACs Atlas SkillTech University, Ruia College, Bombay Pier, SIES Sion (East) and Bombay Airport. With the support of their parent Rotary, a two-day RYLA will be held in October at Lonavala. “We are confident of having around 60 college and school students for the RYLA which will focus on academics, career-building and grooming leadership under a broad theme of Leadership in digital age,” says Shweta Nair, club secretary and a lawyer. Recalling her three-year Rotaract journey, she says, “the organisation provides ample scope for you to learn through project planning, execution and management, which our colleges can’t provide.”
Over the last 30 years, Project Xpressions has honed the diverse skills of thousands of school students. “We hold this two-day cultural fest for schools across Mumbai. Around 2,000 students from 30–35 schools take part not just in dance and singing competitions, but in a plethora of art display including fashion show, painting, clay modelling et al,” she says. A panel of experts judge the contestants and prizes are given to the winners across different genres.
Waiting to join Rotary
Shweta (26) wanted to become a member of RC Deonar, her parent club, only after reaching 30. “I am looking forward to become an active Rotarian, but have to wait for four more years,” she smiles. For her friend, Sonal Agrahari, the club’s joint secretary, and studying Law, “being in Rotaract is full of excitement. I have gained self-confidence, turned into an extrovert and very comfortable in making public speeches.” This is her fourth year in Rotaract, and she was earlier member of RAC Guru Nanak Khalsa College.
Summing the efforts of her club, Vaishnavi, a fintech analyst at TSS Consultancy, says, “we not only open up a platform for college students to plan their career, but also groom their personality through global perspectives.”