Diverse Rotaract projects in Chandigarh

Just being in Rotaract and getting themselves involved in service projects give the members of RAC Chandigarh, RID 3080, a “shared identity and wonderful experience of serving the community,” says its club president Navnita Rajput. Among the 67 members, around 70 per cent are college students and the rest are young working professionals of this 51-year-old, community-based club sponsored by RC Chandigarh, the oldest Rotary club in the union territory, the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.

Food, refreshments being distributed to patients and their attendants at the Government Hospital, Sector-32.

Speaking about their service projects, Rotaract District Health Service chair Manu Gupta says, “our thrust is on healthcare, literacy, hygiene and vocational services. Recently, we celebrated Holi at our Rotary House and Pot Luck was conducted with fanfare.” In this event, 10 Rotaractors prepared sweet dishes at their homes and brought their cuisines for sharing with others, and the best dishes were recognised.

A fundraiser titled Donate, Dosti, Dance (D3) was organised at the Rotary House to mobilise funds to provide relief material for the flood victims in Himachal Pradesh.

Lohri and Makar Sankranti (harvest festival) were celebrated at the Kartar Aasra, an orphanage and old age home, with children and elderly inmates. “We had fun games with 25 children who were given snacks and dry fruits; gifts were distributed to 15 elderly people at the special home,” says Navnita. Around 15 doctors from Sri Sukhmani Dental College Hospital and Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences examined 100 children and adults for dental deformities at an oral hygiene camp held at the Press Club (Sector 27). “Free treatment was given and medicines were distributed to needy patients,” says Gupta.


Donate, Dosti, Dance

A fundraiser titled Donate, Dosti, Dance (D3) was organised at the Rotary House to mobilise funds to provide relief material for the flood victims in Himachal Pradesh. “Under D3, we hosted a three-day workshop on Salsa Bachata, a popular western dance and music, in which over 350 youngsters took part. We gave a cheque for ₹50,000 to a government school in Himachal through our DRR Chinmay Abbhi; and relief material worth ₹1 lakh was distributed to the families of flood victims through My Rotary portal. Our club got a certificate of appreciation from RI for the flood-relief work,” explains Navnita.

Project Donate, Dosti and Dance to provide relief material for the Himachal flood victims.
Vitamin supplements being distributed to slum children at Sector-25.

Every month, a select few Rotaractors visit Cheema Foundation, an NGO, to do audio recording of academic books for the benefit of visually-impaired students. Under Project Ummeed Ki Awaaz (Voice of Hope), “we are given time slots and a set of books for us to do our voice recording. After doing at least six hours of audio recording, we get certificates from the NGO,” says Vachika Goel, PR director of the club. As a permanent project, the club is doing this novel work for the last six years.

All the members of the parent Rotary, RC Chandigarh, have been of great help to us as they come out with project ideas, provide valuable tips and even offer monetary support, if needed.
– Navnita Rajput, president, RAC Chandigarh

Project Annasparsh has distributed buttermilk, food packets, biscuits and water bottles to over 200 patients and their attendants at the Government Hospital (Sector-32) to mark Rotary new year on July 1. The project was sponsored by Rtrs Sarthak Bansal, Sahil Gupta and Dipinder Kaur. Around 20 Rotaractors took part in a HPV seminar with Dr Heena Chawla from Apollo Hospitals, giving a talk on cervical cancer at the Rotary House. “We are giving sanitary pads over the last three years to women in the slum areas across Chandigarh, thus benefitting over 350 of them, and they were educated on adopting best practices in menstrual hygiene,” explains Navnita. Around 25 stray dogs were given winter jackets to give a protective shield during cold nights and rainy season for the first time under Project Garmaahat. The 14th edition of Mahadaan collected over 100 units of blood which was donated to the Rotary Blood Bank in the city.

A stray dog being clothed with winter jackets.
Sanitary napkins were distributed to women at Sector-38.

Stationery items were donated on two occasions to 60 orphaned students at the Kartar Aasra home. “In January first week, tea and biscuits were served to 500 patients and their attendants at the Government Hospital (Sector-32),” says Vachika, doing her final year BCom at the MCM DAV College for Women and into her second year as Rotaractor. “The Rotaract journey is memorable. Earlier, I was an introvert before moving from Ambala. Now, I interact with my Rotaractors at the hostel which give me confidence to enhance my social life which was absent earlier,” she smiles. She will continue to be a member of her Rotaract club even after shifting out from the city for doing MBA in another city, she says.

Echoing her views, club president Navnita, working as an assistant manager of digital marketing in a private firm, says, “this is my third year as Rotaractor and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I have grown in both professional and personal fronts after joining Rotaract. And I will continue in my club as long as possible now that there is no age limit for being a Rotaractor.”


Support from Rotarians

All the members of the parent Rotary, RC Chandigarh, have been of “great help to us as they come out with project ideas, provide valuable tips and even offer monetary support, if needed. Their club president Anil Chadda helps us in project funding through proper guidance or direct support whenever we approach him,” says Navnita. An annual fee of ₹1,600 per head is levied from Rotaractors, of which ₹800 goes to RI dues, ₹200 for the district fund; and the balance ₹600 is meant for club activity.

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