Grooming talent for GenNext jobs

With the steady induction of new members every week, RAC Lala Lajpatrai College, RID 3141, is looking forward to expand its project activities and gain visibility among students of this college, a reputed institute for higher education in commerce and business administration in Mumbai. “Each year we have over 200 Rotaractors. As we are an institution-based club, a large number of final-year students exit and freshers join in the beginning of the Rotaract year. In another 14 days from now, our headcount, which is 135-plus, will cross 150, for, our new focus on professional development and fellowship is creating the right impact among students,” says Malcolm Vakharia, club president. “Our aim is to inculcate good values and create bonding among students through regular events with loads of fun and excitement.”

RAC Lala Lajpatrai College president Malcolm Vakharia giving a talk at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Station during the skit to create awareness on freedom struggle and martyrs.
RAC Lala Lajpatrai College president Malcolm Vakharia giving a talk at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Station during the skit to create awareness on freedom struggle and martyrs.

Project Zero – An Offbeat Career Fair, a brainchild of Vakharia, is gaining traction with its bold vision to educate Class 9–10 students, transgenders and sex workers on the vast opportunities available for them to carve a lucrative source of income through offbeat professions such as blogging, vlogging, beatboxing, digital and graphic visualisers, etc. This three-month-old training sessions have benefitted 2,500-plus students across 10 schools in Mumbai, and engaged at least 50 transgenders-cum-sex workers for developing their skills in these emerging vocations. “These jobs are growing big with their associated industries finding huge market in India, especially in Mumbai. We have over 15 experts/resource persons to conduct training sessions on 20-plus offbeat careers for the beneficiaries,” he explains. So far, the club has done 25 project sessions for students and transgenders. ‘Zero’ refers to building a career path for students from ground zero through a calibrated programme, he informs.

Rotaractors celebrate the tricolour as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Rotaractors celebrate the tricolour as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Enough funds

Sponsored by RC Bombay Mid Town, the Rotaract club collects an annual fee of ₹750 per head, apart from the annual RI dues of $5. “We get enough sponsors from companies, individual donors and contributions from our parent Rotary club to host events and programmes. Also, the mandatory RI dues are not a problem as students want to be part of Rotaract fellowship.”

Beyond the Limits will see groups of youth facing multiple hurdles and challenges in the course of their multitasking at a new location near Mumbai.

On World Population Day (July 11), a team of seven Rotaractors led by Vakharia went to Nagpur to hold awareness sessions on sexology at a public and private school, reaching out to around 400 girl students. “Dr Nitu Hedaoo, gynaecologist, and three Rotaractors gave special talks on the subject. The event gave immense satisfaction to us all,” he recalls.

I-Day events

A 20-day programme titled ‘Respect your tricolour’ consisting of various events including filling self-realisation forms, wall painting at the Dadar Railway station to promote Rotaract, and a virtual meeting with members from RAC Karachi Kolachi, RID 3271, in the midnight of Aug 14 to promote cultural exchanges between Rotaractors of the two countries, turned the spotlight on the youth brigade of Rotary at the Lala Lajpatrai College.

A ‘Respect for tricolour’ demo at a railway station.
A ‘Respect for tricolour’ demo at a railway station.

“We staged a Nukkad Naatak (street play) at CSMT, Churchgate and Mumbai Central railway stations on Aug 15. The play was based on the life and struggles of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the liberation movement.” Rotaractors collected discarded national flags from in and around their localities after the I-Day celebrations and handed over a bundle of 75 flags to the Indian Oil officials to dispose them in respectful and eco-friendly manner.

Upcoming projects

In the coming months, a couple of projects are expected to create adrenaline rush among Rotaractors. First, Beyond the Limits will see groups of youth facing multiple hurdles and challenges in the course of their multitasking at a new location near Mumbai. “We have a prize money of up to ₹10,000 to the winning team. Every year we change the nature of tasks and the location for the participants.”

A sexology awareness session for girls at a school in Nagpur. Club president Vakharia is second from right.
A sexology awareness session for girls at a school in Nagpur. Club president Vakharia is second from right.

Another event, Astitva – Ek Pehchaan, is for the physically-challenged and specially-abled communities who will be trained in vocational skills for a regular source of income. “Each year, we change the beneficiaries who are drawn from various NGOs and different skills are imparted to them at the training sessions,” says the club president. To boost the morale of Rotaractors, he has composed and produced a three minute-video as a club anthem titled Hum hai number one. The sleek promotional clip was uploaded on musical platforms and social media including YouTube. “I feel privileged to lead the Rotaract club and being a Rotaractor for two years has helped me a lot in broadening my vision,” says Vakharia, a third-year BMS student.

Club ambassador Manav Shah, doing second-year BFM, points out that his four-year Rotaract journey has pulled “me out of my comfort zone and take challenges head on. This process groomed me in all aspects of life, especially honing my leadership qualities.” He is enjoying every moment of his current post of club ambassador as “I am the contact person for other clubs looking for partnerships and joint hosting of projects.” He is also responsible for enhancing the public image of his club through impactful, high-visibility events.

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