One hundred little Krishnas were running helter skelter at the Rotary Bhawan in Bikaner on Janmashtami Day that celebrates Lord Krishna’s birthday. The event was a fancy dress contest organised by Rotaract Club of Bikaner Marudhara and its parent club, RC Bikaner Marudhara, RID 3053. “This is the fourth year we are conducting this event where children are encouraged to dress like Krishna or his consort Radha. It is so much fun and every year the number of participants keeps increasing. It is a very popular event in the locality,” says project chairman Devinder Singh. Last year owing to the Covid pandemic the programme was a virtual one, and “it had 150 participants.”
The older children were made to recite verses from the Bhagwad Gita and episodes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana are related as part of the event to encourage appreciation of our culture and tradition in the young minds. All the children were given participation certificates after a sumptuous feast. The event has enhanced Rotary’s public image, says the Rotaract club president Vinay Bissa.
The seven-year-old club is planning to charter a Rotary club by the end of the year with all its 40 members becoming dual members. Bissa also aims to charter at least two institution-based Rotaract clubs in colleges. As a run up to the World Polio Day (Oct 24) the club has planned a week-long campaign to propagate the need to continue administering polio drops in children even though India has been declared polio-free. “We plan to do this event in association with the CMHO (Chief Medical Health Office), Bikaner,” he says.
The club recently organised a blood donation camp which helped to collect 134 units of blood. It was given to the government hospital. Rotaractors and Rotarians from other clubs donated blood at the camp.
The club is in the process of setting up a tailoring institute to train underprivileged women and help them earn a livelihood. “We will assist them to get jobs or direct business from our known sources to women who opt to have their own tailoring unit,” he says, adding that the club plans to donate sewing machines to five women who cannot afford to buy one. Rotary Club of Aadya, an all-women’s club in Bikaner, has also promised to sponsor around 20 sewing machines.
We will assist the women to get jobs or direct business from our known sources to those who opt to have their own tailoring unit.
– Vinay Bissa, President, RAC Bikaner Marudhara
Although the amended RI policy has done away with the upper age limit for Rotaractors, and with the deciding power resting on the respective Rotaract clubs, Bissa says that his club prefers to have Rotaractors under 30 and is terminating older Rotaractors. After 30 people become more business-oriented. The pressure to succeed makes them focus more on ways to promote their business and so even casual interactions would eventually turn into business meetings, he says.