Little deeds of kindness

Here is a club that understood the power of small gestures to create a positive impact in the community. RAC Coimbatore CACIL, RID 3201, believes in the extraordinary power of ordinary actions. Through their efforts, sanitary pads brought dignity, movie screenings brought smiles, and haircuts brought a glimmer of hope to those living on the streets. “No act of service is too small or insignificant for us. That’s why our club is named CACIL — Care And Affection Crossing Infinite Limit,” says club president Farhan.

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Through Project Thuimai, the club focused on menstrual hygiene in adolescent schoolchildren. Organic sanitary pad dispensers were installed in three schools and a college in the city. Bliss Pads Naturals, an organic napkin manufacturer, is sponsoring the pads in these schools which will be dispensed free of cost to the students. Trained Rotaractors from the club, and from RACs PSGCAS and CBE Comito, addressed the students in all these schools on menstrual hygiene management. “The two Rotaract clubs and an Inner Wheel club sponsored three dispensers which cost ₹5,000 each, and we installed one at the college,” says Farhan, adding that the incoming club president Navin has promised to continue the work as a flagship project next year, and add more educational institutions to benefit from the club’s MHM programme.

Above: A fun programme for sanitary workers; Below: Children all set to watch a movie sponsored by RAC Coimbatore CACIL.
A fun programme for sanitary workers; Below: Children all set to watch a movie sponsored by RAC Coimbatore CACIL.

“We enlisted the support of a local hairdresser, Mani Salon, to give a neat haircut to street dwellers and ragpickers, and were thrilled to see the visible transformation it had on them. The look of relief in their faces will stay with us for a long time,” he says. The club members donated new clothes to them.

Around 120 children from an orphanage were excited to watch a Tamil film in a theatre. The Rotaractors sponsored the tickets and refreshments, and arranged transportation for the young guests. “It was a heartwarming project which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our movie-watching experience was enhanced as we were with the children,” says Abishek, club’s vice-president.

A team of Rotaractors from the club assembled at the Town Hall one afternoon and distributed footwear to those who were walking barefoot on the streets heated up by the scorching sun. “The look of incredulity, combined with relief, as we handed over the packets of footwear, was something that we will remember for a lifetime,” says Farhan.

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On another occasion, the ­Rotaractors brought joy and fun to an otherwise mundane day of garbage cleaners at the Perur town panchayat. Games and fitness activities were designed for them by the club members.

Uncharted was a RYLA hosted by the club for Interactors of RID 3201. About 80 schoolchildren participated in the one-day event. “The sessions were mostly planned to educate them on moral values. We had also included an orientation session on Rotaract as they will soon transcend into Rotaractors.” The programme was conducted in association with RCs Coimbatore New Gen and Coimbatore South.

RAC CACIL and RC ­Coimbatore South together hosted various competitions for the Interactors of Vasavi Vidyalaya MHS School, as part of the Interact Week celebrations on the first week of November. Jam sessions, debate, essay and music competitions were conducted.

Rotaractors hand over a carton of sanitary napkins for distribution at a school.
Rotaractors hand over a carton of sanitary napkins for distribution at a school.

Nine district trainer designates delivered sessions on self-­development in six schools in the city and in Hyderabad. “We brainstormed and curated the content so as to cover topics related to challenges faced by the Gen Z in this social media crazy world. Our efforts were rewarded; the feedback said it all,” he smiles. In another initiative, a session on mental health was organised by the club for students of Classes 4–9 at the St Philomena High School. Dr Benedict Savita, assistant professor, Avinashilingam Institute, was the resource person.

The club, in association with RAC Sree Krishna College of Technology, under Project Rota-library, set up an exhaustive library, replete with book shelves and books of various genre, at the VLB Janakiammal School in the city, and encouraged the children to cultivate reading habit which will help in their personal growth.

A street dweller gets a haircut.
A street dweller gets a haircut.

A fundraiser musical nite was organised by the Rotaractors to help provide education to schoolchildren in a hamlet in Anaikati, a hillock on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Motta Madi Music, a popular music troupe, entertained 3,000 people over three hours. “This was our six-year dream as the budget was ₹18 lakh. We planned this fundraiser especially to help the tribal children. But we could only raise ₹20,000, very much short of our target amount. We will have to work out some other plan next year to raise a decent amount for the project,” says the president.

In a bid to help other Rotaract clubs, RAC CACIL initiated Rota-vault, a programme through which the club members helped with the paperwork to open bank accounts for ten other Rotaract clubs. “We also assist clubs to apply for PAN card because that will make the clubs more authentic, especially when they visit corporates or individuals for sponsorship,” he says.

The club, chartered in 2018, is a community-based club with 41 members, all aged between 19–31.

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