A clutch of diverse projects and programmes enables the Rotaractors of RAC Mumbai Mulund South, RID 3141, to reach out to less privileged children and families, thus earning goodwill among the communities. “We have 100 members including lawyers, bankers, financial analysts, entrepreneurs, students and businessmen, who contribute generously for our projects,” says Mansha Dedhia, club secretary.
The community-based club was revived 17 years ago, “after we got it re-chartered on November 25, 2005 as it remained inactive for long years before that. Now, we are into full steam with community projects,” says Archie Chhadwa, club president. Project Period Pride creates awareness on menstrual hygiene among rural women and less privileged girls through interactive sessions. “So far, we have done a campaign in which 30 girls from an NGO took part and over 65 sanitary pads were distributed in that event. We have distributed over 300 hygiene pads to rural women at a village in Badlapur,” she says. Under Project Aarogyam, a RID 3141 initiative, over 200 students of Navbharat Nutan Vidyalaya, Mulund, were diagnosed for general illnesses, dental woes and had their ‘basic physiotherapy evaluation’.
It was a satisfying moment for a team of 10 Rotaractors who visited an old age home to spend Diwali with 25 elderly inmates under Project 2nd Innings. “We distributed sweets, delicious items like farsaan; and diyas to celebrate the festival,” says Archie. They also had fun games and interacted with the elderly people. In a unique donation drive, the Rotaractors collected worn-out shoes and slippers and got them recycled and refurbished. “We donated over 650 pairs of footwear after they were mended under project The Sole Purpose,” she says. Similarly, they collected over 500kg of e-waste, old furniture, books and other discards, all of which were upcycled and refurbished before they were donated to less privileged families under Project Eco Warriors.
Fun activities like Zumba session and craft-making were conducted for patients at the Regional Mental Hospital, Thane. With the aim to upgrade the anganwadis in Bhiwandi, “we donated weighing scales and Infantometers to six childcare centres where sessions on complimentary feeding were held for lactating mothers (Project Aanchal).” Rotaractors went miles (Smile-A-Thon) to spread smiles among 170 children at three impoverished colonies in and around Mulund. “We distributed gift bags consisting of muffins, snacks, compass boxes, notebooks and stationery,” says Mansha.
Around 100 hygiene kits were distributed in Mulund and Badlapur for needy families. Project Umeed (hope) offered Rotaractors an opportunity to spend time with HIV-positive people at an NGO. Fruits, stationery and other daily essentials were distributed to them. An awareness campaign on AIDS/HIV was conducted at a mall.
Pursuing a diploma in pre-school management, Archie, a home tutor, says, “Rotaract has so much to offer and right now, I am enjoying every moment of being a Rotaractor. Once the time is ripe, I will become a Rotarian.” She joined Rotaract four years ago. Agreeing with her, Mansha, a UG student in Business Management, too wants to “be a Rotaractor as long as possible. But I will become a Rotarian to continue my service.”
Both of them are thankful to their parent Rotary, RC Mumbai Mulund South, “whose members support us with resources once we pitch our project ideas to them.”