Mumbai Rotaractors hold online classes for disadvantaged kids

This nine-year-old club with a motto ‘Act for Impact’ does community projects with a two-fold objective — to create a better society with impactful programmes and mould professional and leadership skills of Rotaractors. “Our Open School offers online general classes on Saturdays for poor children at NGOs, orphanages and special homes in Mumbai, Nagpur, Indore and Uttarakhand. Once the pandemic subsides, we plan to hold physical meetings in Mumbai for a large gathering of children from underprivileged families on Sundays,” says Payasvi Pathak, president, RAC Bombay Airport, RID 3141.

Presently, 150 children in the age group of 4–14 years are being tutored by a team of 70 Rotaractors in batches. The club has tied up with four NGOs for conducting online classes on diverse subjects including general knowledge, current affairs, creating awareness on hygiene and sanitation and web based fun activities, among others. “Once we resume field activities, the children will be taught English, math and communication skills. There will also be a yoga demonstration and the students will be coached through model exams,” says Rtr Meet Shah, social media director.

RAC Bombay Airport Payasvi Pathak (sitting, right) at a meeting of children of Open School.
RAC Bombay Airport Payasvi Pathak (sitting, right) at a meeting of children of Open School.

Due to Covid restrictions, the club members are not able to meets so “we carry our regular activities through social media and Apps. One such is an online interaction with old age homes in which the Rotaractors hold fun sessions with senior citizens.” At present, the club is holding online programmes for eight old age homes in Mumbai, Pune and ­Gujarat. “We will be visiting them soon and donate grocery, food and other essentials on a monthly basis,” says Shah.

Cricket fundraiser

The Rotaractors are waiting eagerly for the launch of their fundraiser, IPL Fantasy League Tournament, an online cricket contest scheduled to kick-off during the IPL inauguration in Dubai. “It is a virtual cricket contest with lots of fun and we are assured of at least 300 participants, each having paid ₹30 as entry fee,” says Payasvi. The proceeds of the online contest will be used to purchase 2,000 masks and 2,000 sanitiser bottles which will be distributed to homeless people and migrant families eking out a living on roadsides, she says.

Rotaractors at the Scooby Dooby Project that fits reflective collars on street dogs.
Rotaractors at the Scooby Dooby Project that fits reflective collars on street dogs.

After Covid restrictions are eased, the club will be taking up wall beautification and river clean-up as two major projects for the year. “We are yet to identify the public places for wall painting and also select a waterbody for restoration as both are still on planning stages,” she says. The wall paintings will be done at busy places such as railway stations, school campuses, public libraries and parks.

After Covid restrictions are eased,
the club will be taking up wall ­beautification and river clean-up
as two major projects for the year.

Payasvi Pathak
president, RAC Bombay Airport, RID 3141

Payasvi is keen to start a regular session on menstrual hygiene for underprivileged women in Mumbai. “We will start this project in a small way and expand it to reach more beneficiaries in a phased manner.” Around 90 per cent of its 132 members are college goers, and the rest are young professionals who have just graduated from college. The Rotaractors have placed reflective collars on over 200 street dogs at ­Andheri, Juhu and Bandra, among other localities in Mumbai, to protect the mongrels from being mowed down at night by speeding vehicles due to poor visibility. Named Scooby Dooby, this act of kindness for street dogs reflects the ­compassionate side of their impactful projects, says Payasvi, a final-year student of Data Science Engineering at NMIMS, Mumbai.

For Meet Shah, a BE student who joined the club last year, the smiling faces of the inmates at old age homes and orphanages give him “immense satisfaction and a feeling that my work has brought a positive change, though it may be miniscule, in the community.” Their parent Rotary, RC  Bombay Airport, helps them with “monetary support and also fixes the venue for Rotaract projects if we are unable to do it on our own,” adds the club president.

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