DRR Kushal Bhuva, RID 3141, is brimming with joy as the two-day RYPEN — Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment — held recently was a resounding success. Thanks to great feedback from college students, “we are confident of doubling our current membership of 5,000 by Dec 2020, if everything goes as planned.”
With 113 Rotaract clubs doing around 9,000 projects, campaigns, online activities and fundraisers-cum-events in a year, this Rotaract district attracted 1,000 Interactors from 30 schools at the RYPEN which was held at Malad, a western suburb, and Hume High School at Byculla, a city downtown. In the morning, the students were exposed to experiential learning through activity-based workshops for acquiring leadership skills. In the evening, they had fun programmes with Q and A sessions on the Rotaract movement with queries such as “why one should be a Rotaractor, its benefits and how Rotary matters in this world.” Through online platforms, the district is targeting students of 69 colleges in Greater Mumbai to increase membership.
To begin with, colleges without a Rotaract club are being targeted by the district membership team. “At the same time, we don’t want to start new clubs, but only encourage the students in these colleges to become Rotaractors by joining community-based clubs in their neighbourhoods,” explains Bhuva.
In the first phase, Rotaract stalls are being set up in over 40 colleges to facilitate the registration of new members. During the 11-day Ganesh Mahotsav, over 20 Rotaract desks were put up under the marquees erected for sheltering Ganesha statues in different localities of Mumbai. “We brief the visitors on Rotaract projects and how they are working for a better world along with Rotary clubs,” says Bhuva.
When heavy rains lashed Mumbai recently and trains were either running late or cancelled, Rotaractors coined slogans like trains hai late, mat karo wait! Karo blood donate; karo jeevan daan, karo raqt daan to motivate people to donate blood at the mega Jeevan Daan camps held at 23 venues such as Dadar, CSMT, Ghatkopar, Mulund and Andheri railway stations, Saifee Hospital, colleges and malls. About 1,400 bottles of blood were collected.
Over 150 Rotary and Rotaract clubs and 430-plus Rotaractors took part in Jeevan Daan. “Along with blood camps, organ donation pledge forms were also distributed. People were made aware of the importance of donating their organs. Over 300 pledge forms signed by potential donors were received,” says Bhuva. Further, they have identified over 2,000 donors by July-end.
In its third year, Oculus, the mammoth year-long camp, has screened 5,000 schoolchildren for eye disorders till July 2019. Free spectacles were given to the beneficiaries. Over the last two years, Oculus camps reached out to over 13,500 children from underprivileged families.
“We have received good support from district officials and schools for the eye camps and will continue to expand the project to more schools in the coming years to spread smiles among children, the future of our nation,” adds Bhuva.