Though less than a year old, the Rotaract Club of Panvel Elite, RID 3131, has taken up a slew of community projects. The community-based club was chartered in July 2019 and has 25 members. “Besides regular projects, we also hold professional sessions for our members to further their career prospects. Our monthly meetings are interactive and lively. We are still in our nascent stage and hope to achieve big things in future,” said the Club President Ria Munot.
One of their signature activities, the Animal Welfare Project, extends support to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Thane which provides shelter for rescued dogs, cats, birds and other animals. The Rotaractors collect newspapers, old clothes, towels, bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets and medical aid like ointment and syringes and give them to the SPCA for taking care of rescued animals.
Recently, they collected over 60 kg of newspapers that were used to spread on the floor of cages. Two project leaders Aryan Anchaliya and Krishna and a coordinator, Annanya Jain, take care of logistics and other needs for the smooth conduct of the project. A three-minute video was shot by the Rotaractors at the SPCA premises with bytes from its director, caretakers and doctors who emphasised the need for humane treatment of animals and taking steps to prevent cruelty against them. Rotarians from the parent RC Panvel Elite are sponsoring medical aid “after seeing the good public feedback for the project.” Ria is now promoting the video on social media with an aim to usher in a “mindset change in society on the treatment of animals.”
Under Project Umeed, the Rotaractors visited Balgram, an orphanage, and engaged around 60 children in games and interactive sessions. “From making them learn new things through fun activities to clicking pictures with them the visit turned out to be a memorable experience. The happiness was mutual,” said Ria. It was a joint activity executed with RAC Alexandria Mariout Royal, Egypt, RID 2451, and the Rotaractors in Egypt conducted a similar event in their region.
It was a special Diwali for Rotaractors as they spent the festive occasion with differently-abled children at the AAI Day Care. “We raised ₹30,000 in 10 hours through exhibitions at three different places where we sold lanterns, diyas and other artefacts,” said Ria. The money will be spent for the children’s education.
Bicycles for tribal students
The Rotaractors joined hands with the parent club to distribute bicycles to 25 tribal students in Sindhalachiwadi and nearby villages. These children had to walk over 8 km to school from their homes. The Rotaractors collected and refurbished unused, abandoned cycles from housing societies.
During Ganesh Chathurthi, they created awareness on keeping the roads and waterbodies clean in a joint project with 10 other Rotary and Rotaract clubs. “We carried out Nirmalya Abhiyan to sensitise people on keeping the public space and waterbodies clean,” she recalled.
A special lecture was organised on platelets donation, “which is more beneficial than blood donation. We also compiled a data bank with the help of Tata Memorial Cancer Centre, Navi Mumbai.” This was a novel programme to inform the public on the advantages and benefits of platelets donation as compared to the usual blood donation camp.
On the mode of funding their diverse projects, Ria Munot said they have pegged the annual subscription fee at ₹2,000 per member. Besides, Rotarians sponsor their projects through donations or material delivery and logistics. “Rotarians involve us as volunteers and support staff in huge projects which help our members to get an insight into organising mega events. It will stand them in good stead in future,” she added.