Project 50 Smiles feeds 2500 people

The Rotaractors of RAC ­Saraswati College, D 3142, undertook several projects to bring cheer in the lives of street dwellers, war widows and inspiring women to be go-getters, through three different projects.

Pavement and hut dwellers across Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, and the poor and needy in several parts of the world, benefitted from the project — 50 Smiles — initiated by the club’s international avenue. The Rotaractors reached out to their counterparts across the world through social media with a call to feed the hungry for seven days as a commemoration of the World Rotaract Week (Mar 12–18). The target for each participating club was to feed at least 50 underprivileged people in a week.

Rotaractors of RAC Saraswati College distribute food for the needy.

Fifty-four clubs from across India and 23 other countries such as Malawi, Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paulo etc responded to the call and together they fed 2,500 hungry people over the week.

“It was a massive project and we feel ­overwhelmed to realise that Rotary has been able to assuage the hunger of so many men, women and children across the world through a collective act. It was such a soul-satisfying programme,” says Mihir Lodhavia, the Secretary of RAC Saraswati College.

It was a massive project and we feel overwhelmed to realise that Rotary has been able to assuage the hunger of so many men, women and children across the world through a collective act.

Plans to coordinate with Rotaract clubs worldwide began in December with the club’s International Services Director Amarjeet Chauhan ­connecting with Rotaractors through Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. “Almost every member was involved in the project in one way or the other. In Mumbai, while Nikhil Tambe got the ‘50 Smiles’ banners printed, Sairaj Pardeshi got sponsorship for meal packets from a local restaurant. Throughout the week, all the members helped in the distribution,” says Lodhavia.

 

Ride for Pride

In another event titled Ride for Pride, the Rotaractors organised an exhibition of vintage and luxury cars and bikes in the college premises at Kharghar. The ticketed event collected ₹70,000 that was donated to the Voice of Martyrs, an NGO that works for the rehabilitation and welfare of war widows. “There are many bike enthusiasts in our college and in Navi Mumbai. The idea was to cash in on this interest. We publicised the cause for which the proceeds from the sale of tickets will be used and that too was a big draw for our collegemates,” says Chinmay Sheth, a student who volunteered for the show.

Rotaractors and visitors at the exhibition.

The show attracted an impressive footfall including celebrities. ­Kenneth Kirsten, Vijay Kumar and Sairaj Pardeshi were the project ­chairpersons taking care of the coordination, marketing and promotion of the event. It was inaugurated by College Principal Manjusha Deshmukh and ‘Ridergirl’ Vishakha, the first woman motovlogger.

 

Celebrating women

The club brought out a compilation of women achievers from across the world. It was a combined initiative of Chauhan and Sanjana Singh, International Services Director of RAC Pune Kothrud Marathwada ­Mitramandal, D 3131. Success stories of women achievers from 50 countries have been compiled into an e-bulletin titled Wonder Women, which was circulated widely on the social media. “It was our effort to break the myth that women’s role is limited to being homemakers. It is also to highlight the fact that women everywhere are capable of breaking the glass ceiling if they set their hearts and minds to it. That’s why we included three successful women from each country,” explains Lodhavia.

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