With four Rotaract clubs at the Modern College of Engineering (MCOE), Pune, “there is a good deal of friendly competition among us to host interesting events and programmes to attract students, and gain steady patronage,” says Anurag Jadhav, secretary, RAC ENTC MCOE. All their 21 members are from Electronics and Telecommunications (ENTC). “Ours is a seven-year-old club, the first to be started in our college and only students from our branch can become members. Our annual membership dues is ₹800 per person — ₹400 each for the district and RI,” he says.
To spread love and cheer in the society, they initiated Project Groove Kindness, a one-day act where Rotaractors approached strangers and handed them a kindness note with a flower and chocolate. “Two Rotaractors caught the attention of the public as they held ‘free hug’ posters to spread goodwill and joy. We engaged people in pleasant conversation and helped them shake off anxiety, stress and depression,” says Jadhav.
During the third edition of Project Life of Giving, their flagship event, “we donated 600 woollen and cotton blankets to three special care homes — Savali, an orphanage; Shantibaan, an old age home; and Dnyangangotri Pratisthan, a school for physically-challenged — and homeless people including beggars, roadside families and slum dwellers.”
Programmes are conducted across all the six avenues of service including professional development of Rotaractors. “We made 43 eco-friendly Ganesh idols with Bombay clay in a workshop conducted by Rtr Esha Dashratha under Project Kaladhipati and took them home to celebrate Ganesh Chathurthi in August last year,” says Jadhav.
During the weekly meeting of their parent RC Pune Sinhagad Road, “I took up the issue of funding for the Project Life of Giving, and the Rotarians readily donated for the cause. This helped us to procure blankets for distribution,” says club president Supriya Saudagar. Other Pune clubs too pitched in with their contributions for the Rotaract project.
The club is planning a stargazing night where Rotaractors and students will observe planets and other celestial objects in the universe through telescope. “We have three organisations who are ready to partner with us and provide telescopes for holding the event. It will be open for all students,” says Jadhav. Looking forward, he says, “we have a plan to host an inter-club youth exchange programme for Rotaractors from other districts. And spadework is on to sketch out the event details and select the right club from other districts for our maiden foray.”