Talking to 27-year-old DRR Ayush Sharma, RID 3054, feels like a stroll through a Rotaract exhibition as he reels out a number of projects that his clubs have taken up with passion. “We have 81 Rotaract clubs spread across parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and more than 90 per cent are community-based clubs doing some high-impact projects creating good visibility in the rural areas,” he begins.
One such project is Happy Baby Kit, in which Rotaractors of RAC Mundra present select baby care products such as toiletries, towels and napkins wrapped in a ‘wellness pack’ to the mothers of baby girls at government hospitals and maternity clinics. “We regularly liaise with the hospital officials and they will call us whenever there is need for such baby kits for newborns. Following such requests, the Rotaract teams visit such hospitals in remote areas and gift the kits to the mothers,” he explains. So far, the club has given over 750 baby kits in government hospitals.
The DRR is thankful to the shop owners, either Rotarians or a Rotaractor, for giving 20 per cent discount on the MRP of ₹550 for each baby kit.
A combo initiative packing two goals in a single project — greening drive and menstrual hygiene, Bleed Green is executed on Sundays at the five Rotaract zones in the district. Here a group of Rotaractors distribute 500 saplings and 500 sanitary pads to rural women in a whirlwind visit to the villages on Sundays over three months. While the saplings are given free by the Forest Department, “we also pay a nominal amount to purchase in bulk quantity from the local nurseries.” Two corporate sponsors — Softy Soft and Royal Group of Minerals — are taking care of the funding part for this project.
Rotaractors interact with rural women to drive home the messages of adopting best hygiene practices, safeguarding the environment and develop a long-time rapport with project beneficiaries, says Sharma.
Besides the regular conclaves such as District Rotaract Assembly and District Rotaract Conference, “our RYLAs are a grand affair with 150–170 Rotaractors taking part in each event. We have had four RYLAs in 2018–19 and all of them were funded by our parent Rotary clubs,” says the DRR.
A member of RAC Gandhidham, Ayush Sharma was an active Interactor during his school days in Kolkata. “While pursuing MBA degree at DG Vaishnav College in Chennai (2010–13), I was drawn into many Rotaract projects that were carried out by RID 3230 with the guidance of Rotary clubs,” says this Haryanvi youth.
He will be joining RC Gandhidham in 2019–20 as a dual member and “am looking forward to further expand my Rotary activities. As Rotaract representative of RID 3054, I am happy that all our projects are carried out either through membership fees, donations or from corporate sponsors,” he says.