Rotaract, a buzzing spot at Sophia College

RAC Sophia College for Women president Srishti Chawla (3rd from L), Rotaractors and police women at Project Atma Raksha.
RAC Sophia College for Women president Srishti Chawla (3rd from L), Rotaractors and police women at Project Atma Raksha.

After going through difficult Covid times over the last two years, RAC Sophia College for Women, RID 3141, in South Mumbai is bristling with activities and has become a happening spot with happy and excited faces all-around. “Our members are able to connect with physical events and programmes, as we are able to appreciate and enjoy the impact they have, attracting more students,” says club president Srishti Chawla.

While last year the membership stood at 180, this year it has already touched 256 Rotaractors who feel that “our club fosters more bonding and fellowship than the nature, dance, drama and cultural clubs which are also active in our college,” she smiles. Having over 250 members after the Covid pandemic is a “huge achievement. This record growth is despite the stiff competition we have from other niche clubs which try to attract students.”

Project Atma Raksha (self-protection) trained 30 college girls in martial arts to protect them against stalkers and predators. “A team of 5–6 Mumbai police personnel gave a demo and taught us some basic self-defence techniques,” says Maryam Aarbi, club secretary. In July last year, they volunteered at a blood donation camp hosted by RC Bombay Central, their parent Rotary, in which around 80 units of blood was collected. Around 35 Rotaractors made sandwiches at the college canteen and distributed the snacks to the poor children in the nearby localities. “Due to frequent exams, we could not take up projects that we wanted to do, but in the coming months we will implement them that will fetch us more visibility,” says Maryam, a 2nd year student of BA, English.

 

Mentorship

RC Bombay Central provides the resources and guides the Rotaractors in their project execution. “Whenever we conduct an event or programme, our parent Rotary extends all support like lending us the Rotary hall or sponsoring key resources for our project,” says Srishti. She cites the installation event with the Rotary club pitching in with ₹11,000 to make it a memorable moment.

Rotaractors at the sanitary napkin collection and donation drive at the college canteen.
Rotaractors at the sanitary napkin collection and donation drive at the college canteen.

Out of the annual dues of ₹650 per Rotaractor being collected, “around ₹410 goes to RI for the new mandatory dues, ₹100 for the district fund and the balance is used by the club.”

Srishti and her team are looking forward to staging a two-day cultural fest, Phoenix, “which will attract a footfall of over 1,000 including Rotaractors, students, Interactors and Rotarians.” This will be their fourth edition of Phoenix which drew a large number of students ever since “we have removed the registration fees last year.” Doing her third year, dual BA, Economics and Political Science, Srishti is interested to become a Rotarian and “take up service projects after I return to my native Allahabad, UP, once I complete my studies here.” n

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