As day temperature sizzles with soaring mercury levels this summer, Project Pyaau (water booth) is giving respite from the heat to birds, pet animals and pedestrians with water-filled earthen pots placed at 4–5 spots in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, by RAC Chhindwara. “Though we have been taking care of pets and vulnerable people during summer over the last two years, we had kicked off a formal launch with Project Pyaau this year, in partnership with the municipal corporation,” says Aman Khan, club trainer and DRR-elect of RID 3040.
While Rotaractors have placed the earthen pots at vantage points in the city, the municipality workers refill the pots on a regular basis for people to use it continuously. During the peak Covid time, they joined hands with five other Rotaract clubs to organise a month-long Rota Youth Fest (June 2020) through Zoom and WhatsApp that saw over 500 Rotaractors displaying their skills in 20 different competitions. “We had contests such as costume design, fashion, painting, cooking, acting, creative writing, dancing and photography. Three winners were selected from each category and the first prize was one-month Amazon Prime (OTT platform) subscription. All of them were given e-certificates,” recalls Khan. “We gave around ₹10,000, a part of the proceeds from the youth fest, to the Assam flood relief,”
During Mahadan 8.0, around 95 units of blood was collected, and in another camp, they collected 120 units of blood.
A mega public rally was conducted on Gaurav Diwas to mark the founding of Chhindwara district on Sep 5. Over 5,000 people including civic officials, politicians, social activists, Rotaractors, school and college students took part to celebrate the special day. “In the evening, we had hasya kavi sammelan, a recital of poems invoking satire and laughter, at Pola Ground, Chhindwara, which saw around 20,000 people enjoying the musical lyrics in the open-air stage,” he explains. During Mahadan 8.0, around 95 units of blood was collected, and in another camp at the Vivanta Critical Care Hospital, “we collected 120 units of blood.”
The four-year-old club has 22 members drawn from various professions and college-goers. “We have over 100-plus volunteers, non-Rotaractors, helping us out in our service projects and community outreach. And we are in constant touch with them to sustain a good rapport for they are critical in achieving our project goals,” says club president Sufi Abdul Tehseen.
Recalling the journey so far in the current year, he says, “we have done eight types of donations to vulnerable groups and institutions in a methodical approach.” First, they distributed over 50 blankets during winter; followed by the donation of mattresses to 25 homeless and roadside dwellers; gifts to slum children during Diwali; arranged food delivery to over 200 workers at a construction site on World Labour Day in tie-up with an eatery (Project Aashita); 20 healthcare kits to injured pets rescued by We Care For All, an NGO; another 20 blankets to domestic animals at We Care; stationery items to 30 children at a special home; and blood donation drives.
Hum Honge Kaamyaab
Each day, around 40 Rotaractors from RID 3040 reach out to help and coordinate in the blood donation drives across India through social networking and leveraging their Rotary contacts. “The idea of Rotaract volunteers was mooted by our club to facilitate the smooth conduct of blood donation camps under the tagline Hum Honge Kaamyaab (we will succeed). While we are active in Madhya Pradesh, we are also expanding our reach to other parts of the country,” says Tehseen.
We have over 100-plus volunteers, non-Rotaractors, helping us out in our service projects and community outreach.
– Sufi Abdul Tehseen, president, RAC Chhindwara
The club meets informally every day to sort out their finances and plan for the upcoming activities. Either Aman Khan, Tehseen or president-elect Siddhant Ramanand chairs the deliberations. “We collect ₹1,500 each from our members before the start of the Rotary year. Thankfully, we have got enough private sponsors and corporate funding to see through our year-long projects,” smiles Khan.