A lot of people describe Rotaract as the future of Rotary. But I very much believe that Rotaract is the present of Rotary. The skills that Rotaract can bring to the Rotary table are fantastic and complementary to the skills that Rotarians have,” said RI President Gordon McInally, addressing the DRRs and DRREs at the Rotaract seminar at the Rotary zone institute in Bengaluru. He is a former member of Rotaract Club of South Queensferry, Scotland.
Recalling the landmark decision when Rotaract was ‘elevated’ at the 2019 CoL, the RI president said that it has brought a whole new relationship between Rotary and Rotaract. “We are still fine-tuning the policies and exploring ways to make this partnership valuable.”
As a strong believer in collaborative working, he said, “Each one of us has unique strength and talent. Only by working together we can achieve great things and make a huge difference. Rotaract has such a healthy part to play in the growth of Rotary. Ultimately whether you belong to a Rotaract or a Rotary club, we all have one common goal — to transform the world and make it a more peaceful place for our generation and the generations after. I need you to help me achieve my dream to make this world a better place for all of us which I am sure is the dream of each one of you too.”
Institute convenor RID Raju Subramanian reaffirmed the president’s thoughts, saying, “There is no difference between Rotaract and Rotary. We are one organisation.” Pondering over the declining Rotaract membership, he urged the district leaders to share with him the challenges they face in making Rotaract grow. “I want each of you to put your mind and heart into it to see that Rotaract becomes vibrant and happening in our part of the world. Highlight the benefits you enjoy being in this prestigious organisation,” he said.
The registration fees for the institute and accommodation bills have all been waived for the Rotaractors. “You are part of us. We want to give you a peek into the world-class experience you would get being in Rotary, and the lessons you will take from here is invaluable,” said Subramanian.
TRF vice-chair Bharat Pandya explained about Foundation grants and Programs of Scale. As part of the Elevate Rotaract policy Rotaract clubs can now work with Rotary clubs on global grant projects, and receive funding from district grants through a Rotary club. “Accountability and stewardship are very important. You must account for every paisa spent,” he reiterated.
Beginning July 2022, institution-based Rotaract clubs pay $5 and community-based clubs pay $8 to RI as per capita dues. To combat fall in membership due to resistance to paying Rotaract dues, institute chair K P Nagesh suggested that the parent Rotary club can pay 50 per cent dues for institution-based clubs, 25 per cent can be borne by the college/university and the Rotaractor can pay 25 per cent, which is just $1 or ₹80. “Rotaractors of community-based Rotaract clubs can afford the cost as they are in comfortable careers,” he said.
The Rotaract sessions were moderated by PDRR Rajith Menon of RID 3141, and was led by Rotaract chair PDG Abhinandan Shetty.