Ever since he took over the reins of district Rotaract leadership, RID 3012, DRR Vipul Agrawal has never hesitated to announce new service projects across the national capital region (NCR) in Delhi with clear instructions for his 60-plus clubs to implement them in a time-bound manner. “During my installation, I found two noteworthy club initiatives — Project Rang De (Let’s Paint) and Project Saahas (Courage) — which are suitable to be elevated to the status of district programmes as they have good reach and impact in society,” says Agrawal.
Around 36 Rotaract clubs form teams to visit slum areas and paint the walls of houses, schools, public buildings like anganwadis and health centres with natural scenes, portraits and Rotary messages that attract eyeballs. “So far, we have done wall painting at nine slum colonies and our target is to cover at least 50 slum tenements this Rotary year ,” he states.
Sponsored by his uncle Dinesh Mahajan, a paint manufacturer in Ghaziabad, Project Rang De has created “a sense of ownership of their living spaces for marginalised families living in numerous slums across the NCR,” says Agarwal. Under Project Saahas, Rotaractors are providing stationery items to slum children and setting up libraries at government schools located in the neglected jhuggi jhopdi (slum tenements) areas. “We have donated stationery kits to 10,000 children already, and the target is over two lakh beneficiaries for this year. Two libraries with over 5,000 books across genres were installed so far, and we will be setting up at least eight more book houses at different schools.” As a dual member from RC Ghaziabad and RAC Delhi Riverside, Agrawal does not have to bother about funds or resource mobilisation for taking up mega service projects. “We have Rotarians and corporates willing to sponsor our community initiatives. Also, we hold fundraiser events like movie premiere and social get-together for Rotaractors. Now we are developing a mobile App for social networking among teenagers which will provide us a good source of income to carry out service projects,” he explains.
Under Agrawal’s initiative, Project Aaina (Mirror) takes up sex education for underprivileged families with Rotaractors engaging parents and students on best hygiene practices. They also distribute sanitary pads and hold MHM sessions for women and adolescent girls. The Rotary clubs of the district supply sanitary pads to Rotaract clubs through their Project Rotary Health Awareness Mission.“So far we have distributed 10,000 pads. We also teach ‘good touch, bad touch’ to girls in slums and backward colonies at the NCR areas.” Agrawal is confident of distributing over five lakh sanitary pads by the end of this Rotary year.
Around 55 Rotaract clubs are collaborating to implement at least six district projects through the year. “In the last 3–4 months, our clubs have reached out to large number of beneficiaries and these service projects can be easily sustained for 5–6 years which will help in lifting communities to better living standards.” The bottom line is, says Agrawal, every family in the NCR region must follow safe hygiene and give importance to education of girl children.
Under Project Saahas, Rotaractors are providing stationery items to slum children and setting up libraries at government schools located in the neglected jhuggi jhopdi (slum tenements) areas.
He is urging the 2,500-plus Rotaractors in the district to involve Rotary clubs, Rotarians in their service activities and community outreach.
The DRR’s grouse is that 80 per cent of Rotarians are not aware of Rotaract activities and projects, or “the way we function as an extended arm of Rotary.” This gap between Rotary and Rotaract can be bridged, he says, “by involving more Rotarians in Rotaract projects, district events and our regular meetings where we discuss our plans, fundraising and future programmes.” A trader of industrial products, Agrawal is all for a ‘stronger collaboration’ between “Rotarians and Rotaractors for a robust public image of Rotary doing good to society,” he says.