It has been an exciting three-year-old journey for Rotaractors of RAC Mumbai Mulund East, D 3141, for being a community-based club; they meet, plan and execute projects only in the weekends. “All the 35 members come from varying backgrounds and professions and we meet on the premises of our parent club, the Rotary Club of Mumbai Mulund East, to chalk out our programmes,” says Krutika Mhaddalkar, President of the Rotaract club.
They engage the four Interact clubs in all their project activities meant for students and the youth. In March, the Rotaractors take up their signature project Drug Mukth (avoid drugs) at four schools in Mulund through the Interactors. “We have made a 12-minute docufilm on de-addiction which are being screened in our sessions at two private and two slum schools in the locality. The entire film is scripted, shot and edited by the Rotaractors with myself taking up the cinematography,” says Krutika. Once in three months, the Rotaract club ropes in Interactors for major projects being done along with their parent Rotary.
Bag for Life project
Bundles of old newspapers are brought from homes and a 12-member team of Rotaractors convert them into eco-friendly paper bags which are then given free to retailers, street vendors and fruit sellers. “We learnt the art of making paper bags through YouTube and while giving these bags, we tell the recipients the need for an eco-friendly lifestyle by avoiding plastic carry bags and other non-bio items which pollute the environment.”
With good response for this ongoing project, the Rotaractors are enthused and motivated to sustain their anti-plastic campaign by spreading the message through the circulation of paper bags in and around Mulund.
Rarely used clothes in good condition are pooled in from different households and distributed to slum dwellers, Adivasis and underprivileged families during the weekends by 15–16 Rotaractors taking to the field work under the Helping Hand project.
To ensure menstrual hygiene among school and college-going girls, the club has installed a sanitary napkin machine at ITI Girls College in Thane to begin with. “The hygiene project is still on the drawing board. We have a target of installing at least 20 more vending machines in the near future,” she reveals.
Their parent club makes sure that “all the resources are available to Rotaractors which is one of the main reasons for resounding success of the community projects so far.” This year, they have done two health camps and one eye check-up camp in association with RC Mumbai Mulund East.
“We have given 26 spectacles and 18 patients were selected for free cataract operations at Bacchu Ali Eye Hospital in Parel,” Krutika says.
What has been an eye-opener was the grandeur of the Kite Festival held on Makar Sankranti day at Sambaji Garden in Mulund with over 280 registrations and more specifically, youth from underprivileged families taking part in the competitive sport. “We are truly overwhelmed by the grand success of the kite festival and quite happy that Rotaractors are making an impact in the lives of the disadvantaged youth in the neighbourhood,” she adds.
They make it a habit to visit Samirthan Mission Ashram, an orphanage at Vikhroli East, once in two months where, apart from sumptuous lunch for the inmates, the Rotaractors engage them with games and fun workshops.
Tree plantation, book donation, beach clean-up at Badar, once in three months with other Rotaract clubs, and Mahadaan, the once-in-a-year blood donation camp by all the Rotaractors of Mumbai, are some of the other notable projects that have made Rotaractors a household name in the Mulund neighbourhood.