With the aim to educate the public on their fundamental rights, duties and basic Constitution laws of the country, Rotaractors of RAC AM Jain College Shift-II, RID 3232, distributed pamphlets to 100-plus residents living on the suburbs of Chennai. “Leaflets were given to shopkeepers, housewives, elders, roadside workers and pedestrians at Meenambakkam, a city suburb, and its neighhourhood,” says Vishnu Varthan, club secretary.
A team of 10 Rotaractors explained to those receiving the pamphlets their fundamental rights, and “how to respond to atrocious behaviour in public space like manhandling, harassment, extortion, brawl, scuffle and eve-teasing,” he says. The club members visited two government higher secondary schools in Meenambakkam and conducted seminars on menstrual management and hygiene for over 100 girl students. The nine-year-old club has 30 members drawn from the arts and science streams at the UG level in A M Jain College. “Our membership remains static at around 25–30 through the year,” he says.
Every year, they hold Kolu Galatta during Navaratri festival at the Rotary Central Margaret Sidney Hospital, Nanganallur, in partnership with the Rotaract Club of Chennai Central. “We install a grand kolu on the hospital premises as we want to spread the message of Navaratri among the residents and patients. We visit the kolu site on all the nine days, make some aesthetic changes to the arrangements, hold a small puja and distribute prasadam to all,” explains Varthan. Also, with the Navarati kolu, “the public, hospital staff, patients and their attendants are given a peek into the richness of Indian culture and heritage in the course of our daily ritual,” he says.
The Rotaractors meet twice a month, one formal and the other an informal one, to discuss about club activities. “We are guided in our projects and community initiatives by our parent Rotary, RC Madras Central, who also provide us funds, if required, to implement them,” says Varthan who is doing final year, BSc (Computer Science). “Over the last two years as a Rotaractor, I learnt what we should not do to become successful both in personal and work life. In a way, Rotaract has shaped my thought process, hence I want to continue as Rotaractor for another three years.”
Varthan has plans to become a Rotarian only “after reaching financial stability in his life for which I have to work hard for another 4–5 years,” he says.