Rotaractors’ rendezvous with Prez Jones

RI President Jennifer Jones received a rousing welcome at the Ethiraj  College for Women in Chennai, where she met Rotaractors of RID 3232, on her Imagine Impact tour. “Your energy is electric! I was told this district is home to the largest women’s Rotaract club that has 29,000 Rotaractors. Nick and I had no idea what to expect till we walked in through the door and experienced your crazy energy… and I love it,” she said and thanked DRR Gowtham Raj and Meera Sharma, past president of RAC Madras Central, for “the incredible programme.”

RI President Jones with RID Venkatesh, DG Nandakumar and DRR Gowtham Raj.
RI President Jones with RID Venkatesh, DG Nandakumar and DRR Gowtham Raj.

Her theme Imagine Rotary, she said, is “powerful, because it gives you Rotaractors the opportunity to think about what you want for your community and our world.” Asking the Rotaractors to dream big, she said, “with Rotaract you have a chance to become a better public speaker, understand how various governments work, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.”

When asked to pick between Rotary and Rotaract the RI president received a thunderous applause for choosing the latter. “If you want something done, give it to Rotaract,” she said, adding that Rotaractors, with their strong social media knowledge and presence, could finish designing a project in a month over “quick chats on WhatsApp. Whereas Rotarians would form committees and take 3–6 months to complete the same project. We have to learn from you.”

Energising the Rotaractors she said, “The future of our organisation is sitting right here. This is how I imagine Rotary in the future — great, vibrant and alive. You bring great energy, positive leadership, efficacy and quickness in solving the world’s most pressing problems and challenge us to think differently about how we do our Rotary business. Together we could achieve great things.”

President Jones and DGN Krayacich with DRR Gowtham Raj and DG Nandakumar.
President Jones and DGN Krayacich with DRR Gowtham Raj and DG Nandakumar.

Talking about DEI, she said, “Diversity is our strength and Rotaract has already figured it out. Be it gender equity or diverse membership you have led the way forward.” She was delighted to learn that “your district’s Rotaract membership is 50 per cent women! Girls in the house make some noise.” Following her remarks, the auditorium roared with cheer.

To the question ‘What inspired you to continue to be a part of Rotary?’ Jones recalled the time when she accompanied her husband DGN Krayacich to a medical mission in the Amazon. “While Nick was part of the medical team, I had the opportunity to conduct workshops on media ethics. I met many Rotarians from different parts of the world. The internationality of Rotary inspired me and I understood that irrespective of our nationalities, backgrounds, religious beliefs…  as Rotary members we all want the same things for our families, our countries and Rotary helps us achieve these goals. That inspired me to stay. This organisation gives you the opportunity to bring everlasting change to the world and to your own lives.” n

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