A two-year-old Rotaract club, RAC Coimbatore Smart City, RID 3201, has renovated a rural school that rivals a Rotary project, thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment shown by 30 Rotaractors who form its membership. Project Pallikoodam built six gender-segregated toilet blocks; replaced the roofs of three school buildings; laid a new classroom floor; and gave a new coat of paint for a lab room and administrative office at the Government High School, Akkanaickenpalayam, a village on the city suburb, at a total cost of ₹5 lakh.
The revamp projects will benefit 150 students of the co-education school. “Our sponsor, VPN Textiles, Coimbatore, donated ₹4.5 lakh and the rest was from the club fund. We conducted a three-day sports meet Arena Mania for the students which earned us goodwill,” says Vishruthi Premanand, club president. In the same village, “we are holding medical camps for the last two years which benefitted 800 people till now.” While last year they tied up with the PSG Hospital, this year the club roped in Karpagam Hospital whose doctors examined the villagers for chronic ailments. “Along with general check-up, eye screening is done with the help of Aravind Eye Hospital, and till now 60 patients have undergone free cataract surgery,” she smiles.
In a community outreach, tomato rice and potato fries were cooked at a Rotaractor’s house by a 20-member team under Project Hunger No More. Then the food was neatly packed and distributed to 180 indigent people at the Government Hospital, Ukkadam, Thudiyalur and Saravanampatti, all in and around Coimbatore.
To rejuvenate the elderly inmates at the Nahomea Almshouse Charitable Trust, an old age home, “we hosted three sessions in a day under Project Geriatric Counselling. While trainer Mythili conducted fun games for 30 inmates, a one-on-one mental health counselling was given by Dr Govarthini in two sessions. We found that the elderly inmates are concerned about the welfare of their children, and feel helpless with their current situation,” recalls Vishruthi.
In a novel initiative, Project Blurred Lines saw the participation of over 100 people including children at a one-day seminar on sexual health awareness at the COINDIA auditorium. “We had three resource persons — Dr Yudara, founder, He Health; ‘Kalki’ Subramaniam, transgender activist and founder, Sahodari; and Swati Jagdish, director, Bond and Beyond. They gave stimulating talks which were followed by interactive sessions,” explains Vishruthi.
Expressing gratitude to their parent Rotary, RC Coimbatore Smart City, the club president says, “from the day our Rotary club chartered us two years ago, they supported us and gave confidence to take up impactful projects.” As a charter member, “I enjoyed freedom to initiate projects, right from the planning stage to the implementation,” she says. Enjoying her stint as Rotaractor, Vishruthi, a bank executive, is looking forward to “more exciting times ahead. In fact, I encourage students to join Rotaract which is the right platform for them to take up their social causes with passion,” she adds.