Udgir Rotaractors on a service mission

RAC Udgir president Sachin Pensalwar honouring Supriya Mahadev Bhandare, a participant at the Women’s Day celebrations. Also seen are (from L) district zonal representative Amol Polawar, Rtr Pratik Mangulkar, her husband Bhandare and past president Suyog Kotalwal.
RAC Udgir president Sachin Pensalwar honouring Supriya Mahadev Bhandare, a participant at the Women’s Day celebrations. Also seen are (from L) district zonal representative Amol Polawar, Rtr Pratik Mangulkar, her husband Bhandare and past president Suyog Kotalwal.

With the success of two events on March 8 — Mahadan 7.0, a blood donation camp; and a seminar to mark Women’s Day — RAC Udgir, RID 3132, has got its batteries recharged and the Rotaractors are keen to expand their membership by holding awareness meets and workshops in colleges in the near future. “We are just a 15-member community-based club. Much needs to be done to create awareness about Rotary, what it stands for and its global reach,” says Sachin Pensalwar, club president.

He is looking forward to add at least five new members by ­December 2022. Udgir is a very small town in Latur taluk of ­Maharashtra and is 80km from Bidar district of ­Karnataka. “The town is close to the inter-­state border and has a sizeable population of small businessmen who are engaged in granite, tiles and garment industries. Our five-year-old club has mostly these entrepreneurs and students and it is sponsored by the parent RC Udgir Central,” explains Pensalwar. At the recent Mahadan camp, they collected 40 units of blood which was given to the Amberkhane Blood Bank, Udgir.

A special lecture was given by Dr Yernale Jyoti, a gynaecologist, on gender-specific issues such as menstrual hygiene, ensuring dignity of girls and underprivileged women, and healthcare tips. “The seminar was attended by 20 rural women and we received good feedback on this lecture event. We distributed around 1,000 Rotaract calendars to the public in January. The Rotaract calendar was funded by entrepreneurs who placed advertisements on it for wider reach among the public in and around Udgir. Also, we got donations from reputed schools, colleges and other establishments.”


Cyclothon on road safety

Along with Rotarians and youth volunteers, the club hosted a cyclothon rally in August 2021 to create awareness on road safety. “Over 100–120 people including members from the Rotary fraternity took part in the cycle rally. T-shirts and handbills were distributed to drive home the message of road safety among pedestrians, commuters and motorists,” says Pensalwar.

However, due to the Covid lockdown, the club was not able to chart out project activities in an effective manner, he says. “We resumed our activities only from January 2022 and are meeting twice a month to chart our programmes.” They don’t depend on their parent Rotary club to mentor or guide them in their community projects. “We don’t have a Rotarian mentor to help us in our projects which are decided only through discussions among our members.”

Apart from the annual membership fee of ₹1,000 per head, the club develops a rapport with local businessmen and traders who sponsor Rotaract activities on a regular basis.

Pensalwar, his secretary Prasad Rudrawar and rest of the team are toying with the idea of holding Rotary workshops in colleges and schools to increase membership and widen the impact of their service projects. Having completed masters in computer science, 26-year-old Pensalwar is on a job hunt. “At present, I am fully enjoying my stint as Rotaract club president. Rotary has widened my perspectives of life and instilled in me a spirit of service to mankind,” he adds.

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