Vapi Rotaractors empower women

In July this year, the Rotaractors of RAC Vapi, D 3060, launched their ambitious ‘Make her Safe’ campaign through which they organised seminars and self-defence lessons for girls in schools and colleges. “We have held this programme in two schools and a college so far. A karate expert with black belt imparts rudimentary training on self-defence to girls. Special lectures on menstrual hygiene and sensitive issues such as ‘good touch, bad touch’ are also included to create awareness among students,” says Dhara Dhanesha, Club President.

In another initiative — Share to Serve — the Vapi Rotaractors distribute clothes, household items, footwear, schoolbags, winter clothing and raincoats to needy families in and around the city.

Karate being taught to girls, as part of the ‘Make her Safe’ campaign.

Dhara, who is also the Project Chair, is overwhelmed by the support and positive feedback she has received after she posted a video on her club’s Facebook page. “I was flooded with phone calls from various places with people offering a number of useful material including books for distribution,” she says. ‘Share to Serve’ is the brainchild of the club’s former president Chinar Madia who began this project in 2016.

A Rotaractor gifts a T-shirt to a beneficiary.

But over time, the project got traction and many people readily offer support and assistance in kind. From this year, the Rotaractors are reaching out to far-flung areas such as Dharampur, Umbergaon and Silvassa, the capital town of Dadra and Nager Haveli, an UT bordering Gujarat, for distributing donated clothes and other commodities.

From September, another programme called ‘Red Revolution’ was started as part of the district campaign to educate tribal girls on menstrual hygiene. In its first outreach, the club organised a workshop on converting used cotton clothes into sanitary pads for nearly 200 tribal girls at Nana Ponda, a village near Vapi.

There is no dearth of ideas for the 52 members-strong club as the Rotaractors were drawn from various walks of life including engineers, doctors, accountants, fashion designers, architects, teachers and interior decorators, among others.

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