Thank you for your faith and your trust
As another evenyful Rotary year ends and as I, like many before me, walk away from the limelight to occupy a seat somewhere in the back of the hall, I express my gratitude to each one of the members of this illustrious Club who have made me wonder at the popular adage that we are living in insensitive times.
That’s just not right. As you read the pages of this bumper issue of The Gateway, you will realise that although very often the world outside may seem to be indifferent and callous, as far as Rotarians are concerned, they are a different species.
They are caring, concerned and committed.
They do not shy away from doing things that bring a smile on the faces of the underprivileged and the under-served sections of society.
Whether it’s travelling long distances to bring a smile on the faces of lonely senior citizens, offering sight-saving surgery to age-ing adivasis, prescribing the best medicines to help unfortunate people get over tuberculosis, taking the children of a municipal school to a plush cinema house to see an animated film, or switching on a solar lamp to overcome the deadly power cuts in remote, rural areas, members of the Rotary Club of Bombay have done it and still do it.
Given the opportunity, they even go to areas labelled suicide-prone and make genuine efforts to rescue them from the clutches of poverty and death.
Rotarians give hope even to those who have given up hope, for example, by being kind to the parents of cancer-affected children.
In spite of all this, their appetite for service never ends. In any business or profession, ennui or boredom is a common complaint. Not with Rotarians. There is something about Rotary that forbids the advent of boredom in its activities.
Even such routine activities as overseeing a tailoring/embroidery class or seeing that the children at a Night Study Centre are not distracted by external disturbances and that they do not start studying on an empty stomach.
That something is Fellowship. And the Rotary Club of Bombay, as District Governor after District Governor has testified, can boast of the best Fellowship in the world. That even the R.I. President holds this view humbles me.
I must say something about our partners in service. The members of the Interact Clubs sponsored in 25 schools appear to be from another time zone, if not another planet. And not only boys, even the girls are little dynamos of action.
Those attending the Bhavishya-Yaan projects will know what I mean and wholeheartedly agree that the girls at our schools (at all schools) easily outshine the boys in every activity.
As for our Rotaractors, they come from another universe. It has never happened before that a Rotaract Club sponsored by us has won an international award. But the boys and girls of H.R. College have done just that.
It’s hard to say who was more proud when their President received the award at the R.I. Convention in Bangkok – was it he or the R.I. President?
But what I do know is that we at the Rotary Club of Bombay are very, very proud of our Rotaractors.
Turning to The Rotary Foundation, I must thank members for contributing
a record US $155,000 (Rs. 77 lakhs) this year.
I could write reams in praise of the members of our Club. But that would not make sense unless I name each one of them. Space constraints prevent me from doing that, so I will do the next best thing.\
I doff my hat to you, my dear fellow members of the Rotary Club of Bombay, for making the year 201112 such a resounding success. I am sure every one of my successors will also end his/her year expressing exactly the same sentiment.
Yours in Rotary,