Visit of Interactors from Webb School, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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Peace was the buzzword during the 11th February meeting as President A.P. Singh welcomed the students and their two teachers, Alpa and Doug, from Webb School, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. He also welcomed the Interactors and teachers from DPS, Sri Aurobindo, St. Johns and Bhawan.

We were joined by Mr Kiran Malhotra and his wife Rama Malhotra. Kiran is President Indo-German Chamber and Ambassador of Cologne city in Germany. Mrs Vinita Arora, principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, was also present.

The meeting was planned to understand the present day youth’s perspective on the subject of ‘Peace and conflict prevention/resolution’.

Four Interactors from India and two from the USA expressed their viewpoints. Their views can be summarised as: Youth desire to work for peace and mission of Rotary basics teaches them to follow the path. Through the exchange of ideas the youth from different cultures gain perspective to work together. Youth need to understand to work for a peaceful tomorrow and it is essential to engage youth in that endeavour. Youthful energy should be directed to build peace. There is a need to develop tools for active change makers. Youth should be encouraged to have capability and welcome an opportunity to work with government. This is a big communication challenge which needs to be overcome by Rotarians to develop a sustainable model.

Vani Adlakha from Aurobindo iterated that hate can not drive hate but love can bring love. Angry youth need to be trained to learn that they should stop being trouble makers. She said,”there is no path to peace, peace is the path for a harmonious tomorrow. We want to live in peace not rest in peace.”

Amit Kaur warned that presently we are blinded by desires and are exploiting resources. Humans are separated by political, religious and other considerations. We long for harmonious living and for that we need to put aside differences and peace is the only answer. We need to actively work for peace so that peace becomes a state of mind. We need to build kindness through small gestures for a kinder and peaceful world.

Ms Alpa emphasised on the benefits of exchange of students within the two schools since the students learn the power to be tolerant and change perception through communication.

PRIP RK Saboo informed the audience that Knoxville was the most secure city during the world war as it had the nuclear arsenal and Rtn. Bill Sergeant, who spearheaded the polio eradication program of Rotary was in charge of security at Knoxville during the war.

Rtn Reema Dewan, while presenting a formal vote of thanks, said that
peace has no language and no boundaries. Through (student) exchange
Interactors pick up pieces to learn that path forward is peace for the world.

Friendship team visits from USA

 

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nid visit-02On 2 February 2019, we received the Friendship Team from USA  at the Rotary House, Chandigarh. The team consisted of 33 Rotarians who were hosted by our members. They stayed in Chandigarh till 5 February.

The team participated in administering Polio drops to children and also painted a slum school. They also visited other projects of the Club and attend the Club meeting on 4 February.

 

Visit to Burail school

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Visiting Rotarians had a first hand experience of our efforts under WINS project at Govt. Middle School, Burail. Students demonstrated the eight steps of hand washing while singing about it, making it a fun activity. The students also gave a dance presentation, as also made the guests dance with them. The guests were also shown a garden developed by students out of waste.

Painting the crèche cum school, Bal Bahar

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Members of the Friendship Team painted Bal Bahar in Bapu Dham Colony to gain some hands on experience of helping in one of the projects of Rotary Club Chandigarh. Five rooms of the school-cum-crèche were painted in 3 hours with loads of enthusiasm. Packed working lunch was served during the break by Hot Millions.

 

Interact Club of MDAV – New Interact club sponsored by us

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The Charter for the newly formed Interact Club of MDAV School, Sector 22, Chandigarh was presented to the Principal Ms. Neelam Sharma on 15 December 2018, by President A.P. Singh, who also pinned the members of the Board of the new club.

₹1,20,000 raised for patient with spinal injury

On 4 December 2018, President A.P. Singh and Secretary Vinod Kapoor visited young Harsh Vardhan Dixit, who has been admitted to Chandigarh Rehab Centre for treatment. His stay at the centre is being sponsored by the club. He was involved in a freak accidental fall during practice at the bar while preparing for his defence service examination and he injured his spine.

His father approached our Club through PRIP R.K. Saboo and our members immediately offered to help the young boy who has been assured of a major improvement after three months of rehabilitation program. He should be able to walk with aids if all goes well.

The cost of the program is ₹40,000 per month, which includes stay, food and treatment at the Center.

We are grateful to the following members for pitching in to help Harsh Vardhan by contributing generously: PRIP R.K. Saboo – ₹40,000, G.S. Chawla – ₹15,000, S.P.S. Matharoo – ₹15,000, D.V. Bhatia – ₹10000, P.J. Singh  – ₹40,000.

MoU with Chandigarh to set-up Health Education Centre

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Chandigarh Administration and Rotary Club of Chandigarh have signed a memorandum of understanding for setting up a Health Education Centre in the city.

The MoU was signed by Secretary Education Mr. B.L. Sharma, representing the Administration, and President of the Club, A.P. Singh, in the presence of Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, Sh. V.P. Singh Badnore, PRIP Rajendra K. Saboo, members of our Club and other senior officers of the UT Administration.

Rotary Club Chandigarh would be setting up the Centre in association with another world-renowned US-based NGO, McMillen Health Centre, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which shall equip it with hi-tech gadgets, models, teaching aides and expertise.

Rotary Club Chandigarh would be spending approximately US$ 300,000 (₹2.2 crores) to set-up this unique project in the city which will be the first of its kind in India.

This state-of-the-art Health Education Centre is meant to educate school students about fundamentals of medical science, human physiology, and would also serve as Training Centre to impart training to master trainers as well as teachers. The project has been conceived by PRIP Rajendra K Saboo .

Chandigarh Administration has decided to setup this Centre in Government Model High School, Sector 22-C, in the first phase, and later a site would be identified by a committee comprising representatives of the Engineering, and Architecture departments and the District Education Officer.

It would also work as centre of excellence in providing basic medical education, health checkup and training, and would be managed by a team of administrative staff, team of doctors and experts under a society which shall have Adviser to the Administrator as Chairman, Home, Health, Finance and Education Secretaries of the Chandigarh Administration as members, along with other members from various departments as well as the head of the PGI, and two members of the Rotary Club.

Interact Utsav

Our regular Monday meeting was postponed to 14 November (Children’s Day) to celebrate Interact Utsav – a cultural evening. The idea was  to celebrate and recognise on a larger scale the good work being done by Rotary’s youngest partners in service.

The event was co hosted by Delhi Public School.

Hon’ble Justice Jitendra Chauhan was the Chief Guest and Mr. Silvain Choin, Director of Alliance Francaise, was the special guest.

Welcoming the guests, President A.P. Singh briefed the audience on the history of Interact clubs. He informed that first Interact club was chartered on 5 May 1962, at Melbourne High School, Florida, USA, and presently we have more than 20,000 Interact clubs all over the world, with a membership of more than 4.6 lakh.

The Interact clubs have been doing amazing work in service of humanity in different fields, specially in water sanitation and hygiene, environment, working with senior citizens, etc.

The Rotary Club Chandigarh-sponsored Interact clubs presented a cultural extravaganza of music, dance and drama.

Justice Chauhan appreciated the energy, skills, rhythm and enthusiasm displayed by the youngsters. He also appreciated Rotary’s effort to involve the youth and getting them on board for the service to humanity. He cited examples of service by Bhai Kanhayia and Mother Teresa and was pleased to see the youth in service trying to contribute for the betterment of the community. He called upon the youth not to deprive a person who has lack of facilities when they enter the competitive world.

“Schools participating in the service activities are temples of education of heart, he added, wherein they are sensitising the kids on having a heart and preparing them to regulate their conduct in future since they are going to provide leadership of future.”

He also called upon the students to always keep the child alive in themselves.

Justice Chauhan and DG Parveen C. Goyal awarded the citations to the schools. Principals/representatives of AKSIPS, Sri Aurobindo School of Integral Education, Bhavan Vidyalaya, St. John’s High School, Sri Guru Harkishan Senior Secondary Public School and Delhi Public School were honoured for their work in different fields of service through their respective Interact clubs.

PDG Yoginder Dewan and his wife, PDG Dhian Chand, PDG Manmohan Singh, Presidents of RC SAS Nagar and RC Chandigarh City Beautiful also attended the function.

Vice President of our Club and Principal of DPS, Rtn. Reema Dewan, while presenting a formal vote of thanks, offered to host the Interact Utsav every year in the school. She iterated that the empowerment of the youth will usher in an ideal future for the nation.

We are grateful to Delhi Public School for co-hosting the event.

Heartline project update

Surgery # 716: Atharv Joshi, 9 months old boy from Village Hathikhal, Haldwani, District Nanital (Uttrakhand), was successfully operated upon at PGIMER, Chandigarh by Dr. Sandeep Rana on 30 October, 2018. It was a case of hole in heart (VSD). His father is working as Operator, having monthly income of ₹12,000.

Diwali celebrations: 5000 boxes of sweets sent to soldiers in border areas

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On 2 November, Punjab Governor and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore flagged off two truckloads containing 5,000 boxes of sweets for jawans at the Punjab Raj Bhawan.

Badnore said, “It is a commendable gesture of Rotarians to remember Army jawans who guard our borders day and night so that we can live in peace.”

The consignment was airlifted by the IAF for further distribution to Army units at Siachen and Ladakh borders where our jawans stand guard in difficult conditions.

A society’s character is reflected in the manner it demonstrates gratitude and support to the brave men and women who protect the nation and who ensure people are free to pursue their dreams. We have a responsibility to show our gratitude to the brave men and women who have made many a sacrifice for the nation.

We decided to celebrate Diwali with them by saying, “You are not soldiers, but saviours; the guardians of this divine land. We thank you for everything you do – upholding our nation’s guiding values – liberty, fraternity and equality. In return we want to celebrate the Festival of Lights with you, when you are so far away from your home, your family and friends. Can we be your family this Diwali? Can we add sweetness to your life by sharing this box of sweets with you?”

‘Aap Hain, Toh Hum Hain’ was the greeting pasted on each box. Rotarians of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, UP and Uttrakhand contributed.

Initiated by PRIP RK Saboo and Usha Saboo two years back, Rotary District 3080, under the leadership of DG Praveen Goyal continued with the project of sending sweets for soldiers to celebrate Diwali with them. Project Chair PDG Kawal Bedi was instrumental in putting it all together.

The sweets cost Rs. 20,00,000.

Diwali celebrations with Saketri children

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Under guidance of R’Ann Usha Saboo, Inner-wheel members and Rotarians celebrated Diwali with nearly 100 children of Saketri village. Competitions of rangoli making, poster making and Diya making were held and the winners were given gifts.

President of Inner-wheel, Ms Vanita Talwar and President A.P. Singh addressed the children and encouraged them to follow their dreams and work hard to achieve their goals, thereby becoming a strong support for their parents who are now facing such hardships in life for them.

Sweets were also distributed to all the children.

World Polio Day celebrated at Elante Mall

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We marked the World Polio Day on 24 October 2018 with an event at Elante Mall, Chandigarh. Rotractors from Rotract Club of Chandigarh presented a street play on the theme of Polio.

A large number of visitors at the Elante Mall gathered to watch the play. District Governor Praveen C. Goyal and President A.P. Singh, along with many Rotarians were present.

Today, India is Polio free, but the picture was different a few years ago when people were resisting giving Polio drops to the children, and many children were getting affected by the polio virus. The play presented the story of one such family where the child was afflicted with polio after her family refused her polio drops. Now as the child battled polio and its effects, the family is all out for polio eradication and giving polio drops to the children.

The play ended with the celebration of India being polio free since 2014. A message was also given to the people who gathered that the fight against polio still continues, and administering of polio drops will continue.