President Manoj Jalan’s Address,

Dear Rotarians,

I feel honoured to be sharing my thoughts through the Mid-Town Bulletin. Though it will be a tough act to follow after Sucharita having set the bar higher but with your support, cooperation and blessings, we shall have an excellent Rotary year ahead. It is especially heartening for me to be President in 2017-18, as our Club will be stepping into its 50th year this November.

Our Club has been blessed in many aspects – it has a stellar history and legacy, great members, fantastic projects which have made a huge difference in the lives of many, amazing fellowship and so much more. However, a matter which warrants our serious attention today is membership. Membership is a challenge for both, Rotary worldwide as well as our Club. The demographics of our Club make it even more challenging. Each one of us needs to seriously look around in our circle, for prospective members, preferably below 40, who can add to the vibrancy of our Club, and as importantly if not more, carry forth the torch of service projects that so many of you have lit over the years. Some of us who have been on the ladder have discussed this often and going ahead, we intend to focus more energy and resources to enhance the enthusiasm in our Club so as to make it more relevant to, and identifiable by, young members. This is not to say that we are averse to new members who are beyond this age. In fact in the last few years, some of the new members, who are so-called senior in age, have shown the zeal of youngsters and performed as invaluable and dedicated Rotarians. The aim is to reach a state where we should not have a desperate need to grow, but a desperate desire to grow.

During the year, our Club has done some great work on several projects which have helped the physically and mentally challenged, the sick, the hungry, the underprivileged, the aged, the youth and many others. The entire Club is behind each and every project that we run and many of these projects are spearheaded by some very senior members, whose energy levels can put some of us younger ones to shame. Some of these projects are beyond the boundaries of our city and require regular visits to remote locations. These projects thrive because some members put in their time and effort, while many others provide the resources. Do believe me when I say that we all bow to your efforts and your magnanimity.

Keeping the torch burning bright in the year ahead, Nirbhay Jain has generously offered to do an encore of his munificence of last year. He is going to give another donation of $50,000 which we will structure as a Global Grant Project of $1,00,000 for making toilets in Panvel. We are also working on finalising a project of about R17 lacs to create a water pipeline grid in Potkhal and Baste villages which will ease the burden on women and girls, who have to carry heavy containers of water over long distances. I am hopeful that we will do another Global Grant Project for the Little Hearts Paediatric Surgery once the current global grant for the same is underway. We have built many toilets outside Mumbai but there are many who suffer due to lack of sanitation facilities within the city. We are in talks with some agencies that need support in this matter and I will come back to you for help once more details are available.

Mother Teresa said, “To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it”. Lamps of the numerous projects that we have lit, provide encouragement, support and comfort to many. These lamps are sheltered by Rotarians handling the projects with a deep sense of commitment. These lamps reflect more light with our encouragement and presence in these projects. These lamps need to be fed with financial resources. Not just our members, but their family and friends have been generous benefactors to our various projects. We, not just look forward to, but depend on your continued benevolence in the year ahead.

I look forward to your wholehearted presence in our Club meetings and activities during the year.

– President Manoj Jalan

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