Dear Friends,

December is a month of festivities. Celebrations for Christmas and the New Year keep all of us busy. Despite that, Rotarians attended our meetings in large numbers. The highlight for the month was Mrs Smriti Irani coming to one of our meetings. She is the Minister of Textiles, Government of India. She came to our club, thanks to our dynamic member PP Mr Rahul Mehta and we will forever be grateful.

The event was held at Yashwantrao Chavan Hall on the 15th of December. It was at 6 pm and was preceded by high tea. It was wonderful to see so many people attend this event. She did come a bit late, thanks to our Mumbai traffic, but still effortlessly won the hearts of all present. She spoke intelligently about the upcoming general elections in India and many other topics while adding a lot of humour while doing so. I was very surprised and impressed when I heard about her humble beginnings and also about her assistant who actually was her fan when she was an actor, and how she now worked for the government and travelled with her.

Thanks to our President-elect, we had our 5th December meeting at Saifee Hospital. The topic was ” Physical Fitness – A Therapeutic Perspective”. We had Swati Sanghvi, HOD, Physiotherapy speak to us. The content of the discussion was very useful to the members and most importantly, everyone enjoyed the food at the hospital. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Saifee Hospital for partnering with the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town to conduct our cataract surgery camp and for agreeing to perform 30 surgeries at their hospital.

In the past, members have suggested that we get our own members as speakers. It would be great for both older and newer members to understand and learn what their Rotarian colleagues do in their professional lives. On the 26th of December, we had Mr Raju Barwale speak to us about “India and Agriculture”. He has been our member for many years and is the chairman of MAHYCO- “Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co Ltd”. MAHYCO is the largest private seed company in India. He spoke to us about how technological intervention in agriculture increased our production over the past 60 years. He also spoke about Bt-Cotton and busted some myths about GM crops. The Barwale family has been a great supporter of Mid-Town projects and his late father Dr B R Barwale was an AKS member. Midtown is grateful for their continuous support.

Mr Barwale’s talk was followed by a Lucky Draw. Thanks to some, we were able to collect free or discounted vouchers for many products and services. It was great fun to read out the names of members and offer them these vouchers. It was funny to offer beauty services to some of our male members, who I am sure would never be interested in such a gift. Mr Navin Shah, who is the chairman of one of the largest eye hospitals in Mumbai got a free eye exam voucher. Like every year, this year too we received some gifts from Mr Dilip Piramal and he even attended the meeting. He has been our Past President and it was lovely to have him with us. In the end, we had a good laugh and everyone left to meet in the New Year.

The New Year means a new beginning, a new slate and New Year resolutions. Keeping this in mind we have speakers in the month of January who would inspire us to push our limits and boundaries.

Yours in Rotary,
Pres. Rtn. Dr. Deepak Garg