This is the last quarter of my year as the President of the club. Suddenly, I feel the pressure to finish projects that we had begun earlier or get some non-starter projects moving ahead. Suddenly, I feel disappointed as well as relieved that my year as the President is coming to an end. So yes, I have got mixed emotions about it and I do not know what to make of them.
The month of April started with a bang. We had Mr. Kumar Ketkar, a prominent Rajya Sabha member from the Congress party. His talk was scheduled on a day shortly before the 2019 General Elections and we were expecting him to make predictions about what is going to happen in the coming month. Instead, he spoke about how one out of many news channels predicted a Trump victory in the United States, when that country is relatively similar to ours even though it is such a large land mass. India, on the other hand, has many states, languages and dialects, cultures, customs, religions, regions, gods and so on and so forth. If it was not possible in America, how could it ever be possible in our India? But he did indicate that the BJP might come to power.
We had fellowships at CCI in April and May which were well attended. Overall, in the year our attendance in the fellowships has been over 100 people every time. So cheers to our members for their participation!
Our Rotary Club falls in District 3141 and the district organised a joint meeting with all South Mumbai clubs at Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), Churchgate. The Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town co-hosted this event. The topic of discussion was ‘RTI and Public Interest Litigation’. Many members of our club attended this event and at the end of the meeting, our club was recognised for its participation.
The month of May saw three interesting speakers. One was our very own Rtn. Rajeev Thakkar. He heads the investments division at PPFAS Mutual Fund. His topic was ‘Main hoon con’—dedicated to all the conmen and women of this world. He spoke to us about how to identify potential frauds by giving examples. We also had Mr. Raghunath Medge, President of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association (NMTBSA), more popularly known as the dabbawalas of Mumbai. Apart from explaining how they work and what are the rules of their employment, he explained in detail about their most elusive coding system which we have all seen written on dabbas. Finally, our very own Rtn. Bernhard Steinruecke spoke about the European Elections 2019, and their outcome and outlook. He even explained how India’s Alphonso mango influenced the result of the referendum that was held in Britain.
The 4th club assembly was held in June and our club directors and committee chairmen submitted their reports to the members of the club. In June, we also had Surabhi and Sugandh Gupta speaking to us about ‘Blockchain – Beyond the Crypto Hype’. These young ladies are twins and not surprisingly, started a company called SpiderTwin Solutions which helps start-ups scale their businesses through the use of technology. Many questions were asked by the attendees, which proved that it was an interesting topic for sure.
Finally, the Awards Night was on us. The list of awardees will be there in the bulletin but preparing this list made me look back at the year gone by. I ended up remembering the invitations that I received to people’s homes and celebrations, how they called me and spoke to me about Rotary, and how they contributed to a cause even before being asked to do so. I express my gratitude for these experiences and interactions.
This is my final President’s address that will appear in the bulletin and I would like to take this opportunity to say a few things. At the outset, I would like to thank all members for this opportunity. I have learnt so much from all of you. Help had always been a phone call away and this made my life very easy. Thank you, all office bearers, for your support. Thank you, Manoj and Sonali, for your support. I would like to pick out Parab and Anil for a special mention, for their wonderful work behind the scenes.
Lastly, something that I have regretted not doing earlier: I did not thank my wife Sarika on the Awards Night. I am correcting this mistake now by saying that she has helped me significantly during the year gone by and all this would not have been possible without her.
Yours in Rotary,
Pres. Rtn. Dr. Deepak Garg