The month of October began with one of our prized programs that our club has been conducting for the past so many years: the short-term students exchange program along with the German students which is managed to perfection by Manoj. Like every year, 20 students came down to India, and Manoj was able to pack their itenary whilst they were here. Our club dedicated our first meeting of this month to these students and we heard from them about their towns, families and culture. We had the German Consul General Dr Morhard come for this meeting as the chief guest. He spoke to the students and told them how this was one of the best countries that he had visited. Usually, I would never mention a vote of thanks in this short note, but this particular meeting had the most wonderful vote of thanks delivered by Elenor. She spoke to the students with so much warmth and explained to them one way in which they could analyze our beloved India.
Our customary visit to the Kegwa and Baste villages happened and yes, the German students came along with us. They learnt to do the local folk dance, heard little children sing and sang their national anthem for the locals. They learnt to grind grain into flour and also de-husk wheat. They tried balancing a matka filled with water on their heads; we did too, and as expected, failed miserably. I was happy because my son, Veer came for this too. Hopefully, this trip will be a small step in his life to learn one of the most important qualities that we all should have and that is gratitude for all that we have.
Personally, I think experiencing and learning about different cultures is equally important as traditional education. It teaches us values, which I have to come to believe, are everything in life.
This month, we decided to have a fellowship at CCI rather than our woodhouse and we had Shanay sing to us wonderful Hindi and English songs. Like all fellowships, this one too was like a big family meeting which was appreciated by everyone.
Mr Anil Harish, an eminent lawyer, spoke to our members on the 17th of October. He spoke on the insolvency code and how it has changed the bad loans scenario in our country. He did mention that some changes will be needed for the act to become more effective, but as an Indian citizen, I did feel a sense of relief that another good thing was happening in our country.
IIFL Wealth cofounder, Mr Karan Bhagat, was kind enough to speak to us on the 24th of October. He spoke very fluently about how he started business and what they do at the IIFL Wealth. He was very humble and attributed his huge success, in part, to luck and destiny. IIFL Wealth is by far the largest wealth manager in the country. He was accompanied by his colleague Mr Tarun Haribhakti, who is the grandson of our charter member Mr Vishnubhai Haribhakti. Mr Kamlesh Sonawalla, who knows Karan very well, did the vote of thanks. He urged Karan to contribute to our club and said it in the most direct way he possibly could. We as members were very happy and had a good laugh at the way it was done. Mr Bhagat was, of course, very open to this idea and for that we will be grateful.
Finally, we had a closed door meeting and members were happy that we did have one. This is one place where club members share openly what they feel we as a club should be doing to move forward. Members gave their valuable inputs and we do hope to improve club functioning based on these inputs.
Yours in Rotary,
Pres. Rtn. Dr. Deepak Garg