Sunday, 8 March 2015

Journey with Rotary !

Rtn  Nandu Joshi, DG Dr R M Bhatt,  Vashi Club President, Dr Jacob, Ramchandra Bhoyar, and Madhav Mahashabde.
     Year 2015 marks the Silver Jubilee of Rotary Club of New Bombay Hillside, a club formed in CBD  Belapur, Navi Mumbai.   It was on 21st June 1990, the Club started functioning under able leadership of  Charter  President  Dr Alfred Soparla James Jacob.  His team comprised of  Advocate Mulla, as Vice-President, Madhav Mahashabde  as Charter Secretary,  and Dhananjay Hiwase as Charter Treasurer.   When I look back at my journey with Rotary  over last  25 years,  I must say that rotary provided  a very valuable platform  for  development  - professional  and personal.  Rotary has played a major role in shaping my personality.  There are   many good memories, experiences and the joy of fellowship. However, the biggest joy is in  the sense of service to the society.
    When I joined Rotary, I was at the beginning of my profession. So the culture of Rotary in which I was groomed was reflecting in my professional activities as well. The declaration of professional ethical conduct, the four way test also helped cementing foundation of professional development. The rotary was like a catalyst for my profession.   On professional side, as a Convener of Study Circle, and then as a Chairman of Navi Mumbai Branch of WIRC,  my rotary experience definitely gave me an edge.
    GSR (Governors Special Representative) Ramachandra Bhoyar was a very dynamic Rotarian from New Bombay (Vashi) Club,  who was instrumental in formation of this club. I always used to wonder, where he derives his energy from.  He was like a live wire.  In difficult situations also, he would help us in steering the club to right direction.
    DG in first year was Dr  R.M. Bhat.  He was a huge source of knowledge  and inspiration. He wasd an excellent orator. It was always  a feast, to listen to him.
    Dhananjay Hiwase was also a dedicated Rotarian  who was a live example of ‘Service above self’.   He would do anything and everything for rotary, and that too with smiling face.
    Dr. Jacob, being with management institute, was more experienced to handle the club matters. A Japanese team of Rotary International, visited   our site of 'polio plus' activity. They inspected our records of census of children 'under five'.  Please note that NMMC was not in picture then (in 1990). So it was club’s job to carry out survey of 'under five' children and administer polio doses to them.   The RI team was highly impressed   by the way   our records were maintained, and the way we carried  our polio project, in the very first year. The major role played in this, was obviously, of Dhananjay Hiwase, who never boasted for it.  
    The year 1992-93 was my presidential year. I fully enjoyed it.  The District Governor then, Kishore Jobalia, was also  a Chartered Accountant.   He was a very hard task master, and very ruthless about punctuality.   In District conference, he used to sit with buzzer in his hand. If a speaker exceeded his time, DG would hint him to wind up. If a speaker failed to take clue, then DG would start pressing buzzer near other microphone, till the speaker leaves the podium.   Another memory of DG is about his precision.  His GML (Governors Monthly Letter) would always carry a small line in fine print on the last page: “This newsletter does not contain any printing error.  If anyone finds any error, treat it as having  planted there, to satisfy even those persons.”  He was also the first DG to have planned a ‘Inspirational Training workshop’ for all  President Elects. It was 3 day work shop at Matheran - Hill station. We, all President Elects  from the district, were fully energized to take charge.    
      It’s always a team work, in Rotary.  I was lucky to have in my tenure, Dr Dattajirao (DY) as club secretary. We had absolutely wonderful time. We worked on many projects. One project involved donation of a tricycle to differently abled student. I remember a picture of Manoj (a student of Brahmanand Pratishthan) with his tricycle, which was donated   by our club. This picture had featured in ‘The Rotarian’,  the RI magazine in 1992-93.  To have 16 Paul Harris Sustaining Members, was one achievement of that year.  Our club, for the  first time,  got Presidential Citation Award for balanced activities in that year.  One more event; a picnic to Kihim Beach, was a turning point in club fellowship. Attending Rotary Conferences was also very satisfying  experiance.   
      Fellowship is one very important gift of Rotary.  We enjoyed the picnics, fire side meetings.  The beauty of fellowship was, it’s along with Service to society and involving everybody of the family.  I remember, once we were playing  antakshari  while travelling to Harihareshwar.   Rtn. Sitapathy started singing a famous Marathi song ‘dehachi tijori.. bhaktichach theva.’ with all three stanzas in proper tune.  Being surprised, I asked him how come he knows it completely.  He said, such songs are equally famous in Tamil also. He showed me a printed book of songs.  I asked him what is that as, I could not read. He said these are all famous Marathi songs printed in tamil !  Sithapathy, was one more such Rotarian whom the club will never forget.   His contribution was immense. Fellowship really cuts all barriers, and instantly connect everybody.

     Being Chartered Accountant, I am required to share my views  on Union Budget, year after year.  I thoroughly enjoy this, and attempt to deliver to the best of my ability. I consider myself as privileged to do so.   The second job which was consistently assigned to me for many years, was to be a ‘Returning Officer’.  For conduct of club election, I happily carried this task.  I take it, as the trust or faith of all Rotarians in me, due to fellowship. 


   With galaxy of  presidents  and talented  Rotarians including all Doctors ( Dr. Shirish, Dr.Surekha, Dr.Dulera, Dr. Bhushan, et al- forgive me, if I miss anybody) are real assets of the club. The  club has evolved over a period of time and has become more and more dynamic. Each president dedicated his time, skill, and attention and has taken club to greater heights  and has raised the bar still  higher  than before.  I think, this is very healthy sign for our club.   
   I have full satisfaction about my association with Rotary, and wish our club to scale still greater heights in days to come. I wish best luck to Silver Jubilee President Rtn Devidas Buchake.  I am indeed greatful to all Rotarians, and would express my feelings towards them in following lines…
              “ Ehsaan mere dilpe tumhara hai dosto, ye dil tumhare pyrka mara hai dosto..”