Monday, 21 December 2015

Improved Facilities for Adivasi Students at Talasari and Kosbad (Dist.Palghar)

Saturday, 19th December, 2015 was another red-letter day in the history of Rotary Club of Bombay West when President Shirish Rege inaugurated two rural-based projects, one a Talasari and another at Kosbad in Dist.Palghar, Maharashtra.

As a part of on-going support to improving infrastructural facilities at Ashram Shalas run by Gokhale Education Society in rural Maharashtra, mainly for the benefit of tribal population, our Club had taken up the following projects in the current Rotary Year:

1.       At Talasari Ashram Shala: Construction and renovation of a total of 19 toilets- 08 for girls and 11 for boys and bathing areas for boys facilitating simultaneous bath for 21 boys, including provision of two water tanks of 5,000 litre capacity each and septic tanks at a total cost of Rs.10.00 lacs approx.
2.       At Kosbad Ashram Shala: Renovation of one block of classrooms-cum-hostel consisting of 4 rooms and two balconies at the back and the front at a total cost of Rs. 5.20 lacs approx..


Both these projects were completed simultaneously within the scheduled time of three months under the able guidance of Rtn.Dr.Anand Gupta and his team of contractors and supervisors with support from the school authorities. 25% of the cost of the project was contributed by Gokhale Education Society whereas the balance 75% was contributed by our members and Rotary Service Public Charitable Trust.

The inauguration function at the Talasari Ashram Shala was graced by Dr.M.S.Gosavi, Secretary of Gokhale Education Trust and by Adv.Chintaman Wanaga, sitting Member of Parliament and an alumnus of the Shala.  They addressed the students and teachers with some very inspiring messages to motivate them to achieve great heights in their respective lives. President Shirish Rege, while speaking at the event, stressed on need to excel in whatever one does.  He also urged the school management, teachers and students to ensure the infrastructure and facilities provided by our Club are well-maintained as this will encourage us to look at more opportunities of further improving the learning environment at the Ashram Shalas which will benefit future generations of students.

The inauguration function which was graced by Dr.M.S.Gosavi at Kosbad Ashram Shala was marked by one of the teachers of the school recalling in detail the Jeevan Ki Pathshala – a value education and yoga workshop conducted by Rtn.Laxminarayan Baijal and his spouse R/Ann Kiran Baijal and the students singing in chorus a songs penned by Rtn.Baijal.

A Career Guidance Exhibition was also organized by our Club at Kosbad Ashram Shala which was also inaugurated by President Shirish Rege.  This is first-time ever that our Club has taken such an initiative in a rural area.  Hundreds of students from other nearby schools would also be visiting the Exhibition and an Education Counsellor stationed there would answer queries from teachers and students.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Shri Ashank Desai on “Digitise Or Else………?”

‘The pace at which digitization is impacting the world, every business – big or small, in service or manufacturing sector, in developed country or developing country will soon be affected’ said Shri Ashank Desai, Founder and Former Chairman of MASTEK Ltd., a global IT solutions Company recently while addressing the members of Rotary Club of Bombay West at Mumbai.

He went on to say that global giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Pandora, Netflix understood the importance of digitization and implemented it with a right strategy to be part of the Trillion Dollar Club today, whereas several yesteryear industry leaders like Nokia, Yahoo, MySpace, HMV, Blockbuster have either gone bankrupt or have seen stagnancy in their business numbers as they have lagged behind in digitization. 

Every business or profession must look at the ‘Tools of Digitization’ which include Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, 3-D Printing, etc.  and use combinations thereof to achieve their individual digitization goals. 

Shri Desai warned about the side effects of digitization like privacy issue, cyber security, cyber terrorism and creation of digital have-nots segment for inclusive growth.  However, these risks should not deter businesses and professions from digitization – rather the digitization strategy should have in-built risk containment mechanisms to achieve success.  His final words of advice were to be up-to-date on digital technology and applications, not to under-estimate pace of change, take ownership and have a digital strategy in place before experimenting and taking baby steps.

Shri Ashank Desai is widely recognized as an industry veteran, and he is one of the founder members & past Chairman of NASSCOM. He is a former President of Asian Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO), an Association of 20 countries in this region. For past many years he has been involved with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Executive Committees at National & Regional levels.  Recently, Shri Desai was one of the eight IT professionals to have been felicitated by the Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi for his contribution to NASSCOM & IT Industry for the last 25 years.

-Report by Aslam Merchant, President Elect (2016-17), Rotary Club of Bombay West

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Special Postal Cover released honouring Rotary’s service in Polio Eradication from India

The Government of India through the Indian Postal Department recognized Rotary’s service in making India Polio-free by release of Special Postal Cover on the eve of World Polio Day – an honour which Rotary fully deserves according to Smt. Rajashree Birla who was the Chief Guest at the event organized at the Rotary Service Centre in Juhu, Mumbai by India National PolioPlus Committee of Rotary International and Rotary Club of Bombay West to celebrate ‘Four Years of Polio-free India’.

Speaking at the function, Smt. Birla paid rich tributes to the members of Rotary in India for having so dedicatedly worked towards the mission and successfully eradicated the dreaded disease from our country. She urged Rotary to continue to work with the same spirit to keep India polio-free while at the same time look at supporting the Government’s National Immunization Programme in their respective neighbourhoods.  So far, Smt.Rajashree Birla and Aditya Birla Group have donated over USD 9 mn to the Rotary Foundation’s Polio Fund, which shows her deep commitment to the cause.

Shri Hamid Patel, Senior Superintendent of Post – Mumbai South, Shri Ashok Mahajan, Past Rotary International Director, Shri Deepak Kapur, Chairman, India National PolioPlus Committee of Rotary International, Shri Subhash Kulkarni, District Governor of Rotary District 3140 and Shri Aslam Merchant, President (2016-17) of Rotary Club of Bombay West also graced the occasion with several officials from Government Health Services, IndiaPost, WHO, UNICEF and Rotary Clubs spread across Mumbai and Thane District.

This event comes at an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which would be only the second human disease to be eradicated, after smallpox. In September, the World Health Organization declared Africa’s last polio-endemic country, Nigeria, polio-free, leaving only two countries which have never stopped the virus: Pakistan and Afghanistan.  In 1988, when Rotary and its partners committed to eradicating the disease, polio paralyzed more than 350,000 children per year in 125 countries – or, more than 1,000 per day. Since that time, the number of polio cases has been reduced by 99.9%, with less than 50 cases in two countries to date in 2015.

Rotary has contributed more than US$1.4 billion to ending polio. Funds contributed to Rotary are tripled thanks to a 2:1 match by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rotary is joined in the fight to end polio by its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

RCBW Service Excellence Award for the year 2015-16 to Mr. Harakhchand Savla

The Rotary Club of Bombay West presented a citation to Mr. Harakhchand Savla who aptly represents the conscience of a city like Mumbai, reaching out the really needy. Championing the cause of poor cancer patients and their relatives at the Tata Memorial Hospital thirty years ago, Mr. Savla began helping them with food and medicines, spending from his own modest income. His efforts have since grown into an organisation called the Jeevan Jyot Cancer Relief and Care Trust and is run by a significant contingent of trained, full time workers and dedicated volunteers.

As on date, Jeevan Jyot is instrumental in serving more than 600 free meals daily to poor cancer patients at the Tata Memorial Hospital, the J.J. Hospital and the St. George’s Hospital in Mumbai. It also runs a free toy library for young cancer patients and provides subsidised medicines to needy patients. In addition, it also offers more than 30 value added services in related areas.

Devoting his energies towards this cause relentlessly, Mr. Savla and Jeevan Jyot has reached more than half a million cancer patients in Mumbai and his efforts never slow down or mellow. His belief in the fact that while the success of a business enterprise may be measured by the magnitude of the profit it earns, the touchstone for a service endeavour needs to be assessed by the quantum of gratitude it earns from the humanity it serves.

In recognition of his service to cancer patients in particular and to humanity in general, the Rotary Club of Bombay West proudly conferred upon him The Service Excellence Award for the year 2015-16 on the evening of the 07th October 2015. Mr. Savla spoke a few words to the audience present, his humility, strength and conviction coming out very clearly in the simple words that he spoke. Most of us present felt humbled to be in the company of such a rare and modest person.

         Rtn Dr. Usha Jayachandran

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Swachh Vidyalaya – A Cleanliness Competition for Schools

In line with the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan launched on 2nd Oct 2014, Rotary Club of Bombay West in association with Surajba Public Charitable Trust (a family trust of Past President Rtn.Dr.Mohanbhai Patel, Ex-Sheriff of Bombay), launched Swachh Vidyalaya, Swachh Bharat – a competition amongst identified schools in western suburbs of Mumbai in Nov 2014. Ms.Samapti Patel, Director-Youth Services, with support from officials from Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Rotarians, rotary anns, rotaractors, interactors and their moderators, made several visits to these schools from initiation of the project till August 2015 with a view to creating awareness about expected levels of cleanliness and sanitation facilities, availability of safe drinking water and importance of personal hygiene amongst students.

A 3-member jury (Shri Dattaram Karanje, Officer from MCGM H/Ward, Ms.Archana Sharma, a social activist and Ms.Rita Shroff, member of Inner Wheel Club of Bombay West who has been closely associated with Child Reach Organization) visited all the participating schools in the month of September this year to ascertain the winners amongst them.  Results of the competition was announced at the first Smt.Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Rotary Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar ceremony held at the Club’s Rotary Service Centre, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz West on Thursday, October 01, 2015 with Dr.Mohanbhai Patel as the Chief Guest.  The event was attended by principals, teachers and select students from the participating schools. 

The winners were :

·         First Prize of Rs.51000/- was shared by Taraben Master High School, Santacruz West Municipal Primary School and Guru Harkishan High School
·         Second Prize of Rs.30000/- was shared by M.M.Pupils High School, Brihan Mumbai Municipal Khotwadi School and Rotary KDN Shruti School
·         Third Prize of Rs.21000/- was shared by Bandra Hindu Association High School, Manekji Gazdhar Primary High School and Rose Manor School

Ms.Archana Sharma, before announcing the winners, also gave her impressions of the schools she visited while judging for the competition and gave some valuable suggestions to the school management for improving their scores on cleanliness.

Addressing the audience, Dr.Mohanbhai Patel stressed the importance of inculcating cleanliness and personal hygiene habits among youngsters as they alone can influence elders in the families to bring about the much needed change.  

Earlier, President of Rotary Club of Bombay West, Rtn.Shirish Rege gave incidents from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to impress upon the students how important was ‘swachhta’ for the Father of the Nation and that every citizen of India should taken upon this responsibility to transform India into ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2nd October 2019 when nation would be celebrating his 150th birth anniversary.  

Mahesh Bhupati, Ace International Tennis Player at RCBW

The guest for the regular club meeting on 30th September 2015 was tennis legend, Shri Mahesh Bhupati.  President Shirish Rege welcomed him with a bouquet of flowers and after his opening remarks, Shri Bhupati requested the panel of interviewers led by Past President Chandramohan Saigal to shoot questions which he answered with flair and poise. The other interviewers were Rahul Kejriwal (son of Past President Rtn.Krishna Kejriwal and Rohan Samant (son of Rtn.Nilesh Samant).  The synopsis of the interactions with the interviewers as well as the members of the club was as under:

Mahesh Bhupati lived his father’s dream of becoming an ace tennis player…. Shri C.G.Krishna Bhupati’s tennis career was cut-short due to an serious injury to his hand in an accident. Coming from a humble middle class background, Mahesh started playing Tennis as young as 3 yrs old. What Mahesh’s describes as a career forced upon him from a very young age, he had to practice long hours and for quite some time they lived in Muscat where Tennis has very little presence. He would spend hours hitting against the wall. He was pulled out of his school, as the school did not allow enough time for tennis practice. All holidays had to be in places where there were tennis courts so he could continue with his practice.

His father took him to play in the US when he was 11 yrs old and then to Wimbledon when he was 16, where he saw Boris Becker play live. That was a big influence on him and how he would see tennis in the years to come. Boris was his growing up years role model as well. The constant practice and hard word coupled with his family backing got him today to where he is.

52 Doubles Titles
Carrier Ranking = 1 (1999)
F (1999, 2009, 2011)
W (1999, 2001)
W (1999)
W (2002)

According to Mahesh, Roger Federer is the best ever tennis player the sport has ever produced. He says that man is a magician on the court. The things he can do with his racquet is stupendous. When asked who is the best Serve and Volley player ever, He said that the Records would indicate that Pete Sampras is the best, but he feels that Stefan Edberg had the best talent in that style of game play. Unfortunately according to Mahesh, that style of game is coming back very soon as technology with not allow it. There is a 100% difference in the racquets between now and 10 years back.

India does not have the coaches for the children to make it big in tennis. We have the courts, but the rest of the tutoring in terms of diet, proper technique and mental conditional is far from desired. Mahesh said something very interesting that for mixed doubles he has never practised with his partner before a tournament.

Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
W (2006, 2009)
W (1997, 2012)
W (2002, 2005)
W (1999, 2005)

Finally he mentioned that it’s going to be a long time before India produced its first ever Major Slam Winner. He is almost retired and now runs his academy and has started the ITPL, which he thinks has great potential going forward. He said after Cricket, tennis is the most popular sport in India but still very short on funding. All players have to fund themselves and he is endorsing some very good players and helping them gather funding including sending them for training to the US, to fulfil their and India’s Tennis dream.

Mahesh is currently married to Actress Lara Dutta and has a three year old daughter.  Earlier, Mahesh was introduced by Past President Uday Chande.

-Report by Mr.Rahul Krishna Kejriwal

Sunday, 27 September 2015

RCBW Celebrates World Elders' Day

Rotary Club of Bombay West celebrated World Elders' Day (which falls on 1st October every year) by felicitating and honouring several senior citizens from the community for Lifetime Harmonious Living with Family, Friends and Community.  Rotary Club of North Island were the co-hosts of the event which was attended by over 200 senior citizens from the neighborhood.

Speaking on this occasion, District Governor Elect (DGE) Rtn.Gopal Mandhania urged the elders present to do good for the society, to contribute in any which way towards making the lives of less fortunate better and always keep a positive frame of mind to remain happy and peaceful.  He also requested the elders to consider registering for organ donation which is a very noble act and gives life to fellow human beings who are suffering because of organ failures.

Earlier, President of Rotary Club of Bombay West, Rtn.Shirish Rege welcomed the gathering while Rtn.Anil Khanna, President of Rotary Club of North Island proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the organizers and sponsors of the event. He specially appreciated the efforts of Rtn.Mohanlal Gupta, the octogenarian member of Rotary Club of Bombay West, Rtn.Shanti Grewal of RC North Island, Ms.Meera Sheth, Vice President, Inner Wheel Club of Bombay West and Rtn.Hima Dalal, Director, RC of Bombay West for their untiring efforts at making the event a success.

The felicitation programme was followed by a top-class musical event performing with a live band.  Singers Rochana Dahanukar, Hari Gandhi, Chandramohan Saigal, Prakruti Vasani, Usha Jayachandran, Deep Bhatkal and Pankaj Sheth sang old bollywood classics of the golden era which was well appreciated by the elders.  Songs like Kajra Mohabbatwala and Dumadum Mast Kalandar brought the elders on the dance floor to the merriment of all present. The musical event was ably compered by President Elect of Rotary Club of Bombay West, Rtn.Aslam Merchant interspersed with shayaris and humour.

All in all, an evening to remember...  seeing the happy and smiling elders were the moments which we shall cherish for a long time to come.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

2nd Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Rotary Excellence Awards - 2015

The second Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Rotary Excellence Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, 4th September, 2015 at Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel College of Homeopathy, Vile Parle West, Mumbai where over 100 students from neighborhood schools and institutions were felicitated and awarded cash prizes.

First Lady Kavita Rege welcoming the Chief Guest
These awards  were instituted last year by Rotary Club of Bombay West (RCBW) with the help of donation of Rs.100 lakhs by Past President and Ex-Sheriff of Mumbai, Rtn.Mohanbhai Patel through his family trust to Rotary Service Public Charitable Trust (RSPCT). Earnings from the dedicated corpus created by RSPCT would be utilized every year to give away cash prizes of Rs.10000, Rs.5000 and Rs.3000 to students ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their respective schools / institutions at Board/University level examinations.

R/Ann Veena Khanna welcoming Dr.Mohanbhai Patel
The cash awards and certificates of excellence were handed over to the students by Shri Amrishbhai Patel, Ex-Minister of School Education, Sports & Youth Affairs, Govt. of Maharashta, President of Shri Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal ( and Chancellor of NMIMS – a deemed university, in presence of Past President Rtn.Mohanbhai Patel, President Rtn.Shirish Rege, President Elect, Rtn.Aslam Merchant, Past President Arvind Shah who also headed the Club Committee for the Awards and Rtn.Samapti Patel, Director – Youth Services alongwith over fifteen members of the Club.  

Shirish Rege addressing audience
Inspirational talks by Rtn.Mohanbhai Patel, Shri Amrishbhai Patel and President Shirish Rege were the highlights of the evening which the students and parents will cherish for life.  

Before the awardees left the venue, they were handed over framed picture of them receiving the awards which was a delightful surprise element planned and executed meticulously by the Club.

The ceremony was witnessed by several principals and teachers of the select schools, parents and family members of the awardees, specially invited guests, Inner Wheel Club members, Rotarians and Rotary/Anns.  Rtn.Shefali Shah ably compeered the event while Rtn.Aslam Merchant, Rtn.Ramesh Damani and Rtn.Nilesh Samant respectively introduced Shri Amrishbhai Patel, Rtn.Mohanbhai Patel and Rtn.Shirish Rege to the gathering. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Toilets & Bathrooms for Adivasi Students at Talasari Ashram School

Bhoomi Poojan ceremony of the Toilet and Bathroom Project taken up by the Rotary Club of Bombay at Gokhale Education Society’s Anudanit Prathmik Ashram Shala, Tal.Talasari, Dist.Palghar was performed on 3rd September, 2015.  This initiative of Rotary Club of Bombay West is a humble contribution towards achieving the Prime Minister’s dream of a Swachh Bharat when the country celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019.

President Rtn.Shirish Rege was the Chief Guest at the event which was also attended by President Elect Rtn.Aslam Merchant, Rtn.Dr. Anand Gupta, Director, Rtn.Mohanlal Gupta and Rtn.Kishen Agarwal.

The project involves upgrading and repairs to nineteen existing boys and girls toilets, construction of new toilets and bathing areas for boys and providing water storage and flushing facility to all the toilets in the school premises.  The Club has also extended its support in fixing ceiling fans and tubelights in the multi-purpose hall for the comfort and convenience of the students.  The total project outlay is estimated at over Rs.15 lacs.

On our way back from Talasari, Rtn.Kishen Agarwal offered his impressions of the project…. “President Shirish and his team have conceived and meticulously planned this education rural upliftment project of upgrading and building new toilets for girls and boys…. Our (club’s) support would speak loud and clear in future.  Indeed, a vey satisfying project participation for me and am requesting every fellow Rotarian to experience the same when we have such rural project visits organized by the club.

-Rtn.Aslam Merchant

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Rotary Global Rewards Program for Members.... One More Reason to Join Rotary

Message from Rotary International President:

There was once a strong young man who was offered a job as a woodcutter. He set about his task with energy: The first week, he turned 18 trees into firewood. The second week, he worked just as hard, but was surprised to find he had chopped only 11 trees. The third week, despite working nonstop from morning till night, the number was six, and he went despairingly to the foreman to offer his resignation. "I am losing my strength. I can no longer cut as many trees as I once could."

The foreman looked at the young man, who seemed to him in fine health. "Have you thought of sharpening your ax?" he asked.

"Sharpen my ax? Who has time to sharpen an ax?" the young man asked indignantly. "I have been too busy chopping wood!"

When we aren't making the kind of progress we feel we should be making, the natural response is to redouble our efforts. Sometimes, though, the better response is not to work harder, but to work smarter. Look at your tools. Analyze your processes. Are you directing your resources in the most effective ways? Or are you pouring all your strength into chopping wood with a dull ax?

For the last 20 years, we have relentlessly beaten the drum of membership in Rotary. We set goals and launch campaigns, all focused on bringing in more and more members. And yet, our overall numbers remain the same.
It is time to sharpen our tools. Instead of focusing on the question, "How can we bring more members into Rotary?" we should be asking ourselves, "How can we add more value to Rotary membership, so that more will join and fewer will leave?"

One way we are doing that is with the new Rotary Global Rewards program, which launched in July. This innovative program allows Rotarians to connect with, and receive discounts and concessions from, businesses and service providers around the world. Individual Rotarians may submit their own business to be included alongside those with which Rotary has already negotiated relationships; the most appropriate offers will be added to the listings. We have also created the option of allowing businesses to return a percentage of their profit on each transaction to our Rotary Foundation, and several companies have already been locked into this part of the scheme. Each month we will update the list with additional offers that we may receive. I urge all of you to try it out by signing up on My Rotary at now. The more Rotarians participate, the stronger, and more beneficial, the program will be.

Much more than another loyalty program, Rotary Global Rewards is a new way to benefit from being a Rotarian, and being part of the Rotary network. It is another way to combine business and service. And it is yet another way to add value to Rotary membership. We cannot forget that our potential members will be asking themselves, "What's in it for me?" We need to demonstrate the value of Rotary by showing that becoming a Rotarian will enrich their lives, as it has ours.

K R Ravindran
President 2015 - 16
Source: Rotary International

Monday, 17 August 2015

Motivating Academic Achievements by Hearing Impaired Past Students of Rotary KDN Shruti School

At the Independence Day Celebrations at Rotary KDN Shruti School for Hearing Impaired (Juhu, Mumbai), three former students of the school were felicitated for achieving excellent performance at the last HSC Exams by Dr.Ramesh Oza, Audiologist & Speech Therapist, Hon.Director of the Institution and Past President of Rotary Club of Bombay West.  This over 40 year old school is established and managed by Rotary Club of Bombay West.

Chinmay Joshi passed his HSC in Science with 76%.  He stood First in Maharashtra in composite score (JEE + HSC) of 89.95% in ‘Physically Handicapped’ (PH) category.  Earlier, he had scored 93% at SSC Exams.  He is currently pursuing Computer Engineering and aims to be an expert in the field.  Speaking to the students, parents and the Rotarians after accepting the Appreciation Certificate from Dr.Oza, Chinmay said…”I came across many obstacles….I thought sometimes since I was differently-abled, I was no good.  But I didn’t give up… instead I resolved to show to the world my unique skills and worked hard with support from my teachers and my mom.”  He motivated the students by saying….”never give up, keep going, connect to as many people as possible, learn from their experiences and knowledge, explore new ideas.”

Chinmay’s twin brother, Aditya Joshi too has hearing impairment since childhood.  Despite all odds, he too has performed well at the HSC  Exams scoring 81%.  He is pursuing B.Com.  Earlier, at the SSC Exams, he had scored 93%.  Speaking on the sidelines of the function, Aditya recalled how he was treated by his fellow students when they came to know about his handicap.  “That’s the time I decided to prove and show my true skills and abilities by taking part in extra-curricular activities.  I won several sports medals and also a bronze medal at International Informatics Olympiad. I even passed elementary and intermediate drawing competition.”  Aditya had a few words of advice for the students of Shruti School….”you are unique and have the potential to do things what people say you can’t. Be around with good people, know oneself better, listen to your own voice. Nothing can stop you from going ahead and achieving your dreams and goals.”

Fighting against all odds, Nidhi Kotian scored 89.85% at HSC and stood first in Maharashtra in PH category. She also qualified for JEE Advanced (IIT). At SSC, she had scored 96.36% and was a topper in her school in the special category.  Her mantra was studying for 10 hours daily with frequent breaks for walk or music for relaxation.  She gives credit for her achievements to the support from teachers at school/college and her parents.  “Due to my hearing problems, it was difficult for me to grasp concepts in class.  The college arranged doubt-solving sessions for me, which helped me understand what was being taught.”  She is presently studying Computer Science Engineering at a college in Mumbai.

The achievements of all these three students have been reported in several mainline newspapers including The Times of India, DNA and Hindustan Times.  Rotary Club of Bombay West is truly proud of their achievements and wishes them all the success in life.

- Rtn.Aslam S. Merchant

Friday, 14 August 2015

Towards A Corruption-free India…

DGP Praveen Dixit, Director General, Anti Corruption Bureau Maharashtra addressed members of Rotary Club of Bombay West recently on Measures to Promote Corruption Free Society. He was welcomed by President Shirish Rege and introduced to the audience by President Elect Rtn.Aslam Merchant.

A dynamic person and an Honorary Rotarian of the Club for 2015-16, DGP Dixit has been instrumental in bringing to book many  corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. He has become kind of iconic for those who wish to see the Country prospering in the right direction in corruption free environment. Thanks to his reputation and zest, people from remote locations feel empowered and come forward to report cases of corruption with conviction that it will be resolved because of him.

He divided his talk in two parts. Corruption having two sides- Supply and Demand. The supply part being the private companies who prefer to take easier option of bribing officials to get their way. India stands 84th in corrupt countries which is a cause for worry. He cited examples of Union Carbide and Green Peace for getting their way through. As ethical global companies shun corrupt countries for expanding their business, we would lose out on opportunities. Moreover, the top brass of Indian companies too are interested in fudging their books of accounts. He advocated that there should be penal sanctions on such companies of the kinds which exist in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. Companies should not resort to evading the scrutiny of their books but instead voluntarily offer ethical conduct. They should follow the codes and pacts developed by ‘Transparency International’. The Board of Directors must insist on recording all transactions and that the company books should be open for scrutiny at all times. Companies should follow rules of conduct framed by the International Chamber of Commerce. He said while answering questions at this juncture that India too is moving forward formulating stringent Acts to fight corruption at supply end.

He then went on to narrate about the actions taken during his tenure. He said the victims of these corrupt practices are across all cross sections of society, from disabled, senior citizens to marginalized sections. Heartening thing, he said, is that youth is coming forward to report these incidents. The accused again were from all professions, i.e. Revenue Officers, Doctors, Engineers, Advocates, Teachers, Police officers, Elected Members of Local Bodies and so on. Female accused interestingly seemed about 10%.  He gave impressive statistics of the number of traps laid and convictions about corrupt practices, disproportionate assets and said that again convictions have taken place across all sections. Traps are laid even in remote places as far away as beyond Gadchiroli and people are coming forward to report such cases from every district and Tehsil in Maharashtra. He spoke about catching people resorting to corruption in welfare schemes too.

He exhorted everyone to come forward to report corruption cases to make our society corruption free.

He elaborated on effective use of technology and social media and gave the web-based mobile friendly application at and toll free number 1064 to report incidents of corruption. One can also lodge a complaint on official website or on email to  Complaints can also be lodged through the Facebook page

While answering a good number of questions, he said that earlier the moral values and ethics that were inculcated at home, need to be now included in school curriculum to drive home such issues.

Past President Rajendra Ruia thanked Hon.Rtn Praveen Dixit  as also his wife Mrs.Arundhati Dixit for honouring the Club with their gracious presence. Rtn.Ruia informed the audience that Mr.Dixit was recently nominated as the first President of Rotary District 3140 Peace Alumni Association chartered recently by Rotary International. He praised Mr Dixit’s initiatives in use of social media. At the end, he quoted Mr Dixit…  we all have to do our bit and pay some price to make our country corruption free.

 Report Dr.(Mrs.) Kavita Rege, Principal, Sathaye College & First Lady of RCBW

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Jeevan ki Pathshala – A 6-Day Value Education Workshop at Adivasi School

Rotary Club of Bombay West recently conducted a 6-Day Workshop on Value Education titled “Jeevan ki Pathshala” at Gokhale Education Society’s Kosbad Ashram Shala at Dahanu in Maharashtra.  Over 180 students in age group of 10 – 13 benefited through this intensive workshop which covered a wide range of areas including health, nutrition, environment, power of mind, intellect, positive thinking, good habits and love for our country.  The learning took place through innovative techniques like story telling, singing and showing video clips from reputed sources including UNICEF. All this was inter-woven with Yoga Philosophy and Techniques to improve mind power, concentration and memory retention among students.  The closing session of the programme included a slick presentation by the students on what they imbibed during the workshop, in presence of their school principal and teachers.  The club also provided the school with set of 100 booklets published by Punarutthan Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad on value education titled ‘Punyabhoomi Bharat Sanskriti Vaachanmala’ and copies of ‘Kahani Suno Kamyaab Bano’ written by Rtn.Laxminarayan Baijal and published by our Club.

On behalf of the Club, the Workshop was conducted by Rtn.Laxminarayan Baijal and his spouse Kiran Baijal who are experienced in organizing such seminars and clinics on a professional level for various institutions and NGOs in India. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Top Ranking Students from Tribal Villages honoured by Rotary

Top Ranking Students from Tribal Villages honoured by Rotary

Rotary Club of Bombay West awarded Merit Certificates and Cash Awards to about 150 top ranking students of  50 schools and colleges from tribal villages of Talasari and Dahanu in Palghar.  SUPA FARM ROTARY EXCELLENCE AWARDS ceremony was held at Com.Godavari Shamrao Parulekar College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Talasari where Shri Kalyan Banerjee, Past Rotary International President was the Chief Guest.

The Cash Awards of Rs.5000, Rs.3000 and Rs.2000 each to the top 3 rankers at board / university level examinations has been instituted by the Club from the donation of Rs.50 lacs received from Dr.Mohanbhai Patel, reputed industrialist, Ex-Sheriff of Mumbai and Past President of the Club. Addressing the gathering, Dr.Mohanbhai Patel talked what “Excellence” meant to him.  The phenomenal work done by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to unite India post-freedom from the Britishers was epitome of “Excellence” and so was the communication skills of Mahatma Gandhi who could effectively communicate with 40 crore Indians without the availability of present day technology-based tools.  Today, every child in India has equal opportunity to excel. The intention of the Supa Farm Rotary Excellence Awards was to recognize the potential amongst the tribal children and encourage them to have high ambitions in life.  By bringing Rotary to the doorstep of these villages, his objective was to encourage interactions of rural students with urban professionals and contribute towards their  development.

Speaking to the students, Shri Kalyan Banerjee, who is only the 3rd Indian President  in 110 years’ history of Rotary International, said that people from Talasari have majorly contributed to the success of the industries in Vapi belt, including his own manufacturing unit set up since 1972.  He praised the intelligence levels of the local people and was sure that with the encouragement and support of philanthropists like Dr.Mohanbhai Patel, the students from these villages can realize  their dreams.

Earlier, Shri Shirish Rege, President of the Rotary Club of Bombay West welcomed the students, parents, teachers and the principals of the institutions to the awards function.  In his advise to the students, he urged students to follow the 11 vows  recommended by Gandhiji way back in 1915 which were relevant even today and would lead them to the path of success in their lives.

- Report by President Elect Rtn.Aslam S. Merchant

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Past RI President Kalyan Banerjee @ RCBW

Past Rotary International President Rtn.Kalyan Banerjee was the Chief Guest at the the first meeting of Rotary Club of Bombay West held on Wednesday, 8th July in the new rotary year 2015-16.

Expressing his deep sense of appreciation for the Club and in particular for the Kalyan Banerjee Lecture Series project of the Club where every year a prominent speaker is invited to share his thoughts on an issue of importance to the community.  He felt honored and humbled by this initiative of the Club.

While addressing the members of the Club and invited guests, PRIP Kalyan Banerjee was extremely positive about the growth of rotary world over with the changes he has seen happening in various countries to attract new and younger members to the rotary fold.  He mentioned about experiments of formation of satellite clubs, inviting spouses to join rotary, meeting once in two or four weeks instead of every week and giving more prominence to ‘engagement’ as opposed to ‘attendance’ - all with an eye on growth of rotary world-wide.  He said RI President K.R.Ravindran is toying with an idea of introducing discount cards for members which will entitle them discounts at select outlets owned by Rotarians all of whom do business with honesty and ethics.  This too is with the objective of attracting people to Rotary.

After Polio, Rtn.Banerjee said the focus in India was on literacy.  Rotary India’s Literacy Mission – to make India literate by 2017 – is certainly a difficult task, but that should not deter the Rotarians from working towards it.  If not by 2017, even if we are able to achieve this goal a little later, it should be a great feat by all means.  

- Report by President Elect Rtn.Aslam Merchant