Saturday, 13 October 2018

Bhavishya Yaan - a Mission to a Brighter Future

The students of Bhavishya Yaan programme presented their learning experience by showcasing their English speaking and soft skills in the form of various theme-based skits and talks to Rotary Club of Bombay West President Anand Gupta, First Lady Anita Gupta, PE Samapti Patel, Director Naresh Merchant, Secretary Nilesh Samant, PP Sukhdev Puri and Anns Urmil Puri and Shahin Merchant on Saturday, 13th September, 2018.  Later, President Anand Gupta addressed the students in fluent Marathi, congratulating them for their performances and motivating them to do well in life through determination and hard work.
Bhavishya Yaan is a skills enhancement programme for less privileged children studying at Municipal Schools has been acclaimed by Rotary International as the most innovative project in the field of literacy. The programme was first implemented by Rotary Club of Bombay in partnership with Vidya, an NGO which has a track record of running educational institutes for the less-privileged.
Our Club is successfully running this programme at Dixit Road Municipal School in Vile Parle East, Mumbai since 2011, funded by a UK based NGO. A batch of around 120 students are selected from the V to VIII standard and given structured coaching for two years in conversational English, Computer Education and Soft Skills outside their regular school hours.
The students who were part of this initiative have generally improved their academic performance and have become either more employable or better equipped to face the demanding challenges of a fruitful higher education. Deserving and meritorious students have also been later given scholarships for further studies to make them realize their dreams of a better future.
Encouraged by the positive results, the Club commenced Bhavishya Yaan programme at Sane Guruji Marathi Vidyamandir, Santacruz West, Mumbai in July, 2014.  And in October 2017, it extended the Bhavishya Yaan programme to their primary section

Friday, 5 October 2018

Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner at R C Bombay West

Dr.Bharat Vatwani

The Chief Guest at our regular Club Meeting of Wednesday 3rd October 2018 was the recent Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner – Dr.Bharat Vatwani, a renowned Psychiatrist and Founder Chairman of Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation – an organization devoted to the wandering mentally ill people we often see on the streets and ignore.  DG Shashi Sharma and Dr.Mohanbhai Patel graced the occasion as Guests of Honour while Dr.Anjali Chabria and several visiting Rotarians, Rotaractors and Guests were present to hear Dr.Bharat Vatwani and get inspiration from his work.

DG Shashi Sharma
The Ramon Magsaysay awards, considered as Asia’s Nobel Prize, were established in 1957 to commemorate Ramon Magsaysay, the late president of Philippines. In the past six decades this award has been bestowed on over 300 outstanding men, women and organizations whose selfless service has provided solutions to some of the most uncivilized problems of human development. In being honoured with this award Dr. Bharat Vatwani joins other illustrious Indian awardees such as Vinobha Bhave, Mother Teresa and Jayprakash Narayan to name a few.

Dr.Anjali Chabria
The citation presented to Dr. Bharat Vatwani at the awards ceremony reads “ The Foundation recognizes his tremendous courage and healing compassion in embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute and his steadfast and magnanimous work in restoring and affirming the human dignity of even the most ostracized in our midst”.

Born in June 1958, the journey for Dr Bharat Vatwani, an MD in Psychiatry began in 1987, when he and his wife Smita, also a practicing psychiatrist, spotted a frail young man drinking water from a gutter. The couple took him to their nursing home in Borivali. Treated him and reunited him with his family in Andhra Pradesh. It turned out that the young man was a BSc graduate suffering from schizophrenia. Ten years later in 1988 Dr. Vatwani along with his wife conceptualized and founded Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation, to provide temporary custodial care  for road side destitute schizophrenia patients. The major mission of this foundation since inception has been the rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and reunification with their families of the wandering mentally ill destitute from the streets of India. This couple also helped a well-known professor also suffering from schizophrenia from JJ School of Art, who was wandering on Mumbai roads for over two years. After his treatment, Dr Vatwani fought for him to get his job back. This triggered an overwhelming response from art students, who organized a fund raiser art exhibition for Dr. Vatwani’s cause. With the proceeds from this exhibition coupled with the help of various donors, what started as a two room tenement in 1988 treating a few destitute at a time, Dr. Vatwani now established a separate psychiatric institution with a capacity of 20 beds at Dahisar in 1997.

Dr.Vatwani being felicitated by the Club
However, not all was easy going. The residents of Dahisar resisted and took  Shraddha to court for picking up roadside, psychiatrically disturbing elements that they perceived threatened their families with a bad influence. In a landmark judgment, this much abused section of society, found its lawful place under the sun. “The mentally ill roadside destitute” - emphasized the Mumbai High Court are as much entitled to medical help as any physically indisposed person.
Finally in 2006, a separate facility in 6.5 acres was created on the outskirts of Mumbai on the undulating grassy knolls of Karjat. It currently has a capacity to house 120 patients. To ensure absolute focus, the entire activity is totally free to the patients and the institute only caters to destitute wandering helplessly on the streets. No patient brought in by relatives is accepted at this institute by the foundation.

During the last 3 decades, more than 7000 mentally-ill roadside destitute have been assisted off the roads, treated, rehabilitated and reunited with their families in far flung villages and towns of Indian stretching from Kerala to Assam. More specifically, after the initiation of the Karjat project in 2006, close to 5500 mentally ill roadside destitute have been reunited with their families.
On a more personal level, this dedicated husband & wife team are blessed with 4 children. A biological daughter named Akshaa and 3 children adopted from Mother Teresa’s home, 2 sons named Arjun and Karmanya, and one daughter named Kanika. This couple truly symbolizes Our Rotary motto of “Service above Self”.

- Report by Past President Rtn.Krishna Kejriwal

Blood Donation Camp at NMIMS

Rotary Club of Bombay West in association with Social Responsibility Forum of NMIMS organized a Blood Donation Camp at NMIMS’s Lounge on 4th October, 2018.  Students of NMIMS responded to the appeal for blood donation in large numbers, which helped Rotary DG Goenka Blood Bank to collect 306 units of blood in a single day.

The Camp was jointly inaugurated by Dr.Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor of NMIMS University and Dr.Mohanbhai Patel, Ex-Sheriff of Bombay in presence of Rtn.Anand Gupta, President of Rotary Club of Bombay West, Dr.Meena Galliara, Director, Jasani Center for Social Entrepreneurship & Sustainability Management, NMIMS, Dr.Yogini Patel, Director, Rotary DG Goenka Blood Bank, Office Bearers of SRF, Rtn.Y.Srinivasa Rao, Director - Medical Avenue, Rtn.Samapti Patel, President Elect and several Members of Rotary Club of Bombay West.

The Social Responsibility Forum (SRF) is the student body of NMIMS that strives to promote social sensitivity amongst MBA students by executing various short-term and long-term civic engagement activities.  According to Dr.Meena Galliara, SRF functions as a resource centre dedicated to the larger goals and objectives of social sector. SRF has also extended its active support to Jasani Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Management, NMIMS to execute the We Care: Civic Engagement Program which is an integral part of their MBA curriculum. Through the We Care: Civic Engagement Programme, MBA students are placed in various public and private sector socially oriented organizations at pan India and international level to work on various social issues and handle specific projects in the areas of education, health, energy, sanitation, micro finance, micro entrepreneurship, disaster management, resource mobilization & management and other areas.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Bombay West Celebrates World Elders’ Day

International Day of Older Persons or World Elders’ Day falling on 1st October was celebrated by Rotary Club of Bombay West this year too.  The World Elders Day is celebrated to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

On Sunday, 30th September, 2018, the Club in partnership with Inner Wheel Club of Bombay West (IWCBW) celebrated World Elders Day by inviting members of Senior Citizen Organizations associated with us. Dr.Pallavi Shah, Past President of International Inner Wheel was the Chief Guest.  President Anand Gupta welcomed the gathering while Dr.Kavita Rege, President of IWCBW formally introduced the Chief Guest who gave some very useful health tips to the senior citizens present at the event. 

The highlight of the evening was music programme conducted and sponsored by Rtn.Hiroo Thadani and his band.  Bollywood melodies from the Golden Era were sung by artistes to the accompaniment of live music.  Over 200 senior citizens who were present at the event thoroughly enjoyed – most were seeing humming the popular numbers while some enthusiastic elders climbed the stage and danced to their heart content.

Earlier, around 20 Elders were felicitated for their contribution to the society.  The event was compeered ably by Rtn.Minoo Lalvani and organized by the Senior Citizens Committee of the club lead by Chairman Rtn.Mohanlal Gupta and Director Community Service I, Rtn.Naresh Merchant.  The entertainment programme was co-ordinated and compeered by PP Rtn.Chandramohan Saigal.

For more photos of the event, please click on the link given below: