The Rotary Club of Bangalore on 20 Lavelle Road has been around for the past 82 years. President Ranga Rao has been a member of the club since he was 42 and was also part of the Roundtable, a sister group where you need to be of a specific age to become its member.
The Rotary Club has decided to work with schools this year and their focus would be on the government schools that lack proper toilets or whose buildings have crumbled down or any other problems such as these. The Club will then take over the schools and build 6 classrooms, construct separate toilets for both boys and girls, dig a borewell for drinking water, make playground, setup a waste disposal unit etc. They are targeting ‘100 happy schools’ in the rural areas of Karnataka.
Service in India
Rao says that funding a school building is easy as there are several contacts that they bring. He adds in saying that their presence on the site was not compulsory, they help by facilitating the work and have the work completed in the most efficient way at the best possible rates.
Since the group concentrates on connecting to the elite class, Rao is asked on how he replies to the allegations of snootiness. He laughingly replies that they are a service club and not Bangalore Club.
Board Director at Toolbox India, Vijaya Balaji says that building accountability for organizations that are volunteer driven is not easy. She adds that being on the field always is not a must and they have other priorities such as job, family, friends and then the Rotary. However, whenever the members have time they along with their family members visit the site where the construction work for the schools is going on. Also if a member cannot spare the time to come to the site they give money, but stay connected to the cause in some way.
CEO of Udani Opticians, Sanjay Udani was eager to do something for the community and joined the youth section of Lions Club – the Leos in 1978 and then in 1989 became a part of the Lions. He remembers his first project where they built a school of three classrooms for Rs. 80,000 and Udani had helped in whitewashing the building himself. He adds although the members of the Lions have gone down by half their enthusiasm to work towards the community remain the same. The club is involved especially in causes to fight blindness after Helen Keller requested the Lions to help the world get rid of blindness.
They are now aiming to start a programme ‘Early Act’ where they intend on attracting the younger demographic who will work under the guidance of Rotary members.