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President Usha's Notes

26 August 2020


Dear fellows,

In-person meetings
Our last in-person meeting at the SEC was a runaway success. After a long time, we had ‘job talks’ from our very own fellow Rotarians Chris Virgona and Prabhat Sinha. We had the opportunity to hear first-hand from the people at the coal face whose businesses have a continuous stream of clients walking in off the street day after day in these covid-19 times. The talks were on a serious subject, yet presented beautifully in a light hearted manner, that kept the room breaking out in laughter. Through these talks, we got a glimpse of myriad challenges businesses are facing and how creatively and continuously these are being managed. Our thanks for these interesting talks.

Hybrid Meetings
With our meetings alternating between zoom and in-person, scheduling the guest speakers has been challenging, where many of them prefer a specific mode of presentation and some changing their mind altogether. We are thankful to our Program Manager Janelle Watson for dealing very efficiently with these challenges in this uncertain climate.

National Youth Science Forum Panel
This Saturday, I had the privilege of joining the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)
panels to interview around 50 students. Although it was a long day (from 9am to 5pm), the impeccable organisation by the NYSF Committee made it worthwhile and time flied. Students were run through three panels with 5 minutes for each, a total interviewing time of 15 minutes. It was a great pleasure meeting 50 talented and capable students and also working side by side with many of our District leaders and the NYSF Committee members. We will meet again this coming Saturday, to complete the remaining interviews virtually for students who are in Covid19 isolation and were unable to attend last week.


Hurrah! Our raffles are back. We found the way forward last week with our first ‘bonus’ raffle, thanks to PP Peter Manenti. Now the raffle will be conducted weekly regardless of the meeting being in person or via zoom. Members wishing to participate should make a one-time payment for a ticket to all weekly club raffles (excluding events), even if you are unable to attend a meeting.

Celebration dinner
The Celebration dinner is coming up soon and the seats are filling fast. With strict limit on the number attending, members are reminded to book early to avoid disappointment. Thanks to all those members who have already booked for the event. The committee has assured me that it will be a great evening with many attractions including live music.

August RDU magazine
The August RDU magazine had a great column by K R Ravindran, Foundation Trustee Chair titled ‘Emerging Stronger’, which I liked a lot. Here is an excerpt from this article:

... As of June 4, we have funded 208 disaster response grants for $5.2 million and 159 new global grants at $13.8 million – all in 3 months. We have leveraged individual Rotarians’ generosity with Foundation funds, and in many cases other corporate funds, to make projects larger and more impactful.
We never allowed the pandemic to overpower us. Indeed, history shows that Rotarians are a curious breed. We are visionaries, an idealistic lot that dreams big dreams for a better world. At the same time, we are resilient and are able to withstand challenges that others might succumb to.
We were not idle during the pandemic lockdowns. We raised funds and did projects just as we would have if there had been no lockdown. We remembered that it’s the same business that we always do - reaching out to people in distress - except the methodology by which we did it changed... 

The Disadvantaged
This week we will hear from Maria Calibo-Sales on an interesting topic ‘Capability with Conscience’ , for the program for the Disadvantaged.

Yours in Rotary

Usha Garg

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Last Update Tuesday August 25, 2020