Talk by PP Dr Sarjit Singh PhD: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness and Wellbeing
Rotary Club of Bandar Sungai Petani delivered its 6th wheelchair sponsored by LDS Charities. Do contact us if anyone needy requires a wheelchair.
My Dear Friends,
In Rotary, every member stands equal. The only difference is our commitment when we take on office, be it at Club or District level, that office is entrusted with leadership responsibility, accountability and stewardship.
Today July 1st, 2015, 77 Club Presidents and 17 Assistant Governors join me in taking that oath of office to serve our Clubs and serve our District in a year long journey to promote the ideals of Rotary. Guided by our single motto of Service Above Self we take office with pride and honour. The year ahead is going to be an exciting year for all of us as we take the step forward and leave behind the past. The past is gone , the future is bright. A new chapter begins and a new page is write.
We are gifted to be Rotarians, gifted to have been given the gift of kindness, the gift of goodness, the gift of compassion and the gift of mercy. As Rotarians, we transform these gifts to do good in the world. Let’s begin by doing good in our own Club and in our own District. Together, let’s raise the Rotary flag high and dawn the Rotary pin with pride.
We have set our direction for the year with our District Goals and together with a team of dedicated and committed District Officers we shall work on achieving these goals and beyond. Our thrust is to strengthen every Club in the District, to rekindle goodwill and better friendship and to share Rotary. The District Calendar is filled with activities, activities for you to fill.
Our congratulations to IPDG Kirenjit Kaur and the District Team for RY2014-15 for the many accomplishments and steering the District to yet another level.
We wish every Rotarian in District 3300 the very best for the coming Rotary Year and wish you as World Class Leaders to Be a Gift to the World.
In Rotary Service,
My Rotary Friends,
I am pleased to write to each one of you personally as I am about to conclude my year as your District Governor for the Rotary Year 2014-15 and also express my deep appreciation to all the wonderful Rotarians out there who have given me their wholehearted support and strength to ensure that we did have a good Rotary Year.
My Friends, I truly believe that had it not been for your cooperation, support, understanding and friendship it would not have been possible for me to have shouldered this heavy responsibility of being your District Governor.
I had the opportunity of singing my swan song at the “Light Up Rotary-Awards & TRF Night,” which concluded very successfully last Friday, 26th.June 2015 at the Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort which was organised by PDG Leslie Salehuddin and the District Training Team and Hosted Club by RC Subang ably led by President Siva. I would like to record once again my deep appreciation and thanks to all the Members of the Organizing Committee for having worked very hard over the past several weeks to put together the programme for the evening which I only hope will leave behind very lasting impressions of this Rotary Year. I was also deeply touched by the overwhelming response from the many Rotarians who had travelled from far and near to celebrate the joyous event where we were able to celebrate our continued commitment and dedication to humanity and the community.
Friends, I had accepted the Challenge of being the First Lady DG in our District’s 85 year history the day PDG Mansoor Saat made the announcement during his term as the Presiding Governor. Although it was a great honour no doubt, the office of the DG demands many responsibilities, commitments and expectations. (Not to mention a sprinkle of hate mails too) Our primary responsibilities being, to support the 3 Pillars of Rotary namely The Rotary Foundation, Membership Growth & Retention and Public Image.My friends, with all humility and the support and cooperation from my Team, I must report that we have performed remarkably well in all these 3 areas.
In Rotary Foundation, you have just witnessed that we have set a record of contributing about USD 350,000. This was only possible with the many Rotarians in the District who have contributed very generously and attained the status of Multiple Major Donors, Major Donors, Multiple PHFs and PHFs and not forgetting the fact that we have more than 98% of Clubs making a contribution to Our Rotary Foundation. We also recognise the various individuals and Clubs who helped us to make this happen and for this my Fellow Rotarians, I am indeed grateful to all of you. It is rather encouraging that Rotarians in our District are supporting our own Rotary Foundation.
In Membership Growth & Retention I believe we have a nett gain of more than 200 Members. It is heartening to note that we have Chartered 3 New Rotary Clubs, RC Lake Gardens, RC Nilai Central and the latest being RC Kampung Baru City Centre although unfortunately we lost the RC of Kampung Baharu. I am glad to report that we now have 77 Rotary Clubs in our District.
In the area of Public Image, I must again commend both the District as well as the Clubs for having received much coverage in the mass media such a TV, Radio and the Newspapers both in the English as well the Vernacular papers. If I may with all humility state that much of this has been received through our efforts in our maiden Rotary Kasih Project—which is a Student Life Transformation Project that has impacted a total of 771 school children from 15 schools. Together with the MyKasih Foundation, I am pleased to state that we have raised a total of RM.500, 000/for this academic year. Rotary Kasih was launched officially by RI President Gary Huang on 20thNovember 2014, when he visited our District in conjunction with “Rotary Day”.
“Light Up Rotary” is not just our theme for the year—it is a call for each of us to take action and make Rotary stronger. The Presidential Citation recognised Rotary Clubs that took action to increase their membership, enhance their service impact, and expand their network. In this regard it is gratifying to note that 60 of our Rotary Clubs qualified for the RI Presidential Citation and for this I must Congratulate all my Best Class Presidents and their members for having gone that extra mile not only to help the Clubs to qualify for the Presidential Citation but also helped 27 Of the Rotaract Clubs and 71 Interact Clubs to have qualified for the same Presidential Citation.
In the area of humanitarian efforts especially when our Country was affected with the recent floods, we spared no efforts to support the victims in the form of Cash donations as well as physical support and assistance. It was heartening to see so many of our Rotary Volunteers physically helping these victims on the ground. Again when the Earthquake recently struck Nepal we continued in our efforts to raise the much needed funds. As a District, we raised a total of RM.168,000 in addition to another RM.100,000 raised by some of the other Clubs in the District.
I must commend The Rotary Club of Bandar Utama and the Rotary Club of Bukit Bintang for having raised RM 250,000 through their "Panggilan Kinabalu" Concert as part of their efforts to help the Guides that were rendered jobless due to the Earthquake that struck closer to home front on the 5th of June 2015. Well done my friends!!
My Friends in addition to some of the above, I must in all sincerity confess that during my Club visits to all the 77 Rotary Clubs in the District,I was amazed to have seen and witnessed the level of dedication and commitment from the Rotarians in organizing projects which have left an impact to the Community. We have managed to report some of these in the Social media such as the Facebook, Governor’s Monthly Newsletter and I must share that I have always felt proud of the work that we as Rotarians have always been involved in. My advice to you all is to continue to do this as long as we live by the philosophy as aptly quoted by Mother Teresa, “In this Life we cannot do great things.We can only do small things with great Love.” Thank you My Friends you indeed “Light Up Rotary”.
Our Rotary Year 2014-15, has indeed been very remarkable, exciting and a Challenging year which no doubt will go down in the annals of the history of this great District. I am not very sure that we have completely resolved the outstanding issues for which much of our time efforts and resources have gone in. Only Time will tell…I am however as I am leaving my term as District Governor, very sure that I am leaving with some sense of satisfaction of making it a stronger and more vibrant District.
Incoming RI President K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran chose Be a Gift to the World as his theme for 2015-16. Ravindran urges Rotary members to give the gifts of time, talent, and knowledge to improve lives in communities across the globe. “Through Rotary, we can take these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world.”
Rotarians in our District have stood for very strong principles of preserving our integrity and Rotary Values.
I pray that we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder to uphold those very principles that makes us Rotarians. Our culture does not have place for rudeness and being hurtful. We forget ourselves in moments of anger. I will certainly remember my term as DG and yet I will also take with me an imprint of those good things that have helped me grow personally, emotionally and certainly mentally in this Rotary year.
To my Best Class AGs, District Officers, Club Presidents and my entire team, I must proudly acknowledge that you have been the best team that I could have asked for. Thank you.
To Satvinder, who had forewarned me not to shower any accolades or praise on him, his patience and fortitude nor support for my term, I will listen to him. But I am sure each and every one of you could have imagined the tremendous support that I have received on the home front. Thank you my dearest Satvinder and my beloved sons, Hargobind and Harkishen for your patience, understanding and support.
With that my friends, I bid you adieu as you come together to make us Proud as a Rotary District and Rotarians and as you have“Light Up Rotary”…go on to make your Rotary Service a Gift to the World as stated by Mother Teresa, “The Fruit of Silence is Prayer, The Fruit of Prayer is Faith, The Fruit of Faith is Love, The Fruit of Love is Service, The Fruit of Service is Peace.”
I shall always hold dear this Rotary Term, just as how I would hold dear the experience of your Rotary Journey in Lighting up Rotary this Rotary Year.
Be Rotary Proud.
In Rotary Service,
District Governor RY 2014-2015
My dear friends:
Thirty-four years ago, the 72nd annual convention of Rotary International, chaired by that great past president from Brazil, Paolo Costa, was held right here in this very city.
On that day we were honored by a very special guest: Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Mother Teresa was often asked, as we are asked in Rotary, if she really felt that her work made a difference; after all, the needs of the world were so great.
She answered, “It is true. Everything we do is only a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be the poorer, if not for each drop.”
Today, I am proud to be a part of an organization that affirms the truth of those words through service; which makes the world not poorer, but richer; which replaces despair with hope; which raises up those whom fate has brought low; and which is a gift to so many, while allowing each of us to Be a Gift to the World.
In Nepal, when the devastating earthquake hit, Rotarians were among the first to react. Medical teams arrived from Singapore and India. Solar lanterns, ShelterBoxes, tarpaulins and tents, water filters and medicines followed. And hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised already to help rebuild the lives of the millions who have lost their homes. When the camera crews leave, when the eye of the world looks elsewhere, Rotary will continue to remain.
In India, where half of government schools lack the most basic sanitation, Rotary is responding by committing to build 20,000 toilet blocks in schools around the country over the next two years.
Each block consists of two toilets for boys, and two for girls. For countless thousands of girls, these facilities will make the difference between dropping out of school at age twelve and carrying on to finish their educations, and perhaps find a better life.
In Africa, as you have heard, we will soon celebrate a milestone that once seemed unthinkable: one year without a single case of polio.
And my friends, it will not be too long before we will come together to celebrate a world free of polio because of Rotarians who made the choice to do the work — not for profit, or for glory, but simply because it needed to be done.
In a few weeks, President Gary will leave us as president. He leaves us with an organization of unprecedented strength: one with more members, in more clubs, than ever before. It is not enough simply to thank him for his work — although we do! We must continue it, by building our membership, in new and innovative ways — giving potential members more reasons to join, and current members more reasons to stay.
One way we will do that is through an exciting new program, which will debut on July first. This program is named Rotary Global Rewards. It will allow Rotarians to connect, online and via their smart phones, with hundreds of businesses and service providers around the world — and that number is growing. These companies will offer Rotarians discounts and concessions on the everyday business that you do — and you will notice that they include major brands with a worldwide footprint. And in some cases not only will you benefit, but our Foundation will as well, by receiving a contribution with each transaction. It will be another way to benefit from being a Rotarian and being part of the Rotary network. And so I urge all of you to become a part of that scheme, by signing up for My Rotary at Rotary.org.
In the past 12 weeks I have had the pleasure of personally addressing nearly 14,000 club presidents-elect around the world at their multidistrict PETS. The feedback I have received on this program has been very positive.
And what’s more, I have seen the strength that lies in your clubs, and I know that we are ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.
My friends, a new Rotary year awaits us, full of promise: a new chapter in the book of our lives, its pages empty, waiting to be filled. The pen is poised over the page. I ask you: What will it write? Will it write of generous deeds, of ambition, of responsibility; of work done well, and a life well lived? Or will it write of days that follow after days, each one alike, unremarkable? In their coming, hardly noticed; in their passing, hardly missed?
Remember that every moment of our lives — every page that we are given to write — is a gift. And each one is a choice. A choice, as Martin Luther King put it, whether to walk in the light of creative altruism, or the darkness of destructive selfishness. To be selfish — or to be selfless. To live for ourselves alone — or to live for others.
Rotary gives us that choice. And I think sometimes we lose sight of that.
Sometimes, in the rush and immediacy of our own lives, in the rough-and-tumble of each day, our Rotary projects become just another task, and we forget — we forget what it is all about. Until something happens that makes us remember, that brings it crashing down on us — what we are in Rotary and what it is that we do.
A few years ago my club, together with Rotarians from Germany, with the help of our Rotary Foundation, made a choice. We decided to rebuild a maternity hospital in the southern part of my country, a hospital which had been destroyed by the tsunami. We made a choice to build it better than it had ever been before, fully modern, fully equipped, and we built as well a mother and child ward, complete with an intensive care unit. There was nothing at all like this in that area at the time, and the need was great.
And so our German friends stepped forward with tremendous commitment, we worked together over many months, and in the end we had a hospital of which any country would be proud. So when then chair of our Rotary Foundation, D.K. Lee, visited Sri Lanka, we took him to see our new hospital.
We saw the mothers coming to deliver babies and others bringing their newborn babies for care — hundreds of families receiving these vital services, which had simply been absent from that area. From there we went into the neonatal intensive care unit — the product of so much work and investment. Inside it, nine incubators, every one of them with a Rotary wheel, and every one of them occupied. In one of them lay a baby girl, weighing just 900 grams — she could have fit in the palm of my hand — covered with tubes and wires. And she was fighting for every breath — fighting harder than someone a hundred times her size.
As I watched that tiny chest rise and fall, I realized I was holding my own breath — waiting for her next breath, and the next, and the next. Each one, a result of so much effort, from someone so desperately small. And my heart went out to her, this little baby who came into the world too soon. I whispered “Fight, baby, fight! There is a wide world waiting for you out there — if only you will fight!”
She was small, she was poor, she was sick — but she was not forgotten. She would not be left to die by a world that saw no value in one baby’s life. She was someone’s precious child, a nd we had cared for her.
We had done all we could to give her that chance to live. The rest was up to her.
And as I walked out of that hospital, I hoped, I prayed — and then, for months, I wondered.
In January of this year, I had the chance to visit that hospital again. We were allowed into that same intensive care unit; this time only a few of the incubators were occupied. And then after our visit, we all came out into the hall, where we stopped and talked to the doctors and nurses, who told us that 140,000 babies had been born in that hospital since we built it.
And there, I was introduced to a young mother with a child, who had come for her routine visit. Sweet kid, big, dark eyes, beautiful smile — a year or two old, busy learning to walk and talk. I love kids, so I just reached out and picked her up and carried her around as I chatted with her mother. And just then, one of the doctors came up to me with a smile on her face, and asked, “Do you remember, Mr. Ravindran, the last time you were visiting, there was the one child you seemed anxious about?”
“Yes, of course! How could I forget?” I replied.
She reached out and patted the little girl I was holding, and said, “This is that child.”
And it was I who struggled to breathe.
That was the child. There in my arms: a little girl who lived because of Rotary. Who smiled, who laughed, who gave joy to her parents — because of Rotarians who had chosen selflessness over selfishness.
Rotarians who had chosen to Be a Gift to the World.
When you think about that, everything else just falls away. And you see it so clearly: the choice that we have. We all have so much. Others have so little. We have received so many gifts; others, so few.
And I am asking you all today: when you go home, when you go back to your clubs, when you make your plans for next year: Remember what it is we do. Remember why we are here. Remember who it is we serve.
And so, with God’s blessings behind us, and your prayers before us, let us set forth together. This is our time. Let us grasp it.
Let us Be a Gift to the World.
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