District grant projects meet multiple needs in India
More than 180 students at a primary school in District 3140 (part of Maharashtra, India) now have access to clean water through a district grant project sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dombivli Midtown. Photo courtesy of Rahul Timbadia
Rotarians in Maharashtra, India, used a 2011-12 district grant to meet a range of community needs, from providing families with clean water to equipping homes with solar energy.
“District leaders considered projects that came under (Rotary’s) six areas of focus,” says Rahul Timbadia, past governor of District 3140. “Geographical areas were identified, for example, where there was no electricity or water, which could then be (addressed) by clubs and thus impact the community.”
District grants aren’t required to fund projects in the areas of focus but can be used to sponsor a wide range of activities locally and abroad.
In soliciting project proposals from its clubs, District 3140’s leaders gave priority to clubs that didn’t participate in 2010-11, the first year of the Future Vision pilot.
“The overall impact of the district grant on the quality of life in the communities served can be described as very significant,” says Timbadia. “Since the district awarded grant funds to 45 clubs, the impact was certainly widespread.”
Clean water projects, for example, benefited 15 villages in Maharashtra state, with small dams, rainwater harvesting, bore wells, and water purifiers. Among these efforts, the Rotary Club of Bombay West constructed dams to serve two villages highly prone to drought.
“In an area of water scarcity and unpredictable monsoons leading to failure of crops, this (project) has impacted the community in a very meaningful way by harvesting (significant) quantities of water,” says Timbadia.
District grant-funded projects brought solar-powered lighting to homes and streets in more than 15 villages.
Other efforts included establishment of a human-milk bank at a hospital serving the poor, diagnosis and treatment of children suffering from malnutrition, provision of a kidney dialysis machine and other medical equipment, vocational training for youth and adults, construction of toilet blocks, and funding for a vocational exchange team to study in Austria.
The grant also funded diagnostic aids for a school for hearing-impaired students near Mumbai. The facility, which provides education from preschool through high school, receives ongoing support from the Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace.
The club’s support “has instilled renewed enthusiasm in the children, who are keen to learn new activities,” says school principal Lata Nayak. “We are very grateful for (the Rotarians’) generous and kind encouragement.”
And Timbadia notes that “upgrade of the school through the grant has also generated great publicity for Rotary in the area.”