Rotary- Inspiring Leadership Through Shared Values: Hemant Bhasin

In a free wheeling conversation, we discuss with AKS Member, Hemant Bhasin, one of the few globally, among the Rotary fraternity, on why and how these clubs contribute to society. An interesting and informative read, that spells and shares the Rotary fundamentals.

What inspired you to join Rotary?

I joined Rotary about 12 years ago after hearing remarkable stories about the impactful work Rotary does globally and in India. I became a member of the Rotary Club of Delhi, South End, one of the most prestigious clubs in the NCR region, which is part of District 3011, comprising 137 clubs. Rotary’s commitment to various causes such as disease prevention and treatment, peacebuilding, environmental support, maternal and child health, water sanitation, and basic education and literacy truly inspired me to get involved and contribute to society.

What has been your experience since joining Rotary? Did your involvement with the Arch Klumph Society (AKS) start your journey?

My journey with Rotary has been profoundly fulfilling. Witnessing the incredible impact we made during the COVID-19 pandemic, touching the lives of hundreds of thousands, inspired me to dedicate even more time and resources to our mission. About two years ago, I decided to contribute $250,000 to the Rotary Foundation and joined the Arch Klumph Society (AKS). This decision was not just about a financial contribution; it was about my commitment to creating a lasting legacy of positive change. By supporting Rotary’s initiatives, I aim to foster a more equitable world and inspire others to join in this noble cause. While my contribution is just a part of the larger effort, I hope it serves as a beacon, encouraging more people to support the transformative work Rotary does globally.

Can you elaborate on some of the key projects you have been involved with through your club?

Our club has undertaken several notable projects. One of our proudest achievements is the paediatric dialysis center, Sparsh, in collaboration with AIIMS and Batra Hospital. This center provides free dialysis to children awaiting kidney transplants. Additionally, during my presidency in 2019-20, we launched the Skill Development Centre in Pusa with the Delhi government. This center, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, offers training in various trades and assures 100% job placement for graduates, significantly impacting their lives and their families.

How do you ensure job placements through the Skill Development Centre?

Before starting the center, we surveyed our Rotarian members to understand their hiring needs. We identified key areas such as welding, CNC operation, stitching, and F&B services. The training follows government guidelines, and certification is provided by the Ministry of Skill Development. This ensures that our graduates are well-prepared and can secure jobs immediately after completing their courses. Additionally, we recently introduced a course for General Duty Assistants (GDA) in hospitals, which has been very successful.

Apart from healthcare and skill development, what other areas does your Rotary club focus on?

Our club is actively involved in education. We have adopted schools, provided resources like computers and furniture, and offered scholarships to bright students. For instance, we support a school for children with special needs, Parivartan, by providing them with screen printing machines to aid their skill development. We also have a fully dedicated Rotary school in Gurgaon with over 2,000 students. Furthermore, we are engaged in adult literacy programs and teacher training initiatives across India.

How does Rotary engage with the youth?

Rotary has two programs for young people: Interact Clubs for ages 14-18 and Rotaract Clubs for those 18 and older. These clubs encourage youth to engage in community service, develop leadership skills, and embrace Rotary values. We work very closely with Air Force Bal Bharti School, and Rotract Club of Galgotia University where students learn the importance of giving back to society. These programs ensure that the next generation understands and practices the Rotary way of life.

Can you discuss Rotary’s efforts in promoting basic hygiene?

One of our significant initiatives is the ‘WASH in Schools’ program, which focuses on promoting proper handwashing practices in government-run schools. We have installed handwashing stations and educate children on the importance of hygiene for disease prevention. This program is crucial for instilling lifelong hygiene habits in young minds.

What principles guide your choice of projects and activities in Rotary?

Rotary’s Four-Way Test guides all our decisions. We ask ourselves: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Is it fair to all concerned? Is it the truth? These principles ensure that our projects are impactful, inclusive, and transparent, fostering trust and accountability within the community.

Would you like to share any final thoughts?

As I look to the future, my vision for Rotary is one where we continue to expand our reach and deepen our impact. Our work is far from over; there are still many communities that need our help, and many lives that can be transformed through our collective efforts. My goal is to inspire more individuals to join us in this mission, to bring their passion and resources to the table, and to work together to create a world where every person has the opportunity to thrive.

Together, we can build a legacy of compassion, service, and lasting change for generations to come. I am committed to leading this charge and ensuring that Rotary remains a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in our society.

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