- December 10, 2014
Meeting held on December 10, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 23
- December 3, 2014
Meeting held on December 3, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 22
- November 19, 2014
Meeting held on November 19, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 20
- November 12, 2014
Meeting held on November 12, 2014
Young Achiever Award
- November 5, 2014
Meeting held on November 5, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 18
- October 29, 2014
Meeting held on October 29, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 17
- October 15, 2014
Meeting held on October 15, 2014
RCME Dr KVT Award
- October 8, 2014
Meeting held on October 8, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 15
- October 1, 2014
Meeting held on October 1, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 14
- September 24, 2014
Meeting held on September 24, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 13
- September 17, 2014
Meeting held on September 17, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 12
- September 10, 2014
Meeting held on September 10, 2014
RCME Weekly Meeting # 11
- September 3, 2014
Meeting held on September 3, 2014
Dronacharya Award, Weekly Meeting # 10
- August 27, 2014
Meeting held on August 27, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 9
- August 6, 2014
Meeting held on August 6, 2014
RCME MSS AWARD
- July 30, 2014
Meeting held on July 30, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 5
- July 23, 2014
Meeting held on July 23, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 4
- July 16, 2014
Meeting held on July 16, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 3
- July 9, 2014
Meeting held on July 9, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 2
- July 1, 2014
Meeting held on July 1, 2014
Weekly Meeting # 1
- June 18, 2014
Meeting held on June 18, 2014
- June 11, 2014
Meeting held on June 11, 2014
Chandrasekhar - Table Tennis
- May 29, 2014
Meeting held on May 29, 2014
The Sake of Honour Award
- May 28, 2014
Meeting held on May 28, 2014
- May 21, 2014
Meeting held on May 21, 2014
- May 14, 2014
Meeting held on May 14, 2014
Ann Rekha Sudarsan
- April 30, 2014
Meeting held on April 30, 2014
Corporate Citizen Award to Mr Manikam Ramaswamy
- April 23, 2014
Meeting held on April 23, 2014
Knowledge Without Boundaries
- April 16, 2014
Meeting held on April 16, 2014
- April 9, 2014
Meeting held on April 9, 2014
DG's Visit to RCME & Fellowship
- April 2, 2014
Meeting held on April 2, 2014
- March 26, 2014
Meeting held on March 26, 2014
- March 19, 2014
Meeting held on March 19, 2014
Closed Door Meet
- March 15, 2014
Meeting held on March 15, 2014
- March 5, 2014
Meeting held on March 5, 2014
Ms Yashodara Narayanan
- February 26, 2014
Meeting held on February 26, 2014
Mr Andrew Hoover, AISC
- February 19, 2014
Meeting held on February 19, 2014
Ms Shainika Murthy - Urban Greening
- February 8, 2014
Meeting held on February 8, 2014
PHCC & Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr Abbas Ali Baig
- January 29, 2014
Meeting held on January 29, 2014
Atmayogi Shri Aasanji
- January 22, 2014
Meeting held on January 22, 2014
Mr Abhaya Kumar
- January 15, 2014
Meeting held on January 15, 2014
Vocational Excellence Award
- January 5, 2014
Meeting held on January 5, 2014
PHCC 2014 Inauguration - Chief Guest: Tinu Yohannan
- January 1, 2014
Meeting held on January 1, 2014
PHCC Curtain Raiser & Release of Team Colours
- December 18, 2013
Meeting held on December 18, 2013
Closed Door Meet
- December 4, 2013
Meeting held on December 4, 2013
Ms. Abhirami, Actor
- November 27, 2013
Meeting held on November 27, 2013
Mr. Selvanayagam - Happiness Quotient
- November 20, 2013
Meeting held on November 20, 2013
Young Achievers Award Function
- November 20, 2013
Meeting held on November 20, 2013
Young Achievers Award Function
- November 13, 2013
Meeting held on November 13, 2013
- November 6, 2013
Meeting held on November 6, 2013
Drs Sudhir Rajan and Sujatha Byravan
- October 30, 2013
Meeting held on October 30, 2013
Ms Kathlijn Fruithof, Brussels Trade & Invest
- October 23, 2013
Meeting held on October 23, 2013
K Aadithyaa, TV Anchor
- October 16, 2013
Meeting held on October 16, 2013
Dr KVT Health Care Award
- October 9, 2013
Meeting held on October 9, 2013
Chief Guest: Filmnews Anandan
- September 29, 2013
Meeting held on September 29, 2013
Hua Hin Intl Fellowship Tour - 29 Sept to 2 Oct 2013
- September 25, 2013
Meeting held on September 25, 2013
Classification talk by Rtn Venu
- September 18, 2013
Meeting held on September 18, 2013
Chief Guest- Dr JK
- September 11, 2013
Meeting held on September 11, 2013
- September 4, 2013
Meeting held on September 4, 2013
Chief Guest - Ms Shrimathy
- August 28, 2013
Meeting held on August 28, 2013
- August 21, 2013
Meeting held on August 21, 2013
Chief Guest - Dr Sureshkumar
- August 14, 2013
Meeting held on August 14, 2013
Closed Door Meeting
- August 9, 2013
Meeting held on August 9, 2013
Dr M S Swaminathan Environment Protection Award 2013
- July 31, 2013
Meeting held on July 31, 2013
Chief Guest: Mr Kota, Director, Creative Edge
- July 24, 2013
Meeting held on July 24, 2013
Business Model Innovation
- July 17, 2013
Meeting held on July 17, 2013
Chief Guest: Ms Divyadharshini, TV Hostess
- July 10, 2013
Meeting held on July 10, 2013
Chief Guest: Mr N Nilakantan, Voice Over Artist
- July 3, 2013
Meeting held on July 3, 2013
- May 8, 2013
Meeting held on May 8, 2013
A PREVIEW INTO THE FUTURE. High Tea meeting with the RI President Nominee.
It was a pleasant evening on st Wednesday the 1 May at Taj Coramandal, one which we were all looking forward to, especially for me, as we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and be with the RI President Nominee Rtn Gary Huang and his spouse Corinna. He would be the RI president, during the year when I am to take the mantle of Presidentship for RCME.
President Uma, President Elect Sudhakar, Past President Ganesan, Rtn Raju and I were in attendance for the gathering and the who is who of District 3230 were all in attendance to receive this distinguished Rotarian and listen to what he had to say.
It turned out to be as expected, what with Rtn. Gary speaking eloquently on the various high points of the Rotary movement. He touched upon various issues and concerns that can be addressed by the Rotary movement and was literally an eye openeron the unlimited opportunities that we Rotarians have to serve our fellow-beings and give back to society.
There was an elaborate High Tea arranged, where we all were able to hob nob with the fellow Rotarians who had come from far and near and represented most of the clubs in the District.
To sum it all, we had a very satisfying and enlightening evening as we made new friends apart from catching up with Rtn. Gary, DG Raja, DGE Khanna, DGN Nazar, and a score of other district officials.
Rtn VGP Ravidas. President Nominee
- May 1, 2013
Meeting held on May 1, 2013
PROCEEDINGS OF WEEKLY MEETING, WEDNESDAY, 24th APRIL 2013
The club meeting was chaired by PP Rtn Gurmukh Kinger, who was substituting for President Uma, to start to perfection at 7:00 pm. After the regular announcements, Rtn Ramesh Kannan shared the report on RAINS fellowship in his humorous fashion. Birthday and wedding anniversary announcements were made by Rtn. Gopal.
Following this, Rtn Srini 100 introduced the speaker Mr Deep Rekhi. Mr Rekhi is an entrepreneur and is the Promoter Director of a company engaged in corrosion control.
An active sailor for 46 years, with several National Championships to his credit, Mr Rekhi took us through a visual introduction to the sport of sailing. He introduced us to the history of sailing; the ferrying of opium from China to the west; the subsequent history of sail boats being replaced by steamers for transporting goods and then sailing evolving as a sport. It is a sport which has remained amateur in nature even today.
He took us through the history of kings challenging each other for races and the evolution of America’s cup as the premier sailing event. He took us on a visual tour of the various categories of boats, interspersed with witty anecdotes. He also shared with us the various categories of boats available in at the Royal Madras Yacht club. Finally he invited members to visit the Yacht club and sail with them.
The Secretary’s announcements followed and after the Vote of Thanks was rendered by Rtn Dr Vasudha, the Acting President adjourned the meeting for the evening.
Rtn. Krishnan Naganathan
- April 10, 2013
Meeting held on April 10, 2013
SOLEMN BEGINNING TO SUPERB RECOGNITIONS. THE CORPORATE CITIZEN AWARD & THE EMPLOYER – EMPLOYEE AWARD.
The Wednesday, 3rd March 2103 dawned with a flurry of activities with our President meeting the Award Recipient, reminding the Chief Guest, calling the Rotary District Officials, Past District Governors and our members to be part of an epoch meeting - as it turned out to be.
As we entered the meeting hall, there was a superb sense of excitement intertwined with a subtle feel of grace, permeating the atmosphere. This was confirmed as the organisers and presenters from RCME were well attired in formal jackets, but we could also see that they wore a child-like smile on their face.
The Chief Guest and the Recipients were received and the meeting started with the pristine punctuality of our Club. Our President Umamaheswari called the meeting to order and after the Silent Invocation, she welcomed the Chief Guest Mr Narayan Vaghul, who had changed his travel program to be with us and honour the Doyen of the Cement Industry – Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha, the Recipient of the Corporate Citizen Award.
Mr.Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha started his industrial career as an ordinary worker in B&C Mills Limited, Chennai, moved on to Harvey Mills before taking the reins of his family spinning mills in Rajapalayam, which he nursed and diversified into Ramco Cements, to make it into a group of companies with a turnover running into hundreds of crores. The President thanked him for honoring us, by accepting the First Corporate Citizen Award presented by our Club.
Rtn. R. Venkatakrishnan, Chairman for the Committee of these two Awards, described in great detail the history and reasons on what led to instituting the Corporate Citizen Award and announced how unanimously the choice was Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha, Ramco Group.
Rtn. P.E. Ramakrishnan, who drafted out the citation for the Corporate Citizen, read out the citation and then the Award was presented to Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha by the Chief Guest, Padma Bhushan Mr. N Vaghul.
Rtn. VAR introduced the recipient in his own inimitable style to the audience, starting from his college days to his present stature as a corporate giant.
Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha spoke with great humbleness and said that he accepted the award with great pride and touched upon the origin and growth of the industry, Rotary’ s service to the society, and our Club’s projects for the year – providing infrastructure for the Government Sr. Higher Secondary School in Pallikaranai, and the Happy Village program. He also spoke on business and spirituality and how they are connected. He thanked our Club for selecting him for this prestigious Award. All those present that evening will surely agree that not only has he succeeded in building his businesses but has also found time to initiate numerous philanthropic activities which are helping people in need.
Next, it was the recipients of the Employer– Employee Award – Adyar Ananda Bhavan – represented by Mr. K.T. Srinivasa Raja and Mr.Venkatesh Raja who started their career at ordinary levels and over the years have built up a chain of sweet stalls and restaurants with over 8000 employees, who are treated like their family, and the amity at the workplace is maintained at congenial and cordial levels, were welcomed and thanked for accepting the award.
Rtn. R. Venkatakrishnan then detailed the process for selecting the recipient of the Employer–Employee Award and gave details of the criteria-satisfying activities of the Adyar Ananda Bhavan and thereby announced the selection of Adyar Ananda Bhavan, represented by Mr. K. T. Srinivasa Raja and Mr. K. T. Venkatesan, for the award.
Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha was requested to present the Award to Mr. K. T. Srinivasa Raja and Mr. K. T. Venkatesan. They expressed their happiness to receive the award from a revered person like Mr. P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha.
The recipient, Mr. K. T. Srinivasa Raja thanked the Rotary Club of Madras East for selecting them for the Award. He said that the Award will motivate them to continue to maintain high standards in their relationship with the employees.
Rtn. J. Balaraman introduced the Chief Guest, Padma Bhushan Mr. N. Vaghul, who started his career with the State Bank of India, and after holding positions in various banks, moved to ICICI Bank Ltd. He went on to make it the second largest bank in India and was instrumental in starting CRISIL.
Padma Bhushan Mr. N Vaghul congratulated Mr .PR Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha and Mr. K. T. Srinivasa Raja and Mr. K. T. Venkatesan, the recipients of the Corporate Citizen Award and Employee– Employer Awards respectively. He said in a lighter vein that having said this, he should go back to his seat, but as he had been allotted 20 minutes to speak, he continued. He spoke about the Polio Eradication Program and the stupendous role played by Rotary in this program. But he felt there was something more than this which made the members continue to serve Rotary projects and care for the poor and downtrodden. He then narrated about a cancer patient who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the hospital refused to admit her as she was too sick to be treated; but because of the husband’s insistence, she was admitted. After a few days in coma, she opened her eyes. The doctors were amazed to find that there was no trace of cancer. She explained that she had left her body ( for 36 hours) and reached a world (or space) where there was no sense of time and boundaries. She experienced bliss at that stage. It seems that as her time was not up, she was asked to go back. She mentioned that she did not want to get into the body which gave her a lot of pain. But she was assured that she will be free of cancer and free from pain.
When everyone in the world thought that she had died, she opened her eyes and said she was cured and free from pain and cancer. The near-death syndrome is now being studied all over the world. Over 860 documented cases are being investigated.
Padma Bhushan Mr. N Vaghul
connected this incident with Rotary and spoke on the love and compassion without boundaries which Rotarians have while serving the underprivileged. It was an amazing speech that held all present spellbound, listen in pin drop silence and after the talk, all rose as one man to give him a standing ovation.
After mementos were presented to the Chief Guest and Vote of Thanks proposed by Rtn. Srinivasa Rao, the National Anthem rendered, the meeting was adjourned by the
It took a long time for all who were present in the Hall to come forward to congratulate, greet and thank the recipients and the Chief Guest before having the heart to leave the venue for the evening.
Ann. Suman Srinivasan
- March 20, 2013
Meeting held on March 20, 2013
VETERINARY CAMP – FOLLOW UP ACTION FOR HAPPY VILLAGE
Having done extensive work on the Happy Village project we wanted to have an expert opinion on the cows purchased and donated to the villagers. So we took a Veterinarian, Rtn. Dr. Suresh (President of Rotary Club of Anna Nagar Aadithyaa) to have a look at all the 49 cows that have been donated to the Happy Village residents.
On arriving at the village and looking at the cows it was identified that 10 of the cows needed immediate medical attention. We immediately organized veterinary medicines required for the treatment and Dr. Suresh sprang into action checking the 10 cows and organizing the cleaning and administering the medicines to the animals. What was basically planned as a trip to inspect the cows, became a full fledged Veterinary Camp where all the cows were examined and ten cows that required treatment were attended to and medicine given to them for use in the next two days. So what was planned to be an one hour's visit went on to be a five hour camp without any break. He was of the opinion that the cows donated were all good animals and the best that could be got for the price paid.
We thank Rtn. Dr. Suresh for taking the decision to treat the animals immediately and also informing the district Veterinary department for follow up on the cases and for immunisation of all the other animals.
RCC charter was presented to the RCC of Kollathanallur during our visit to the village. We also handed over a computer for the adult literacy programme which was stalled as the old computer had become corrupt. The adult literacy programme will now restart in the next few days, as soon as the TCS programme is loaded in this computer and handed over to the village. We once again thank Rtn. Dr. Suresh for the time spent and the personal care he had taken of the animals and the valuable advice given to the villagers.
- March 13, 2013
Meeting held on March 13, 2013
International Women's Day 2013
“The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights" - Gloria Steinem
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 each year around the world. Throughout March thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. The UN declares an International Women's Day theme and for 2013 it is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. In 2012 it was "Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty". Many organisations develop International Women's Day themes relevant to their local contexts, like the European Parliament's 2012 theme: "Equal pay for work of equal value". Another popular one has been "The Gender Agenda : Gaining Momentum".
The five Lady Presidents of Rotary District 3230 decided that this year, the best way to commemorate the Day was to convene a 'Peace Forum on Women's: A women's Day celebration and handing out distinguished Women's Achievement Awards. Sunday March 10 saw members from RC of Ambattur, RC Chennai Infocity, RC Madras Temple City, RC Chennai Presidency and RC of Madras East gathered at the Mandapam Hall at Hotel My Fortune to listen to the two guest speakers Ms. Sangeetha Madhu, Ms. Manjula, PDG Rekha Shetty and moving acceptance speeches by the awardees.
Ms. Manjula, a Tamil professor, gave her interpretation of how women came to be secluded and protected in society. When Man still lived in forests, they had to be protected from the harsh elements and wild animals. Especially during their cycles, animals would track and hunt them. In the last few hundred years, this seclusion of women, became a rest period for
women toiling away to keep large joint families together. Through history we have seen strong women like Sita who walked through fire to prove her chastity, and Kannagi who burnt a village to prove her husband's innocence. Women also decorated themselves to prevent their men from getting attracted to other women at a time when the word 'society' had still not been coined and there was no marital code etc. On a lighter vein she said that the tables are turned now when women go out and work and often times bread winners of the family; men go to parlours to keep themselves attractive for their women!.
Ms. Sangeeta Madhu, a child and family psychologist, held a very interactive talk walking around the audiences getting responses. She spoke about how she has had to counsel women undergoing stress trying to wear all their different hats perfectly, especially since their drive
to prove themselves professionally is not being supported by their spouse or families. She also spoke about the film 'Silver Lining' – where a woman, against all adversity finally builds up her life and finds the happiness she is looking for. Comparing herself with her mother she th said: “My mother is 8 pass, has no money, hardly goes out and is stuck to her three TV serials every evening. I have five degrees more than her, a bank balance of my own, my own clinic and an established practice; BUT she is happier than I am. So what is emancipation?”
Our own PDG Rekha Shetty held the audience spellbound with her endearing and witty speech about how becoming the Vice President of Apollo Hospitals, first woman Rotary President outside of North America, and the first woman District Governor was such a challenge in a time when a woman's role in society was nowhere as it is recognised now. And she attributed all her successes to the unstinted support from the three men in her life – her father, husband and son. Men need to understand that women have been asked to 'adjust' all their lives and it is exactly this temperament that has held them in good stead in their professions.
“Many able bodied take life for granted and squander away opportunities to excel. Few physically challenged set aside their handicap and look to excel at opportunities”. Ms Maya, a lawyer by profession, was selected by President Ajitha Balan of RC of Ambattur, for having been afflicted with Poliomyelitis as child, developed a positive mind set and fought against all odds to develop a sharp analytical mind and become a legal advisor. She has published many articles and papers, is considered a great asset by her fellow professionals, and always radiates happiness and cheer to her friends and family. Her acceptance speech was also full of positive energy and vigour where she hoped that other brethren with challenges should fight to achieve what they really wanted in life.
Ms. Narthaki Natraj, born a transgender, is a Bharathnatyam dancer, winning many hearts by performing rare and and ancient Tamil compositions in distinguished Fora. She is also the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy award, Kalaimamani Award, Empanelled Artiste from the Ministry of External affairs and many more. She was presented the Women's achievement award by RC Chennai Infocity President, Rtn Usharani Kannan. In her acceptance speech, Narthaki said that this award was very special to her, because to a heart that twitches from birth to be accepted as a 'woman', this 'woman specific award' had made her realise her dream.
Mrs Shanthakumari Sivakadatcham a writer who brought in awareness on AIDS through her novel based on a everyday housewife being afflicted with AIDS, has dedicated all her earnings from writing for the cause of AIDS afflicted children. Her travelogues on “An African Safari” included historical background and drew parallels to similar places in India, and she was awarded 'The Best Travelogue writer' for this by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu. She has penned six other short stories and novellas
in Tamil, another popular one being 'Dhaagam' that got translated as 'Thirst' in English. Mrs Shathakumari wishes that woem understand the active role they can play in getting gthe society ridof its social evils. She
was awarded teh 'Woemn's Achievement award' by RC Chennai Presidency President, Rtn Prabhamani.
Dr Geetha Haripriya was given the award by our club President Rtn. Uma Maheshwari, for giving hope to many married couples through her expertise in Infertility treatment and Assisted Reproductive Techniques. She is a Fellow of the Royal college of Obstetricians & Gynaecolgists, UK, is the recipient of a Lifetime achievement award, holds a Certificate of Honour in Forensic Medicine, a Best Doctor award from Dr MGR medical University, and a Blue ring award for her work on 'Fertility and Diabetes'. In her acceptance speech, she talked about the mental agony faced by childless couples, and stressed upon the need for women to have early screening, diagnosis and treatment for Cancers of the Breast and Uterus.
President Jayanthi Srivardhan, RC Madras Temple City, gave the award to Ms. Allirani, the Superintendent of Special Prison for Women at Puzhal. Ms. Allirani treats her prisoners with sympathy and affection, oozes compassion and strives for conditions for inmates, organizes
welfare measures, and has tried to usher in modern management practices. Her sincerity and reforms have brought her recognition in the form of 'Chief Minister's Prison Service Medal', and President's Correctional service Medal'. She started her career out as a Matron in the Prison Department in the Special Prison at Vellore. She has been in charge of life prisoners convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. She believes that women become criminals after marriage mostly due to poverty, or abandonment or betrayal by their menfolk, and narrated a few cases where she realised that in the most gruesome of murders, the women were in a fugue state, having
committed the crime under extreme psychological stress.
Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed. We have in a small way celebrated the achievements of a few women, but we still have to remain vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change. There is global momentum for championing women's equality and let us make sure that we are a part of it!
Rtn. Dr Vasudha
- March 6, 2013
Meeting held on March 6, 2013
An Evening with the District Governor ( Feb 28th 2013)
Wednesday, Feb 28 saw several RCMEians with family in tow, arrive in large numbers for the RCME event that evening. It was the visit of District Governor Raja Seenivasan and his team of District officials for the official Governor's visit of RCME.
President Umamaheswari started the proceedings with a welcome address in which she welcome the distinguished Guests, fellow Co-presidents, members of Other clubs ( including our international Visiting Rotarians) and last but not least our own RCMEians and their families. She highlighted the theme of “Peace Through Service” for the year and gave a brief prelude of the evening activities to follow
It was then the Secretary's report where our Dynamic Sec. Srinivasa Rao quickly highlighted all the activities done by our club over the year in various avenues of service.
Among the highlights were, the Happy Village project we have taken up at Kolathanalur Village. In Rotary Foundation our contribution almost doubled the $20K target set for the year. The multiple RYLA's we conducted this year and especially the outstation visit, thanks to support from Rtn. Leo Srinivasan was hilighted. In community Health, we highlighted the fact that more 700 units of Blood have already been collected and we are on the way to reaching 1000 units collection. The numerous stellar award functions in the Vocational Service and International Service areas were then highlighted as an important achievement this year. Getting stalwarts like Dr.Pachauri, Barry Osborne, Prof Sartaj Aziz etc . . .
This year's fund raiser “Sound of Salzburg” was a signature event for RCME and Secretary thanked Rtn. Ballu and team for all the hard work that had gone in to make this event a grand th success. Under club services, PHCC 25 year was highlighted and the great job done by Rtn. VGP Ravidas and team. The fellowship team tour to Goa (led by Rtn.Gurumukh/Doc Srini) and the Tirupathi tour pilgrimage / joint Inter district meeting was well appreciated and thanks were expressed to Rtn. Rajmohan Reddy and PDG Dugar on organizing this successful trip. The club newsletter's Eastern Bridge content was outstanding this year and was well appreciated by not only RCMEians but by many Rotarians in district 3230. Hearty congratulations were made to Rtn. VA Ramash and team for this. Sec.Rao then went on to speak about the strides made in Membership Development by inducting Quality new and especially younger Rotarians this year. On the Public Relations, mention was made of the good coverage that we got in many leading English and Tamil dailies. Secretary Rao nicely summed up activities by saying that overall this year RCME has spent more than Rs 2 crores towards our project activities!!!
It was the turn of AG Vittal Rajan to introduce DG Raja eenivasan who was then invited to give his keynote address. The DG congratulated the entire RCME board and members for the stupendous work they have done this year, especially in all avenues of service and this was heartening for him to see. He mentioned that he had visited our Happy Village project twice already, something not done for other Clubs. The toilets we have constructed, the cows we have donated for recurring income, the piped water supply we are planning etc. were all very worthy efforts and he went onto mention that he had no doubts that our Happy Village project at Kolathanalur will definitely be one of the model village projects to be chosen for the entire RI district 3230. DG Raja Seenivasan appreciated the efforts RCME had done in Rotary Foundation also and said the per capita donation of almost $300 for every member for a 100 plus club was indeed ommendable. In summary, he thanked and appreciated Pres. Uma and Sec. Srini Rao for all the planning and execution they did with their teams in making this one of the outstanding years of service for RCME. He concluded by repeating what Rtn. Balaji Srinivasan said, that the “Game is not over” and we should continue to do more for the rest of the year.
Next it was Rtn.PP Ram to talk about RCME strategic plan for the next few years. Ram did an outstanding job in his suave and sophisticated manner of laying our RCME's Vision and mission statements for the years to come. Once again DG appreciated that such kind of planning is a trademark of a great club and he wants to share this with other clubs in the district.
Incoming President Rtn.Sudhakar in his own natural style thanked everyone for a lovely evening. Special mention was made of the high standards set this year by res.Uma and team and he jokingly said he was looking for a ladder to reach those heights. However having said that he concluded by saying I am quite confident that my team and I will continue to achieve the high standards of Rotary service that RCME sets year after year. The meeting was then concluded after the National Anthem was rendered.
Of course no RCME event of this nature is complete without fellowship and food. All attendees were then treated to a sumptuous dinner before signing off for the night.
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan
- February 20, 2013
Meeting held on February 20, 2013
Proceedings of Weekly Meeting, 13th February 2013.
Good Health Starts With Oral Hygiene
Dentistry is beyond tooth extraction, filling up cavities, and aligning misaligned teeth. That was the opening remark of the evening speaker Dr. Selva Muthukumar.
Considering the numerous Rotary programs in the preceding weekend, one could have imagined a low turnout for the meet. No, that wasn't the case. The club attendance was as in normal times.
Pleasantries were exchanged in fellowship & President Uma was collared. Rtn. R. M. Narayanan briefed members of the PHCC valedictory function & the lifetime achievement awards given to the three all-time great spin maestros, Bishen Bedi, Prasanna & B.S. Chandrasekar. Rtn. Meenakshi presented an elaborate report on the medical camp held at our adopted Happy Village. Rtn. Shivakumar invited participants for a Yacht Club Regatta. On behalf of our club, Rtn. Govindan profusely thanked Rtn. Nagu for playing the role of a perfect host. The hospitality & the movie Vishwaroopam made the evening memorable for all attending members. Rtn. Shivaram read out the Voice of Rotary. After all these announcements which consumed half an hour. Rtn. Shreen introduced the speaker Dr. Selva Muthkumar as a practicing dentist, interested in spreading awareness on oral hygiene. For the benefit of lay public like us, Dr. Selva shared details of how many suffered from recurrent tuberculosis in the oral cavity. Dentist could come to a reasonably accurate conclusion on many disease by thorough examination of the mouth. As a example, he spoke about a faciomaxillory X-Ray showed unusual presentation. On questioning, the boy said that he was slated to be operated upon for tonsils. The operation was averted because of this wrong diagnosis, as it turned out to be a salivary stone. Dr. Selva also cautioned the audience to avoid lime with honey to reduce weight. He said if you must, then ensure using a straw to avoid tooth enamel damage. Another point suggested was the removal of wisdom tooth early as it serves no purpose and of late seems to be the reason for cramping of teeth.
Secretary Srinivasa Rao shared that next week's meet is off and gave details of District Conference to be th th held 16 and 17 Feb 13.
Thus another evening was spent in leisure, entertaining and in banter.
Rtn. Ramesh Kannan
- January 16, 2013
Meeting held on January 16, 2013
Vitamin H for Self-Esteem (Proceedings of the Meeting Held on January 9,2013.)
Our weekly meeting on January 9 , 2 0 1 3 , c ommenced with Rtn. Jayanthi Govindan collaring President Rtn. Umamaheswari. After a silent invocation, President Rtn. Uma welcomed the gathering , subsequent to which the following announcements were made:
RYLA : Rtn. Balaji Srinivasan thanked Rtn. Leo Srinivasan for his wonderful hospitality at his Estate in Periyur, Kodaikanal, where a RYLA for the Interactors of National Public School was held between January 3 and 5 , 2013. He informed that the content of the program and ambience of the venue were excellent – in short it could be called a “RYLA in paradise.” PHCC : Rtn. Krishnan Naganathan appraised the gathering on the inaugural function of our Club's flagship project, PHCC, for which former Indian Cricketer, V. Sivaramakrishnan was the Chief Guest. His son, Vidyuth, another famous Cricketer, accompanying his father was a double treat on the occasion.New Member:
Shyam was fortunate to be inducted by PDG Alagappan as the 105 member of our RCME family. He was accompanied by his spouse Swetha. Shyam was introduced by Rtn. Sivasubramanian. Rtn. Shyam expressed his happiness in joining our Club, for he had enjoyed the warmth of our members, when he had attended 3 of our meetings before he was taken into our fold.
Introduction of Chief Guest :
PP Rtn. PLC took pride in introducing the Chief Guest for the evening, PDG Alagappan, and mentioned they bonded not only as Rotarians but as relatives as well. PDG Alagappan, a coffee cultivator and a distributer of consumer products, joined Rotary in the year 1977 and went on to become the District Governor of R.I. Dist 2980, for the year 1994–95. He is a powerful orator, a widely acclaimed educationalist, and, more importantly,a good human being.
Chief Guest's Address to Rotarians :
PDG Alagappan lived up to his reputation as an orator. His 20 minutes speech was studded with gems and worth re-producing word perfect. But brevity being the wit of the soul, a few of his quotable quotes and interesting anecdotes are presented here.
-Rotary is great because its members are great.
-Being in Rotary improves the quality of one's life.
-Rotary gives the opportunity to lead a good and balanced life.
-Rotarians must propagate Rotary by following the path of honesty and humility.
-Rotary's effort in Polio Eradication is commendable. Likewise, there should be an effort to shed our ego. One can be at peace with self when he has shed his ego and realizes that nothing is permanent.
-Nani Palkivala, as the Chief Guest of a function in the College where he studied, to the embarrassment of the college management, said “My real education commenced only the day I left this College.” PDG Alagappan said “My real education commenced the day I joined Rotary.”
-As an Indian, at this juncture, you may not believe in honesty, but as Rotarians we dislike to be dishonest.
-Are you honest? -
The answer to this question can never be affirmative. It is sometimes “yes” and it is sometimes “no.” Even your own car is not yours. When it is time for playing tennis, it is your son's; when it is time for shopping, it is your wife's ; when it is time for dance class, it is your daughter's ; when it time to go to the petrol bunk, it is yours.
-Honesty, Hard work, and Humility are the Vitamins for self-esteem.
-God is everywhere, but He is not present where rich people are given preferential treatment.
-In Birth Certificates as well as in Death Certificates, only the name is mentioned - status and accomplishments are irrelevant. So, one should make a conscious effort to be good, with clarity of mind in how he wishes to be remembered after his lifetime.
-If you have not planted a tree in the last 10 years, it is still worth planting one tree today for the benefit of the others' tomorrow.
-Past is past. Today is meant to make a better tomorrow.
-If you do not compromise on your self-esteem, you will become more respectable.
A few interesting anecdotes from his speech:
Once an African Priest was invited to preach a gathering. He stood up and asked the gathering do you know what I am going to preach about? The audience said “no.” The Priest responded, “If you do not know what I am going preach, I would not like to continue,” and he walked away.
Next week, he asked the same audience the same question. Now the audience got smart and answered that they knew what he is going to preach. The Priest again walked away, saying, “If you know what I am going to preach, then there is no need for me to preach at all.” Next week, again the same question was asked. The audience were in two minds, one-half said “yes” and the other half said “no.” The Priest said that half of the audience who knew what he was going to preach could preach the other half.
It is neither easy to be a speaker nor be a part of an audience.
-Jesus Christ was not allowed in a Cathedral: A few hundred years back, there was a Cathedral in Central London which had a signboard “Blacks and Dogs are not allowed.” One Black who attempted to go into the Church was always chased away. One day, outside the Church, with a heavy heart and tears in his eyes, he lamented, “God, why don't they allow me inside the Cathedral to offer my prayers.” Jesus appeared and said “Neither did they let me in. So, do not worry.”
Where there is discrimination and preferential treatment, God wouldn't like to be present there.
Make Conscience your pillow: A young and ambitious accountant was offered a very lucrative job. But if he accepted the job, he may have to compromise a bit on his moral values. He was in a quandary whether to join or not. He sought the advice of his mother, who was not an educated woman. His mother said “Son, every morning when I come into your room to wake you up, I feel happy to find you in deep asleep. I would hate the day when I come into your room in the morning and find you tossing and turning without getting sleep. Now it is your call to join the new job or not.”
Make your conscience as your pillow. If you abide by your conscience you will be at peace with yourself.
Secretary Rtn. Srinivasa Rao announced the details of the ensuing Board Meeting and the next weekly meeting.
Rtn. PP Gnaneshwar, in his inimitable style, proposed the vote of thanks.
Before adjourning the meeting, President Uma recollected her student days during which she attended Rotary Meetings in Tanjore,
when PDG Alagappan had addressed many times and it was his powerful speeches that inspired her to join the Rotary Movement.
To conclude, it was a meeting that would be cherished for long for its content.
- December 19, 2012
Meeting held on December 19, 2012
Walking Tall Among Men“Paropakaram Idham Shareeram.... very few men get to live by this noble ideal and fewer still dedicate their entire lives to the service of humanity”, except from the citation. Palam Kalayanasundaram is a rare breed of man who made a life out of giving literally everything he has or earns to the poor and needy.
The RCME team of Rtns comprising Ram, Papa Rao, M Srini, VAR and Pres ident Uma, spent t ime assiduously to study the profile of various candidates and come up with this appropriate choice of person for the “Exemplary Service to Community Award”. On 12 Dec 2012 ( 12-12-12) the meeting started at 7pm sharp with a silent invocation and a minute's silence to condole the untimely demise of Rtn Vasuda's mother. President Uma welcomed the gathering and the diginitaries, Palam Kalyana Sundaram recipient of the award and the Chief Guest for the evening, Shri TT Srinivasa Raghavan, MD, Sundaram Finance. Rtn Papa Rao gave an crisp account of the Exemplary awards including the past awardees, its last recipient at RCME being Mr Krishnan of Akshaya Trust in 2009. Rtn Sivasubramaniam then introduced Shri Palam Kalyanasundaram to the audience.
Rtn Var did the honours by reading the citations so eloquently, (from which I have liberally indulged to write this brief note). The Citation was then presented to Shri Palam Kalyanasundaram by Shri TT Srinivasa Raghavan, Chief guest for the evening. The acceptance speech by Shri Kalyanasundaram turned out to be the highlight of the day. For a man endowed with a not so great voice, he showed huge clarity of thought. He explained that while the press made a big splash, when he was awarded a cash purse of Rs 30 Crores by an Amer i can Organisation for his philanthropic work which he promptly gave away in Charity, he rationalises this saying, “I did not earn even one paisa of that money as I have not worked for it, hence it was somebody's money going to somebody needy and why are you giving me the credit.” Such was the humility in his talk and his matter of fact approach
to things, that the Rotarians were inspired by his simplicity and candourness. He says he is inspired by his mother's advice to be successful, which is:
1. Give 1/10 of one's earnings to Charity. 2. Help a soul everyday. 3. Don't be greedy in life.
After an inspiring but simple talk, it was Rtn Ram's turn to introduce Chief Guest of the evening, Shri T T Srinivasa Raghavan. Mr Raghavan in his address said, it was one of his most memorable days to share the evening with a personality like Palam Kalyanasundaram. He explained that he was at loss of words and felt very hollow and humble in the presence of Mr Kalyanasundaram.
While the meeting was adjourned, after the Secretary's announcements and a brief vote of thanks, the ever smiling good Samaratian Shri Palam Kalyanasundaram will be remembered at RCME, for a long time to come.
Rtn. Babu Krishnamoorthy
- December 12, 2012
Meeting held on December 12, 2012
A Frank Chat with an Upright Person – The Former Head of CBI Proceedings of Weekly Meeting – Wednesday, 5th December 2012
The weekly meeting of our club on 5th Dec was special and unique in that we had Dr.R.K.Raghavan former Director CBI as the Chief Guest. The meeting was so interesting and interactive that it went on till 8.30 pm.
President Ms Uma Maheswari welcomed the chief guest and she expressed happiness on behalf of all the club members for having the highly respected former director CBI, Dr. R.K. Raghavan as the Chief Guest of the evening.The introduction of the chief guest by Rtn. S. Swaminathan was long, because of the achievements of Dr. R.K. Raghavan and the various prestigious positions, both national and international, that he occupied during his tenure in government service and also post retirement.
The article that Dr. R.K. Raghavan wrote in The Tribune set the tenor of the meeting in the right perspective. Dr. R.K. Raghavan in his address, explained the process of selection of director of CBI and how he reached the position only by his being non-political and noncontroversial. He traced the origin of CBI and how its profile has changed over the years.
He explained how difficult it is to bring a closure to a case, which involves a permission to start the preliminary enquiry, government's permission to prosecute and government's permission to go to higher courts, if necessary. He explained that presently there is an opinion in the public for a creation of a collegium for selection of a director of CBI which will make the position more independent in the eyes of the public. He also compared the CBI to FBI in the USA and how a longer tenure in FBI helps in delivering faster closure of cases.He listed out the constraints with which the department of CBI today is working; with a workforce of 5000 to 6000 covering the entire country of 1.2 billion and more so as CBI has to work only with state police for all the legal processes.
There was a very involved interaction from the members during the question answer session and he was diplomacy personified in answering the questions with a sense of humour.
Rtn. Venkatadri announced the birthdays of Rotarians, Anns, Annettes and Wedding Anniversaries of the Rotarians.Rtn. V.G.P.Ravidas informed the members on the ongoing preparations for the ensuing PHCC, the flagship event of our club in January 2013. A team of Rtns.Rajendran, Ramkumar , J.K. Mahindra along with Rtn. Ravidas, are going all out to make this as one more unforgettable event of our club by trying to bring in the former top spinners of our country and felicitating them with life time achievement awards. With the help of Rtn. Rajendran, efforts are being made to get the MAC stadium for the finals.
Rtn. Shivaram made announcements about the forthcoming fellowship dinner on the 29th of December. The venue and the theme will be announced in due course.
The family of RCME was enhanced by the addition of its 107th member, Mr Nagu Chidambaram who was introduced by Rtn. Sudhakar. He was formally inducted by Rtn. Venkatakrishnan. His wife Geetha and son Surya were also introduced. He joins the club with a clear motto of social service which his father had imbibed in him, right from when he was young.
Secretary Rtn. Srinivasa Rao announced that the next weekly meeting will be held in Hotel Connemara on 12th December to honour Shri Paalam Kalyanasundaram who will be receiving the prestigious "Exemplary Service Award" from RCME. The meeting was rounded up by Rtn. Shreen Raghavan, who nicely summed up and thanked the speaker and the members for making this a nice evening, before the President announced that the meeting was adjourned.
- December 5, 2012
Meeting held on December 5, 2012
Joint Meeting on Wednesday, 28th November 2012 Share Heart, Purse String Loosens Effortlessly
Don' t donate to The Rotary Foundation. This was the opening statement of the evening speaker, PDG Rtn. Valiappan.
Repeating this, he said the same in a more serious tone. Pausing a while he said he had not completed. It was only a comma. The subsequent text being . . . unless you are convinced that The Rotary Foundation is serving humanity world over.
First things first. Four clubs RC of Silver Beach, Downtown, Guindy, and our own Madras East meet started with a jovial and cordial inter / intra action during fellowship.
At 7:00 pm sharp, all four club Presidents were
collared. As the host club President, Uma maheshwari called the meet to order. Customary greet and formal announcements were cast aside to allow the veteran orator speak. He changed the topic from Joy of giving to Joy of sharing.
PDG Rtn. Velliappan stage managed a Santa Claus. Amidst music, cheer, and clapping Santa tottered around and generously parted a big full of gifts. PDG requested fellow Rotarians to translate the joy of receiving on to less fortunate brethren. Through a nice slide show, he narrated how our children and we were better off, compared to the malnourished, illiterate and poverty stricken beings on this globe. Of all funds that Rotary Foundation collects, less than three percent goes as administration expenses. By further chipping in, Rotarians can execute projects which have brought in a tangible difference in the society.
PDG Rtn. Valiappan shared a video of a girl who had
a nightmare of being afflicted by polio and thus getting crippled. Inspired when her father said she was given the polio drops and so she need not
worry, she set about collecting funds so that the last leg of polio eradication was complete.
During Q and A, Rtn. Valiappan acknowledged that
Rotary's visibility on polio was practically nil, in spite of the fact that a good number of Rotarians manned booths and Rotary Foundation
paid for the vaccines.
Thus another glorious evening was well spent and a big thanks to all the visiting Rotarians who made the evening more complete.
Rtn. Ramesh Kannan
- November 28, 2012
Meeting held on November 28, 2012
Simply Living …. High Thinking. The story of FoodKing, Sarath Babu.
The popular theory that is often put forward by the movie makers is that the young boy experiences poverty day in and day out, is unable to stomach his other's humiliation in the hands of others, extreme hunger and frustration drives him to become the 'bad guy' that he turns out to be, taking revenge on the society, until someone puts good sense into him and turns him into a normal person.
Here is a person who defied all the above odds and more, and proved the success formula for the most successful movies like 'Yaadon Ki Bharaat ” wrong . Mr. E. Sarath Babu, Founder and CEO of Foodking is a living example of how sufferings can be converted into s tepping s tones for success in life.
When he was describing his life with four siblings and a hardworking mother, an “Idly Aaya” who could afford only water for dinner many days in an unknown slum…in his low octave tone and an emotionless face, those who empathised with the plight of this helpless young boy then, could not help tears welling up in their eyes. We understood from his speech that there is no hardship that he has not faced growing up in this demanding, cruel, cold world. Yet, the saga of this . . . . still young man, who worked so hard to earn his admission into BITS Pilani, IIM Ahmedabad and has become rich now after shedding all the rags is a fitting story that should go into the text books of young classes. Nothing like seeing in flesh and blood an achiever who has broken many a myth like . . . 'without capital no business can be started' or 'money only makes money ' etc., for a dose of motivational medicine.
Earlier, after the meeting was called to order by the President, Rtn.Muthukumar (Vasantha Bhavan) greeted the members and their family on birthdays and anniversaries.
Rtn.Puru made a pointed appeal to all the members to contribute for the Rotary Fund. “There was a time when our club used to be an all PHF (Paul Harris Fellows – Those who have contributed US $ 1000) club. Though we have lost that coveted position in the District for sometime now, we can always strive to reclaim that status once again”, he said.
After Rtn. Gurmukh's recap of the trip to Tirupati, Rtn. Ganesan made an announcement about the ensuing family fellowship on November 25, 2012 and invited all the members with their Ann and Annets. Rtn. Govindaraj introduced the guest speaker to the gathering and Rtn. Srinivasa Rao read out the secretary's announcements.
After the formal vote of thanks by Rtn.IPP.Udayakumar the meeting was adjourned.
- November 7, 2012
Meeting held on November 7, 2012
Journey on a Time Capsule That Took Us Back Half a Century
hey call it the Shadow, a very new invention, still in prototype stage, but having crossed the stage to become a reality. It will transport a person, say from Delhi to New York, in less than an hour. Some more time, man will invent a . . . call it whatever you want, a machine that will transport you to a distant location, the moment you sit in that contraption.
But, even then, I will say these inventions are far behind in technology and effect. For it was nd only last evening, on 2 November 2012, that within a matter of minutes, 200 of us were transported to a different period of time, about 47 years back, when the eagerly awaited movie, “The Sound of Music,” hit the screens across the globe; in Chennai, it was screened in Safire, a premium theatre in those days.
After our President, Rtn. Umamaheshwari, welcomed the audience in her inimitable way, the stage was set for the show to begin.
The moment the “Sound of Salzburg” troupe, headed by Mr Franz Langer, set foot on stage at the expansive hall of Hotel Grand Chola, the audience was mesmerized for the next 120 minutes and zoomed down the path of nostalgia in its entirety.
Each song was smoothly rendered, practically to its original richness and texture, the audience began tapping their feet, joining in the singing, and as the feeling started to sink in, the hall filled up with a thick blanket of sweet memories and good feel. The manner of singing “The Hills Are Alive” was soul touching and the rendition of “Something Good,” and the lilt in “I Have Confidence in Me” must have been very fulfilling for those who have soaked in these songs over the decades.
Each of the artistes had a role to play and this was played to perfection. Such was the rendition, that with the minimum backdrop and setting seen on stage, the flow of music and the lyrics so beautifully presented itself as hot chocolate would, to cover the brownie for an appetizing dessert.
The information given by the leader that the song Edelweiss was not based on an Austrian folk tune, but that its popularity had cut
across all boundaries and held people in its solemnest best, was revealing to most assembled there. To confirm this, the troupe got together and sang a rustic genuine Austrian folk song, that only brought out the richness of that country's tradition in music.
Being an elite and selective audience for the evening, the members of the troupe went around the tables and made certain there was more participation and thereby a more lively crowd that they carried with them.
Moving on to more songs from their region, the feeling of being transported to rural Austria was another highlight of the show and
it had the likes of Rtn. Puru and Rtn Sridhar being invited to the stage and taught a few dancing steps. Of course, being accustomed to dancing to the tunes of the wife at home, they quickly got the hint and moved well in rhythm with the artistes. After 2 hours of keeping us pinned to our seats, the troupe sang the proverbial, “So Long Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen Adieu” and left the stage one after another. It was like a part of themselves going away, when one realized the show was coming to its end.
Rtn. Ballu gave the concluding address and it was so touching to see the efforts of this “walking tall” Rotarian along with his team fructifying in delivering a superbly packaged event, to such precision and perfection.
An evening that simply lifted the spirits of all those present, that no one missed the opportunity to stay back not only for the cocktails and dinner but also to snap some photos with the artistes, who very comfortably mixed with the gathering of the evening.
Another large, colorful, and exquisite feather to the cap of RCME was added as a result of this wondrous show, and this will go a long way to accrue funds to improve the welfare of our villages and the villagers.
- October 31, 2012
Meeting held on October 31, 2012
A Factory Visit – Engineered for US to Return Well Informed
In Rotary, the calendar month of October is dedicated to vocational service and RCME had organized yet another program of visiting a factory – GRUNDFOS at OMR.
It was a pleasant sunny morning on Oct. 27th and our Rotarians started to gather at The Gandhi Nagar Club for a brief stopover and our Secretary Rtn. Srinvasa Rao had organized nice fresh juices and tea for all of us before heading to the factory.
At 10.30 a.m., close to 30 of us had assembled at the GRUNDFOS factory in Perungudi where a nice welcome poster at the factory reception area was displayed.
We were ushered into a hall in the annex for a presentation about the factory and hot coffee and biscuits were served to all of us. One of their senior executives gave an excellent presentation about the origin and history of GRUNDFOS. Established in 1945 in DENMARK
by Mr. POUL DUE JENSEN, it has grown exponentially over the years and by 2011, it has achieved a turnover of Rs. 18,900 Crores and employs 17000 people worldwide.
We were introduced to many fascinating facts about the company. It believes in challenging itself to achieve excellence in its product range. Being the world's largest manufacturer of pumps and pump systems, GRUNDFOS has a worldwide presence and production sites in North America, Europe, China, and Asia Pacific. They have plans to start a manufacturing facility at Sriperambudur shortly.
They believe mainly in the following three principles.
a) Be responsible
b) Think ahead and make it possible
c) Innovation is the essence of their philosophy
They spend about 5% of their gross revenue for the R&D activity. The presentation continued for 45 minutes, highlighting the speciality of the company, its achievements, and its products etc. It concluded with a brief interactive session.
After the presentation, we were divided into three groups and each group was entrusted to a quality control manager who accompanied us on a tour of the factory.
The GRUNDFOS unit is 'Gold' rated for their Green Factory building and certified thus by the international agency (US - Green Building Society) “A green building is one that is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live and work in.”
During the visit to the factory, we noticed that the entire area was naturally ventilated, no lights were burning during the day; of course, it is a centrally airconditioned building. We met their Managing Director and his cabin was so pleasant with cross ventilation and was surrounded by green trees to ECCO the green building concept. He said that working in such a natural environment makes all of them healthy, both mentally and physically. He told us to observe the CO monitors installed inside the building which enables to 2 activate motors when CO levels cross the specified limits and 2 thereby allows fresh air to enter the building. This keeps a check and prevents contagious diseases. This is another unique feature
which we observed.
Subsequently, we were shown the different departments of the factory which are maintained excellently. All the employees
appeared very dedicated and efficient. This factory has a covered space of about one lakh square feet and is very impressive. Though it is an assembly unit, it appeared to be a regular production factory. We observed that they give highest importance to quality checks to ensure best quality.
During the visit, we found one unique feature in their packing division, that is, all packing boxes with imported components are disassembled and then they recycle these boxes carefully for their packing needs in India. If the need arises, they will send them to their other production units outside India, thus maximizing the life and reusage of packing materials.
The factory building is surrounded by excellently maintained lawns and green shady trees. Before the departure, we were extended an invitation to a nice lunch at the factory canteen. Our Rtn. Shreen Raghavan, with his subtle intervention, made the
visit more interesting and ensured that it was carried out exactly as per schedule. Our congratulations to him for his efforts in getting permission for the factory visit and to all the others who made it a grand success.
At the end of the visit, we were all so very impressed and had the satisfaction of visiting one of the most pleasant, cleanest, and very environmentally friendly green factory in our city.
- October 24, 2012
Meeting held on October 24, 2012
Vocational Excellence Award @ Hotel Connemara, 18 October 2012
In Rotary's annual calendar, October is the month of vocational service and RCME presents it to a person who has achieved pre-eminence in his or her chosen vocation.
This year Mr. Madhusudhanan Narayanaswamy or Madhu, was the recipient at a glittering function with Mr. Barrie M Osborne, the Hollywood legend behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and an academy award (Oscar) winner, being the Chief guest.
Starting with a soul stirring invocation by Ann Raji Sanjay, President Umamaheswari, said it was an honour to recognize a committed soul like Madhu who combined the best of technology and creativity to pursue his dream & shine on his own. It is not often that hard
work behind the screens and talent like visual effects is recognized.
Rtn RM Narayanan (RMN) who formally introduced Mr. Madhusudhanan Narayanaswamy, said Rotary seeks to enhance the understanding of various vocations and to honour persons who excel in their chosen
vocations adding that previous awardees were eminent artists as Ravi Kiran, PB Srinivas, Ganapathi Sthapathi and Nithyashree.
Madhu, this year's recipient, weaves his magic on the silver screen with animation and visual effects in great detail; as they say, one can teach skills and knowledge but a 'great eye' is given by nature! Madhu was always passionate about storytelling and initial rejections of his stories by publishers didn't dampen his fire for storytelling.
He rightly judged that the future would be computer dependent and became a student of Vector, run by our fellow Rtn Ananth (whom he still considers his
Guru), so that he can use computers to tell stories better. He got his first break with the movie Alexander and his big break came with Alaipayudey (Mani Ratnam film) and subsequently with Alavandan (Kamal film), which won him a national award in 2002. After that, there was no stopping Madhu who went on to make a mark with Lord of the Rings, Click, Spiderman 3 and The Host. Today, Madhu is recognized as a top notch visual effects professional in the world. RMN signed off the introduction by saying...'Tenacity, thy name is Madhu!'
Rtn Shreen Raghavan read out the citation in his inimitable style. The citation and the trophy were presented to Madhu by Mr. Barrie Osborne to thunderous applause.
In his acceptance speech, Madhu spoke from his heart and recounted his life journey starting from a rural area in Dharmapuri district. Passion, perseverance and determination were the qualities that kept him going. Though he ultimately made his name in visual effects, it was not in his mind when he started chasing his dream, which was to tell stories in some form. He came across many hurdles but saw every stone that came in his way as a milestone in his progress and every failure as a motivation to succeed. The
need for recognition kept him going and he learnt the grammar of visual effects the hard way, through mistakes. His dreams changed after winning the
national award in 2002 for Alavandan and he set his sights on Hollywood, ultimately getting to work with Barrie in 2007.
Madhu's life credo has been “The more you dream, you start living it … failure is giving up”. Madhu signed off by saying that any honour is a great motivation for an artist and thanked RCME for the award. Director Suresh Krishna, in his felicitation, said he saw talent in Madhu and gave him the opportunity, but it was Madhu's hard work and
the results that earned him recognition and most of all, the respect of Barrie Osborne. Madhu has made India proud, but he hasn't changed one bit – he remains a fine human being!
Introduced by Rtn TV Rama Kumar, Barrie took the stage, recounting how he met up with Madhu and the close friendship that followed. In this business, Barrie averred, you can't survive if you don't love what you do … the movie business, the people who work in the business and enjoys all the fun. 'If you are conscientious about your work, it pays off and people remember that you deliver'
In his thanks giving speech, Rtn Kandaswamy Bharathan praised Madhu for doing the impossible, venturing into the unpredictable field of cinema and emerging unscathed. It is never easy for art, technology and business to come together but Barrie has brought them together so beautifully. He thanked Suresh Krishna & Thotta Dharani for their presence and had a special word of thanks for Rtn. RMN for putting together this wonderful function.
All in all, a super duper event to mark RCME's vocational service month!
Rtn KR Chandrasekharan
- October 17, 2012
Meeting held on October 17, 2012
An Ageless Doctor Awards a Doctor Who Specialises on Ageing. Dr. KVT Award
The Dr KVT award for 2012, started off with a blissful invocation on Goddess Saraswathi by Annet Manasvini, daughter of Rtn Srini 100. President Uma welcomed our hero Dr KV Thiruvengadam, Award Recipient Dr VS Natarajan, Chief Guest Ram Santhanam (Managing Director, Wheels India), Sponsor Rtn Dr Ravi of MSR Dental Surgery and all the guests and members. A cake was cut for Dr KVT, since it was his birthday with everyone singing happy birthday for him.
Rtn Gopal gave a background on KVT award and spoke in details about its past recipients. The citation was prepared and read by Rtn Gnanesh, and the Chief Guest Ram Santhanam presented the award to Dr VS Natarajan.
Dr VS Natarajan gracefully accepted the award, and mentioned that to receive this award from his teacher Dr KVT, is like receiving the Padma Shree again. He gave us fantastic tips on aging since he is an expert on geriatric medicine. Annual medical check-up, exercise and diet (millets) are the things he recommends for old age. He also suggested you make sure to hold on to your property (money) and remain independent.
Dr KVT said he was glad the award went to Dr VS Natarajan this year. Rtn Ananth introduced the Chief Guest Ram Santhanam as a fast bowler in his college days at Guindy Engineering and the Chief Guest talked about how Dr KVT had made a life saving diagnosis on his stomach ache a few decades ago. Also, he felt with the aging population of India we need many more VS Natarajans in future.
Rtn Dr Ravi said he was glad to be associated with this award. He made a spontaneous donation of Rs 25,000 as an addition to the sponsorship. Rtn Ganesan gave the vote of thanks and we had a memorable finish to the function with our National Anthem.
- October 10, 2012
Meeting held on October 10, 2012
Learning While Serving
It's been a while since I sat glued to a place for more than 4 hours to be lectured to. My teacher gave up within a few months of my joining the school, my wife stopped trying 30 years ago and my friends said long ago that it doesn't get them anywhere.
They were all proved correct till yesterday, when a fresh c o n c e p t ' LEADERSHIP CONCLAV' was introduced in our Club.
The 3 speaker program, spread over half a day, started on the dot, with Mr Mohan Raman giving a presentation with rare flourish, Mr Venky Rajagopal sustaining the momentum with superb flamboyance and our own Rtn CKR beautifully summing up the session with a calm and silken revelation of his early days and business growth.
That cinema as a medium can carry discreet messages on leadership was depicted with clippings by Mohan. That blossoming of a product brand needs a dedicated stem called passion, was the basis for Venky's talk. That others can be inspired by a face-to-face 'from the heart' talk was the subtle message highlighted in CKR's talk.
Within an hour of the program having started, all the participants would have got convinced that this interaction would benefit them vastly. This was proved with the look of satisfaction on the faces and the fact that all members stayed till the very end of the session.
It was a very satisfying outing, with Mohan 'reeling' out important aspects for leadership, with Venky 'panting' for brand recognition and with CKR leaving behind the 'cosmetics' and speaking candidly his journey to glory.
With the indication that this sort of session is to be held twice a year, it would be superfluous to state that the participants are already eager about the next sitting and many more would join after the feedback permeates to all the members of
It is still not clear as to who mooted this concept, for the usual RCME spirit pervades with each one passing on the credit to another member. So, it is a big thanks to Prez Uma, Chairman Venkat, Secretary Srinivasa Rao and any one else from the Organising Committee, who prefers to take the
accolades being in the back stage.
Thanks to the 3 guest speakers, for making it so engrossing by which even I could be tied down to a chair for the half a day session."
- October 3, 2012
Meeting held on October 3, 2012
Proceedings of Meeting Held on Wednesday, Sept 26,2012
he meeting started promptly with Rtn. Janaka collaring the President. After the silent invocation, President Uma welcomed the Chief Guests Dr. Bhaskaran and Dr. George and other dignitaries from Shankar Netralaya. Rtn. Ramesh
Kannan welcomed the visiting Rotarians and our members. Rtn. Meenakshi Sundaram presented the details about the Basic Life Support program conducted for the Auto Drivers by our club. He appreciated the support from our Rtn. Muthukumar for sponsoring the lunch for about 50 people.
PP Rtn. Ballu explained to the audience about the Terry Fox Run and RCME's association with the Chennai edition of TFR for the past four years under the Chairmanship of Rtn. Badri. A cheque for Rs.10 Lakhs was presented to Dr. Bhaskaran by President Uma toward the research being done by Shankar Netralaya. Ann Varalakshmi Badri represented Rtn. Badri. Rtn. VAR introduced the Chief Guest Dr. Bhaskaran to the members. Dr. Bhaskaran spoke about Terry Fox's willpower in undertaking a cross-Canada run for collecting funds for cancer research in spite of one of his legs being amputated. Dr. Bhaskaran spoke about Akash Dube and appreciated his courage and sacrifice and his contribution in bringing TFR to Chennai and appreciated Akash Dube's family's continued support for TFR. He also commended RCME for keeping the spirit of Terry Fox and Akash Dube alive and our Club's service to society.
Rtn.Krishnan Naganathan introduced the other Chief Guest, Dr. Ronnie George, to the members. Dr. George spoke about the challenges faced by Shankar Netralaya in the absence of proper data on glaucoma and how Shankar Netralaya is concentrating on research to overcome the problem. He appreciated that our contribution will help them in furthering the research.
After a few questions from our inquisitive members, Club Secretary Rtn. Srinivasa Rao announced about the Goa Fellowship tour, RYLA camp for Rotaractors from TSN, Leadership Conclave for our members on Oct 6, 2012, and gave an update on the Sound of Music Show.
After presenting mementos to the Chief Guests and Dr.Vikas Khetan, Dr.Vasudha proposed the Vote of Thanks and the meeting was adjourned by the President.
- September 26, 2012
Meeting held on September 26, 2012
Quiz Program at Little Flower Matriculation School Sept 3, 2012.
he meeting commenced briskly on Sept 3rd with the TPresident being collared by the Secretary. This was followed by the introduction of the quiz master Rtn. V V Sivakumar. A lot of ground work was done before this meeting between self, Rtn. Sivakumar, Rtn. Vijayan, and the school teachers to make sure students participate with lots of enthusiasm, with a good mix of 9th and 11th grade students.
The 6 teams of 3 Interactors each were divided with funny team names. Quiz master Rtn. Shivakumar interacted with the students
with mind-blowing questions. Questions on topics like Olympics, GK, Scientific Inventions, History, and Geography were asked. Students really enjoyed the evening. More importantly, they actively participated in this competition, learned many good things as this was the first time this school had an event like this.
Winners were Team Yoga comprising:
1. Soundarya (XI Std) 2. Harini Priya(IX) 3.Yogeshwar(IX)
Gift vouchers were distributed to all the winning team members and the runners-up team. The proceedings ended with the National Anthem and the students are looking forward to some more innovative meetings.
Rtn. Balaji Sreenivasan
- September 19, 2012
Meeting held on September 19, 2012
Awards for Ideas with Social Benefit by Our Member Rtn C K Ranganathan 2nd Chinni Krishnan Innovation Awards
We had the pleasure of supporting the cause of our valuable member C.K. Ranganathan by participating in a very well organized Chinni Krishnan Innovation Award function. This
award is instituted by CavinKare in the memory of Late Shri Chinni Krishnan, father of Rotarian CKR, and awarded to small and medium entrepreneurs who have converted their innovative ideas into successful business models. Our club's scheduled meeting for Wednesday 12 September, 2012, was shifted to Kamaraj Arangam to facilitate our members to take part in this memorable occasion. As expected, a large number of our members were present and it turned out to be a happy reunion as well, outside our regular meeting venue.
This program was reported extensively in the newspapers and one of the reports is reproduced here.
FMCG giant CavinKare's 2nd Chinnikrishnan Innovation Awards to felicitate small and tiny entrepreneurs honored 3 winners of the prestigious award in a grand ceremony. The awards were presented by Dr. K. Ros i ah, Hi s Excellency The Governor of Tamil Nadu.
The awards were initiated in memory of late Shri R Chinni Krishnan, father of Mr. C. K. Ranganathan, Chairman & Managing Director, M/s. CavinKare Pvt Ltd.
The winners were A. Mohammed Ibrahim of Brainz Infotech, which manufactures coinoperated water vending machines, R K Saran Raj of Japeva Engineering Pvt. Ltd., which manufactures 100% eco-friendly mineral roofing with enhanced weather insulation and water-proofing properties, and Rangarajan Nadhamuni (for Rural Category) of Sriram Agro Processing Unit which converts mango waste into mango butter, Converting Waste to Wealth.
Jury members of the Chinni Krishnan Innovation Awards selected these 3 winners based on uniqueness/innovativeness, benefits to customers, and scalability of their businesses.
With its successful initiation last year, the awards committee this time received as many as 118 applications from all across Tamil Nadu. The Chinni Krishnan Innovation Awards team then shortlisted 10 best applications, based on Innovativeness, Uniqueness, and Scalability. These shortlisted applications/applicants were videographed in their office premises based on a set of questions put together by the Awards team to gather information about their business, employees, and customers to present to the Jury.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. C. K. Ranganathan, CMD, CavinKare, said, “We don't want to stop simply by giving an award, we want to go beyond and that's when we came up with the idea of how do we mentor them and handhold them in this journey.”
- September 12, 2012
Meeting held on September 12, 2012
Proceedings of Meeting of Meeting Held on 5 September, 2012 At Hotel My Fortune
How do you pursue happiness? And indeed,
what is happiness? Such philosophical questions came to the fore during the meeting, but were answered in a simple and elegant fashion by the
recipient of the Dronacharya Award, presented by RCME under the Chairmanship of Rtn Janaka Pushpanathan and with the sponsorship of Rtn Jayanthi Govindan on, befittingly, Teacher's Day.
For the young recipient, Rakesh Godwani, the answer became evident after a few years in a hectic
job, that, while providing substantive monetary benefits, could not provide him 'happiness.' Looking around, he chose the decidedly unlucrative
profession of mentoring and teaching. But the rewards in terms of mental satisfaction were beyond quantification. As Godwani put it, his passion for
'shaping minds' and 'helping grow' them found outlet through his position as Head of the Alumni Office at IIM Bangalore and Mentor at their Incubation Center. The choice was unusual, perhaps, but the outcome was immensely satisfying. He had finally earned the most elusive of things, Happiness, by taking a road less traveled: he could 'Make a Difference' in people's lives (in this case that of his young wards) through teaching, advising and sharing his knowledge. Speaking with palpable zest and clarity, it was certainly an appropriate session to have had on Teacher's Day – the imparting of a small lesson on an important chapter in the Book of Life.
Earlier the meeting commenced with a stirring invocation by Ann Rajee and Welcome by President Uma Mahewari, who stressed the importance of teachers, and identified those in RCME's family. Rtn Janaka provided a lively introduction of Rakesh Godwani, drawing attention to the objective of the Dronacharya Award: 'to seek and recognize mentors' and connecting the two. Ann Durga crisply read out the Citation.
The Chief Guest of the evening's function, Mr David Gainer, of the United States Consulate General's Public Affairs Office, who was introduced by PP Balaram, shared his delightful experiences while teaching in Maui, besides touching upon the importance of the person-to-person ties in the education field between the student and teacher.
The meeting concluded with a Vote of Thanks by PP Gurumukh Kinger.
Rtn Shreen Raghavan
- August 22, 2012
Meeting held on August 22, 2012
Proceedings of the Closed Door Meeting Held on 22 August, 2012
a) Accounts for the year 2011–12 passed, proposed by Rtn. Dr. Srini and seconded by Rtn. Surendra.
b) President Rtn. Uma shared the following:
Club Membership stands at 106
Rtn. Manian has collected 100% of the subscription
New magnetic badges distributed to members, it was well appreciated by all.
Rtn. PLC wanted members to propose any new projects, through Winners, to the Board and then to him.
Question & Answers: Rtn. Surendra asked about the source of funding for Happy Village for which the President replied that the funds would come thru donations/fund raiser and Trust acts.
Rtn. Srinivasa Rao
- August 15, 2012
Meeting held on August 15, 2012
Independence Day Celebrations, Visit to 'Happy Village'
After having a sumptuous breakfast of idlies, vadas, kesari and papaya at Rtn. Papa Rao's house, Rtn.Muthukumaran, Rtn.Swaminathan, Rtn.Selvan, Rtn.Surendra, Rtn.Papa Rao, Ann Haritha, Ann Usha and I started off in two cars. Apart from us Rotarians, we also had a Civil Engineer and our photographer, Mr. Ashokan, travelling with us.
We first went to National Agro Foundation at Chunampet, approx. 100 kms from Chennai. There, we were accorded a warm reception. Rtn.Sudhakar, who joined us on return from his Pondicherry visit, hoisted the National flag, dressed aptly in a white shirt and white pant. There were 32 students, teachers and a few administrative staff who attended the function. The teachers sang a few patriotic songs and distributed sweets to all. The students recited rhymes, with enthusiasm, in Tamil and English. The function concluded with the National Anthem. We then had a photo session with the students, staff and the teachers. We had a closed door meeting with the staff of National Agro Foundation and decided about the priority of various schemes we thought would benefit the villagers. The first one being, 'Construction of Toilets & Drainage Facility', closely followed by 'Drinking water 'facility and 'Cow Sheds'. The civil engineer was asked to survey the village and plan the construction of drainage, water shed, etc.
All of us then went to 'Happy Village', Kollathanallur Village about 10 kms from the NAF office. We met the villagers and explained to them RCME's plans for improving their living conditions. About 35 women and a few men attended the meet. Rtn. Muthukumaran and Rtn. Sudhakar spoke to the villagers and explained to them how the proposed projects will benefit their village and its residents. They mentioned that the inauguration of the project, by laying the foundation stone, by our District Governor Mr. Raja Seenivasan is scheduled for 23 August, 2012, and wanted all the villagers to attend the function. All the villagers expressed their happiness about our intended projects. The engineer went around the village and checked the surface, which was sloping in one direction. Based on his findings, he said he will plan the flow of the drainage and water pipelines. We spent close to an hour in the village and headed back to Chennai.
- August 8, 2012
Meeting held on August 8, 2012
Proceedings of the Weekly Meeting Held on 8 Aug, 2012, at Hotel Park Sheraton Prof. Dr. M. S. SWAMINATHAN AWARDS CEREMONY
The MSS Award function is always something members look forward to as much as PHCC. The latter is all about sport, camaraderie and networking with other club Rotarians, whereas the former is one of solemn celebration; a recall to the core values of Rotary; of the need to recognize those who do God's work on earth.
The run up to the Awards function actually wasn't that hot since the efforts commenced months before, a meeting with Prof. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan and chatting up probable candidates. Two names were shortlisted and one made it to the rope: Prof Sartaj Aziz.
The Chief Guest was His Excellency the Governor of Tamil Nadu and thereby the programme went onto a different orbit in its scale, style, arrangements and protocol. The function started at 6.45 p.m., behind schedule by 15 minutes and it was a challenge to complete it within the promised time of 7:17 p.m. In what later played out, starting with the rendering of the Tamizh Thai Vaazthu and wrapping it up with the National Anthem, the time keeper rejoiced that it was 7.19 p.m. when it ended. Not bad by any reckoning.
But then programmes at RCME are usually well orchestrated, and as some members later commented, extremely professionally conducted. Prez. Uma welcomed the gathering in grand appropriateness greeting the dignitaries with flower bouquets and with Dr. Swaminathan adorning His Excellency with a shawl. Speaking about the awards, PP Ram traced the genesis of it in 1995 and listed some of the awardees and their achievements and went on to profile the current year recipient Prof Aziz who is a global citizen living out of Pakistan. PP Ram then read the citation which later was presented to Prof Aziz by His Excellency along with a well crafted plaque made of crystal.
While felicitating the awardee, Prof. Swaminathan outlined his achievements in academia and in the creation and nurturing of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In his acceptance speech, Prof. Aziz outlined the buzz of activity at FAO and his times in creating models that had a significant impact on how the world mandated the commodities trade as it related to food crops.
Earlier in the day in a tete-e-tete with him over breakfast, PP Ram and Rtn. Ananth were witness to a sharp mind who worked mathematical models to bring to the table the scare of a food crisis that was developing back in the 1970s because of a failed crop and how the commodity traders from the rich nations could garner produce to shore up their granaries at the cost of the poor nations.The UN took note of that and organized global meets to address the food security concern. Prof Aziz was given a presentation on the activities of the club over several years and he had only one question: How do the Rotarians of RCME find the time and monetary resources for all these?
His Excellency spoke on the need to work towards sustainable development where the focus has to be on food security without perilous consequences on environment, what Rio+20 was conferencing about.
The meeting was well attended from within the club and outside. Print and visual media were there in large numbers as also guests from academia and the science world.
Rtn. P.E. Ram
- August 1, 2012
Meeting held on August 1, 2012
Proceedings of the Weekly Meeting Held on 1st Aug 2012, at Hotel My Fortune
This was always going to be an important meeting from the Club's point of view with four new members joining the club and the installation of the Annets Club.
After the president was collared , birthday announcements were read out eloquently by Rtn. Natarajan. Rtn. Ramkumar gave a brief account of the 'Truly Asia fellowship' and Rtn. Dr. Srinivasan gave the members a brief on the Goa fellowship, as well urged all those who had given their names to complete the payment formalities before 10th August. Rtn. Dr. Vasudha then gave a peppy and mellifluous account of the Rotary world, in her reading of Voice of Rotary.
It was then time to enrol the new members to the Club. Rtn. Shivaram introduced Sudharshan and Rekha to the Club members, Rtn. Dr Ravi introduced Dr. Aravindan, Dr Ram Mohan Rao introduced C S Venugopal and Rtn. T V Ramkumar introduced Bharath Doshi. DGE A P Kanna then presented these fine gentlemen with a ROTARY PIN, a gesture of their gaining membership into the club followed by a brief acceptance speech by them individually.
Rtn . Balaj I explained the concept of the Annets Club and introduced Annet Sanjana Shivram, who was installed as the President. The other key office bearers of the Annets club, Annet Taruna Sudhakar and Annet Malavika Lankalingam, were also announced. Asst. Governor Vittal Rajan did the honours of inaugurating the RCME ANNETS CLUB.
A quick introduction of the DGE AP Kanna by Rtn. Sudhakar was followed by an inspiring talk by AP Kanna on Rotary values and its contribution to social justice. He spoke of his own personal experiences that have shaped the way he looks at life and thereby come to realise the importance of ROTARY. His talk was hugely inspiring, especially to the new inductees.
After a brief vote of thanks and Secretarial announcements, the meeting was adjourned.
Rtn. Babu Krishnamurthy
- July 25, 2012
Meeting held on July 25, 2012
Proceedings of the Weekly MeetingHeld on 25th July, 2012
It was a totally different feeling to reach the venue pretty early for the weekly meeting top enthe proceedings, minute by minute. Or atleast I assumed so, and as I stepped into the hall with all aspects in mind to proudly be on the early bird list, a little disappointed I was to see 8 members already there with their yummy snack plates, adding more spice to it by discussing about Rotary. It was quite evident at 6.45 p.m. that more than 35 Rotarians had gathered to listen to the guest speaker on a very interesting topic 'Transforming Chennai into Hongkong' (I bet all of us are like minded when it comes to Namma Chennai).
At sharp 7 p.m., the meeting was called to order by President Uma after being collared by Rtn. Jayanthi. It proceeded with a silent invocation and without any fuss went straight onto the business session. As per protocol, Rtn. Ananth recognised the visiting Rotarians and Rtn. Rajagopal followed him with Birthdays and Wedding Anniversary announcements for the month.
Rtn. Ravi Venkataramani took his turn to invite all of us for the theme-based first th Fellowship of the year to be held on Sunday, 29 July, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with thetheme which reads 'TRULY ASIA'. This was followed by Rtn. Dr. Srini's announcement regarding the Installation of the new office bearers of the Interact Club at National Public School; the meeting was a success with the participation of enthusiastic girl students. The newly added agenda for this year - Voice of Rotary was read by Rtn. S. Sridhar.
Next, Rtn. Babu eagerly took to the dais to share details on the first fireside meeting for this year that was hosted by Rtn. Leo Srini for the birthday buddies of JUNE. He continued to introduce our guest speaker for the day, Mr. Raj Cherubal - from City Connect Foundation, which was started by a like minded group of business people who got together to bring a change in this not-so-favourable world and particularly aimed at Chennai to begin with. The company's main agenda was to give infrastructure solutions for the next decade and to add a bit more to 'TRANSFORMING CHENNAI INTO HONGKONG'.
He also gave solutions for better usage of roads (with available width), pedestrian crossings, lights, garbage receptacles, etc., to put in a nutshell. They have begun with Bangalore, Pune and Chennai and once done they will be it taking forward to all the major cities in India. They aim to call it 'VISION2023' as that is the year fixed as the dot line to conceptualise their work and successfully take it to implementation. This speech was quickly followed by an enthusiastic question-and-answer session with our Rotarians.
After President Uma thanked the speaker for being with us that evening, the customary secretary announcements were made by our own Rtn. Selvan representing Secretary Rtn. Srini Rao (who is off on a visit to our ancestors . . . wild animals in Africa!!).
August being the month for induction of new members, we are happy to induct 5 new members into our RCME family. And more interestingly, the Annet's club is shaping up to get installed during August.
Rtn. Ramesh Kannan concluded today's meeting with the vote of thanks.
All I could conclude at this juncture is that the next time you see some digging/messing up on the roads, do not grumble but beware as 'we are not far from witnessing the SINGARA CHENNAI, in its literal meaning in this life time'.
It was a pleasure to sign off the evening with dreams and imaginations of a HONGKONG replica in Namma Chennai.
Rtn. S. Sridhar
- July 18, 2012
Meeting held on July 18, 2012
Proceedings of Meetingheld on 18th July, 2012
This past Wednesday saw a lot of RCME Rotarians make their way to the My Fortune Hoteleager to hear a fellow Rotarian PP. K.C. Vijayan speak on a popular rotary topic “Polio Eradication and Rotary .” The weekly meeting was called to order by President Uma and aminute of silence was observed to mark the demise of Mrs. Rajam Kandasamy, Ann of anex-RCME Rotarian Mr. Kandasamy. After this, first it was the turn of Rtn. Krishnan Naganathan to make a brief note about the start of our monthly fellowships with the first one being slated for Sunday, July 29, 2012. Then Rtn. Ramamoorthy updated everyone about the grand Rotaract installation that took place at T S Narayanswami College. It was done in a very meticulous manner by the students and was well appreciated by one and all.
It was then the turn of Rtn. Krishna Prasad to introduce the chief guest ofthe evening Rtn.K.C. Vijayan. It was very heartening to note that Rtn. K.C. Vijayan had been recognized very well not only by his club but also by District and RI Officials. He has spent more than 3 decades for the cause of Rotary and specifically in their Polio project. Rtn. K.C Vijayan started his speech by saying that Rotary first did a lot of hand holding with Indian Government officials way back in 1980 to win them over, so that their help would also be there to eradicate polio from India. Routine immunization was needed for 5 years at least and this could not be done purely by Rotary alone and definitely needed the help of theGovernment infrastructure both at the Central and State levels. He talked about Rotary knew that Polio eradication was such an important global target that when it was set a goal of reaching US $120 million, it ended up collecting US $240 million. WHO was impressed and in fact passed a resolution in WHA (World Health Assembly) meet in 1987 to assist Rotary International in their efforts to eradicate Polio. Rotary created NID (National Immunization Day) where mass immunization was being done throughout India. He also talked about Surveillance and Mop-up being important stages after immunization. Thanks to these giant efforts undertaken by Rotary at the grass roots level, he was happy to say, that India was removed from the Global endemic list as of 13 January 2011. Of course, this does not mean that we can say India is completely polio free but the encouraging signis that since that day there have been no new cases of Polio found in India. Rtn. K.C Vijayan closed his speech by saying that on-going we should closely monitor neighbours likePakistan and Afghanistan as there were still cases there that could somehow infiltrate through our borders. In all he was extremely happy to be part of this incredible journey to eradicate polio from India that Rotary International had successfully taken up as a key global project to serve society.
Club Secretary Rtn. Srinivasa Rao then made an announcement about next week's meeting, where speaker would be Mr. Raj Cherubal and he would talk about “Chennai's Infrastructural Solutions for the Next Decade.” This promises to be a very relevantand important topic given Chennai's needs today. The meeting was then ended by Rtn. PP. G.P.N Gupta giving a nice Vote of
Thanks not only to the speaker but also Rotary for taking up such anoble cause. He also mentioned how in the initial days he himself was associated along with other RCME Rotarians in doing their part for Polio eradication from India. In all a very informative and satisfying evening for everyone.
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan
- July 11, 2012
Meeting held on July 11, 2012
RCME Weekly Meeting on 11 July, 2012 at My Fortune Hotel.
Agenda: Club Assembly – Presentation by Directors on their plans for the year
As I ascended the lift for the first time in My Fortune Hotel (formerly Chola Sheraton) and disembarked at the 8 floor, little did I realize that the entire right wing of the floor would be thrown open for RCME. At 6.30 p.m. we had at least 10 members. The parking issue at the hotel had one plus point..... You had members coming quite in advance!! And the high tea was very lively with better participation.
The Club assembly started with the sounding of the gavel by President Uma at 7 p.m.sharp. Dr. Vasuda welcomed the guests followed by P.P. Shivaram greeting the Rotarians on their Birthdays and Wedding Anniversaries.
An addition to the regular weekly agenda from this year, is the VOR – Voice of Rotary. Green Rotarian Vijayan gave useful inputs on RFPD – Rotary Action Group for Populationand Development and their projects in Africa.
Rtn. Balaji, Director Young Generation reported on the Interact Installation at P.S. Matriculation School and also made the announcement on upcoming installations of Interacts and Rotaracts clubs. The guests retired, on the request of President and the stage was set for the first Club Assembly of 2012-13.
Rtn. Meenakshi Sundaram, Director Community Health appealed to all members to 'spare their blood.' Rtn. Papa Rao, Director Community Service, elaborated on the ambitious school project and also on Happy Village. Rtn. R.M. Narayanan,Director International Services stressed on the need to warm up to foreign clubs and plan matching grants projects. Rtn. Murgavel Selvan, Director Club Services listed out the fellowships and fun events for the year. Rtn. P.P. Ballu, Chairman Fund Raiser talked about the planning and challenges in organizing the two-day Fund Raiser “Sound of Music” which hopes to collect Rs.50 Lakhs for the club. President Uma rounded up the evening with a gist of the other events that are being lined up for the year. As always, the meeting ended with the Secretary's announcement.
In effect, the half-hour capsule gave a bird's eye view of what to expect in the year ahead. The planning and the effort of the Board and other office bearers were all evident and therefore, let us all back their enthusiasm with our best possible support in terms of time, money, resources and contacts.
- July 4, 2012
Meeting held on July 4, 2012
Minutes of the Weekly Meeting held on 4th July, 2012.
The first meeting of the new Rotary year got off to a great start by a warm welcome by RCME' s first Lady President Rtn. Umamaheshwari. A nice round of cheers was shared with the announce-ment of Birthdays and Anniversaries by Rtn. Sada. Rtn. Balaji followed with the announcements of the Interact Club and informed that our club has already started this year with a bang, with the first installation scheduled at P.S. Matriculation High School for the next day.Rtn. Gurumukh made the announcement about the Fellowship tour to Goa. Not only has the team of Rtn. Gurumukh and others identified an exotic place for us to visit, it is also amazing to know of the deal they have struck for this all-inclusive package. Should be lot of fun and a nice break from our hectic schedules. The slots are limited and come on, let the early birds get on to the bandwagon. RCME has introduced a nice segment in their weekly meeting this year, styled Voice of Rotary, which will provide weekly updates of happenings around the world involving Rotarians. This week Rtn. Vijayan provided an update on a resolution from the US Senate, which not only commended all Rotarians on eradication of polio in India but also pledged support for the cause. He also highlighted interesting social service activities performed by Rotarians at a village in Uganda.The highlight of the evening was the speaker of the day, Mr. Randor Guy. He was introduced by Rtn. Shreen Raghavan, who with his penchant for the language, menationed that Mr. Randor Guy is a lawyer by profession and his name is synonymous with humour. A highly acclaimed humorist, author of many books, successful in writing plays, movie historian, etc. He spoke about Humour in Films. He engaged the Rotarians with humour in his own way, anecdotes from his many interactions with famous stars of Hollywood and Indian cinema, his experiences in life, and many memorable incidences. The audience was extremely impressed with his experiences, worldwide knowledge, and was amazed at his memory. Randor Guy continues to provide invaluable service to the film industries across the world, supports many related activities, and is a great moral support and inspiration to many who aspire to achieve success in all these areas.The Secretary, Rtn. Srinivasa Rao, made the customary announcements and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Rtn. Janaka.
Rtn. Papa Rao
- June 27, 2012
Meeting held on June 27, 2012
Installation of the 28th President and the Board for 2012-13
The proceedings of the evening started promptly at 7pm with PP. Rtn. Balaraman collaring President Uday. AG. Vittal Rajan, First Lady Chitra, Secretary Murugavel Selvan, Incoming President Umamaheswari and Incoming Secretary Srinivasa Rao were the other dignitaries on the dais. The meeting was called to order by President Uday. The invocation song was rendered by Ann Rajalakshmi in her natural soulful manner. Secretary Murugavel Selvan, in his welcome address, pointed out the deviation from convention – as it is the outgoing President who normally welcomes the gathering and the Secretary then gives a report on happenings of the previous year. This year, a role reversal was decided upon. A welcome change indeed.
Secretary Selvan welcomed the gathering and briefly explained how he had earlier handled the post of Director - New Generation within 2 months of being inducted as a Rotarian in April 2010 and then taken the role of Secretary within 14 months. He appreciated the support he received from President Uday, the Board, Senior Members, other Rotarians, Anns and Annets. Rtn. Surendra and Ann Shanthi were felicitated by PDG Ramakrishna Raja for the 'Named Endowment' in Rotary Foundation. PDG Krishnaswamy then felicitated Rtn. Neelakantan on becoming a PHF. President Uday, in his natural flair and relaxed manner, addressed the gathering and appreciated the support that he received from all members during his tenure. He individually acknowledged the support he received from all his Board Members, Chairmen of various committees and his own family members. He highlighted that, in spite of his heavy travel and business commitments, he was able to handle all Rotary commitments with the support and participation of every member. He mentioned about VHS matching grant project, innovative RYLA camps, Avanti Scholarship programme, emphasis on family participation and the e-bulletin as some of the soul satisfying activities during his tenure.
Introducing the Incoming President Umamaheswari, President Uday expressed his confidence in Uma that she will handle the responsibility given to her, considering that she is a seasoned Rotarian. Having won the Best Secretary Award during her tenure in 2008-09 and having worked as Director of various avenues, President Uday felt that Uma will achieve greater heights as the First Woman President of RCME. President Uday then ceremoniously passed on the Collar and Gavel to Uma.
After taking her parents' blessings, she commenced her acceptance speech, wherein she dwelled on her 9 year journey as a Rotarian. After returning to Chennai from Cochin in 2003, she was inducted to Rotary by PP. Rtn. Shivaram. She dwelled on her years as the First Lady Secretary in 2008-09 during PP. Rtn. Kumar Asirwatham's tenure, then as Director Service Projects in 2009-10 and later as Chairperson of PHCC in 2010-11. She recognized the assistance of PP. Rtn. Muthukumaran, PP. Rtn. M.Srinivasan on various matters related to Rotary, Ann. Nandini Rajendran for penning the RCME song. Uma thanked her Parents, uncles, brother, sister and her daughter Hasini for all the support and guidance. President Uma requested the support of all the Rotarians, Anns and Annets to make 2012-13 a great year in Rotary for this wonderful Club. The highlight of her speech was that her progress in Rotary was because of the support from many members, which was appreciated by all who heard her. All the Board members were formally introduced and were decorated with the lapel pins by DG. Sampath, AG Vittal Rajan and Incoming Dist First Lady Jayanthi Srinivasan. PP. P.E.Ram & Rtn. Ananth had ingeniously designed a crossword puzzle to introduce the incoming Board Members. After this, the club assets were formally handed over by the outgoing Secretary Murugavel Selvan to the brand new Secretary Srinivasa Rao.
Ann Raji sang the RCME song and all the attendees joined in chorus. The Club Directory was released by PDG Krishnaswamy and received by PDG Dugar. The Club News Letter was released by DG Sampath Kumar and was received by Dist Secy Sriram. Contributions to the Rotary Foundation were made by PDG. Dugar ($2000), Rtn. Sridhar ($1000) and Rtn. Puru on behalf of his Ann Aruna ($1000) & Uma donated($3000). President Uma presented a Memento to IPP Udaykumar. AG Vittal Rajan felicitated RCME by lauding the significant contribution to society through its projects. He expressed confidence that President Uma can take RCME to greater heights with all her credentials and commitment to Rotary. Secretary Srinivasa Rao thanked all the members for the trust placed in him and assured the members that he would give his best to RCME. He announced details of the first weekly meeting on 4 July '12 at My Fortune Hotel, Cathedral Road.
In his Vote of Thanks, President Elect Sudhakar, appreciated one and all for their presence. He thanked Ann. Raji for the invocation song and the RCME song, PP Uday and his team for a nice Rotary Year. He thanked Rtn. Babu and Ann Durga for the introduction of the new Board, Rtn. Badri for the backdrop, Photographer Ashokan and team for their services and the management and staff of Park
Sheraton for all the arrangements. fter the National Anthem, the meeting was adjourned by President Uma followed by the Fellowship and dinner. True to their spirit, PP. P.E. Ram and PP. Ballu donned the roles of bartenders and served the spirits to the thirsty guests.
- June 13, 2012
Meeting held on June 13, 2012
Toppers of Chennai Schools honoured on June 13th, 2012
Students of Chennai Schools, D. Anandhi, S. Suganthi, L. Pavithra and R. Divya, who have scored well in the State Board Class X Examination, were honoured with a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 by the Rotary Club of Madras (East) on June 13. The cash prizes were distributed to the students by television anchor Gopinath.
D. Anandhi, who has scored 490, is a student of Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School, Saidapet. “Daily revision of lessons helped in preparing for the examination. Constant support and encouragement from parents, teachers and principal helped me to score well.” Talking about her future plans, she said, “I want to become an IAS officer after completing engineering and MBA. I want to serve the people by becoming a civil servant.”
Second rank holder Suganthi, who scored 488 marks out of 500, wants to join IIT. “After completing engineering at IIT, I want to become an IAS officer and serve the nation,” she said. Suganthi is a student of Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School, M.H. Road.
Third-rank holder L. Pavithra, who scored 486 marks, said that she also wanted to become a civil servant. She is a student of Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School, Saidapet. “There was no pressure from my parents. I should thank my teachers and parents for their support,” says Pavithra. R. Divya, who lives on Govindappa Naicken Street, near Flower Bazaar, for the past eight years studied under street lights. Living with her grandmother, who rides a fish cart to eke out a living, she has emerged as a school topper. She is a student of Chennai High School, Walltax Road.
Speaking on the occasion, Gopinath said that the students have proved that the standard of education in Chennai Scools has improved. .
“They have proved to students hailing from marginalised section of society that the latter can emerge as toppers. They have become role-models for other students,”he said.
Parents should not impose their views regarding education and career options on children. They should be allowed to decide what they want to become when they grow up, he added. N.S. Udayakumar, president, Rotary Club of Madras East, welcomed the gathering
The Hindu as published in Hindu Downtown on June 24th, 2012
- May 22, 2012
Meeting held on May 22, 2012
Charter Night on May 22nd, 2012
- May 16, 2012
Meeting held on May 16, 2012
Evils of Black Money – MR Venkatesh on May 16th, 2012
The meeting was started with the President being collared by Sergeant at Arms Rtn Muthukumaran. A silent invocation was followed by a moments silence each for the demise of Akash Dubey ( Initiator the Chennai Terry Fox Run) and father of our Rtn Sivasubramanian earlier this week. A request was made to attend the funeral of Akash on Friday at 1pm at Besant Nagar Crematorium to show our solidarity with the cause that he espoused.
Rtn RM Narayanan gave an account of the Fabulous time that the RCME team had at the RI convention in Bangkok earlier this month. The sheer size and scale of the event and its widespread participation made it even more special. He urged rotarians visiting overseas on work to spare some time to connect to the local rotary there and build contacts with rotarians from other parts of the world.
It was time to introduce the speaker for the evening , done eloquently by PP Venkatakrishnan. The guest speaker M R Venkatesh, a Chartered Accountant by profession is an ardent Swadeshi who spoke with a passion about the evils of BLACK MONEY and how it is disrupting the growth potential of the country. A financial wizard and a consummate speaker, he guided the small gathering of rotarians through the intricases of how Black money is generated, transported and returned to the country.
After a reasonably long Q & A on this subject, A memento was handed over by President Uday to the Chief Guest for his contribution to the evening.
In Secretary’s Announcement, the forthcoming change in date of the meeting and venue due to the Charter Night Celebrations (celebrated yearly to honour the past president of the club and their contributions) on 21st May was announced, the venue is BLUR a gaming zone within Sathyam Cinemas. As a result there is going to be no meeting on Wednesday 23rd May.
After the vote of thanks was proposed by PP Shivaram, the meeting was adjourned.
Rtn. Babu Krishnamoorthy
- May 9, 2012
Meeting held on May 9, 2012
Classification Talk by Rotarians Sridhar and Sundaresan on May 9th, 2012
- May 2, 2012
Meeting held on May 2, 2012
Poverty to Prosperity – Dr. Shivkumar on May 2nd, 2012
- April 25, 2012
Meeting held on April 25, 2012
Scaling in Small and Family Business – Dr. Suresh Srinivasan on April 25th, 2012
- April 10, 2012
Meeting held on April 10, 2012
Meesai Anaalum Manaivi? RCME 2011-12 Board Fellowship on April 10th, 2012
- April 4, 2012
Meeting held on April 4, 2012
RCME makes a donation of Chief Minister’s Thane Relief Fund on April 4th, 2012
- March 28, 2012
Meeting held on March 28, 2012
Is Koodangulam a boon or bane? – Rtn. A Kadiresan on March 28th, 2012
- March 21, 2012
Meeting held on March 21, 2012
Budget Review and Panel Discussion on March 21st, 2012
President Collared by Sergeant at Arms Rtn.PLC (–P.L. Chidambaram). Rtn. Vijayan announced the Birthdays and Anniversary Greetings, after which customary cake cutting happened. Rtn.Sadasivam shared his experience (service Projects) with CSI middle school kids at VGP Golden Beach.
Proceeding to the speakers of the day on the topic “BUDGET 2012”. The topics covered were
1. Direct Taxes by Rtn.Venkatakrishnan
2. In-direct Taxes by Rtn.Purushotam
3. Budget implications on FMCB Cosmetics by Rtn. Shivaram
4. Introduction and Concluding part on the topic by Rtn. Ravishankar
5. Rtn. Gopalakrishnan and Rtn. Rakesh participated in the question and Answer session.
Secretary Rtn. Murugavel Selvan delivered vote of thanks with the announcements and the topic for next weekly meeting.
Ann. Lakshmi Sridhar
- March 14, 2012
Meeting held on March 14, 2012
Governor’s Visit on March 14th, 2012
It was a Governor’s visit like no other! We had the unique opportunity of hosting the event at the site of our featured project of the year – the donation of the Mallis Bipolar Cutting & Coagulation Equipment to the Voluntary Health Service at Taramani, Chennai. The Governor kindly consented to hand over the equipment personally to the Director of VHS and it set the stage for a great day in the annals of RCME.
After a review of the paperwork for the year and a sumptuous breakfast at President Uday’s house, the big contingent made its way to the VHS at Taramani. The event was well attended with several of our members as well as staff of VHS present. The equipment was graciously received by the VHS following a very informative presentation of its need and the effect it will have on the community. The VHS kindly consented to allow the use of their facilities to conduct the Governor’s review.
The business end of the meeting was an eye opener to me and other members as to how seriously our district treats its mandate. At times, rotary does seem like all fun and little work but anyone who attended that meeting received a reminder of the nature and extent of the responsibilities of our club. The Governor patiently listened to the power packed presentations by our Directors and then proceeded to ask several pointed questions. I am happy to report that we handled all of his questions with aplomb and came out with flying colours. It was a day that made me proud to be a Rotarian and a member of RCME!
The evening was a gala affair with all of our achievements on full display. Sada pulled off a heist by capturing the morning event’s on the backdrop for the evening. The Governor was amazed at our organizational capabilities and commended us for our professionalism. He stated that RCME was the premier club in the district that set an example for others to follow. We ended the night with a fantastic dinner served by Park Sheraton making it a day to remember for a long time to come.
Rtn. Ravi Venkataramani
- March 7, 2012
Meeting held on March 7, 2012
Preventing Obesity & Diabetes – Sheela Rani Chunkath on March 7th, 2012
- February 29, 2012
Meeting held on February 29, 2012
A Musical Marriage
Meeting was brought to order by President Rtn Udayakumar after Rtn Venkatadri sergeant in arms gave the ribbon to him.
Secretary Rtn Murugavel Selvan was present along with the president. Chief guests Ms Ujjaini and Edward De Genero were called on stage.
Rtn Rakesh read out the birthdays for the month of February.
President Elect Dr.Uma then gave a brief account of the PETS training in Singapore. She also spoke about the ambitious school project in Pallikaranai. A govt school with no benches, roofs and toilets for the students will be renovated and built using rotary grants.
Rtn.V.A. Ramesh made an appeal about funding for a photo journalist to travel and attend the Wisden prize giving ceremony in London.
Rtn Sreen Raghavan introduced Ms.Ujjaini and Mr.Edward Degenero.
Edward started off about how they got to know about each other. He was initially reluctant to mix work and relationship however Ujjaini prevailed. That has then taken them on a journey to where they are now trying to release a fusion album together. Edward was taken back initially by the cultural differences. Ujjaini was a perfectionist to the core due to her classical training in Hindustani and Carnatic music, whereas he was a poster boy for ADD (attention deficit disorder) and would accept any Indian sounding music to be added even without proper tuning. He was a typical western ‘happy go lucky ‘guy and would wait for a happy accident to happen and create music, whereas Ujjaini wanted to visualize the picture completely in her brain before even starting the painting, the same for music as well. They talked about the 72 melakartas and Edward’s interpretation using his strength in numbers and a mathematical way of approaching the ragas. Edwards was surprised that these ragas were made with computer like precision even few thousand years ago.
Ujjaini was requested to sing, she obliged by singing an AR Rahman hit number from Azhagiya Tamizh Magan – nee Marilyn Monroe cloningaa. She swiftly changed to a Bengali folk number with Edward accompanying in guitar.
A question answers session from Rotarians continued, Edward had classical western training till the age of 15. His father himself was a strict disciplinarian and classical musician. Ujjaini was a corporate high flyer who came to Chennai in search of music opportunities in Kollywood. It was interesting to note the contrasts between the west and east, where the teachers encourage the students to ask questions and to even question the teachers if the need arises. However in the Indian system, it would be seen as arrogant to question the teacher. Edward has found it difficult to teach our Indian students for the same reasons. “Give me roomful of arrogant students” he said.
Past president Rtn Gurumukh gave away the mementos.
Our secretary made announcements about the next meet. “Greatness of Ayurveda” by Ms Sheela Rani Chungath IAS next week.
Next week there is club assembly and governors meet in VHS and later in park Sheraton.
Rtn Babu Krishnamoorthy gave the vote of thanks.
Rtn. Dr. S Thiagarajamurthy
- February 22, 2012
Meeting held on February 22, 2012
Miracles do happen
We had a dancer in our midst and a famous one at that, Srekala Bharath. Little did we know, her presence at our meeting was a miracle in itself.
President Uday was collared by PL Chidambaram after which he called the meeting to order. The guests of the evening, Vijayan and Ramamoorthi were recognized following which Balaji greeted the members celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries in the past week. Swaminathan fondly recollected his memories from the Pondy fellowship and the closeness he felt with the rotary family. Muthukumaran made an announcement about the participation of RCME in Polio Plus with immunizations being down in 4 health centers in North Madras. He also recognized the tireless efforts made by Firoze year after year in this effort and how we were very close to being Polio free in India.
Gnanesh spoke about the new program RCME has initiated called the Abdul Kalam Fellowship in conjunction with Winners Bakery, Hot Breads and the Chennai Corporation. The plan is to screen, select and coach 100 students from corporation schools to achieve success at IIT, Engineering and Medical entrance examinations. In addition, we also plan to use the surplus from Winners Bakery to contribute to the Thane Cyclone Relief fund as well as to help build toilers for Girl students in the Kanchipuram corporation schools.
Rajsekar then had the honor of introducing our newest member, Dr. Vasudha. Dr. Vasudha is a distinguished doctor and is now a recognized expert in the field of hospital administration. She was a past member of Rotary Club of Indraprastha in New Delhi. Incidentally her spouse, Dr. Rajsekar, is also a doctor, a surgeon of high standing in the field of liver transplants. RCME warmly welcomes Vasudha and her family to our club.
The focus shifted to the speaker of the evening who was introduced by her good friend Balashanmugham.
When the going gets tough, the tough get goingis how he remembers Srekala. Srekala has been dancing from the tender age of 7 and has been trained by K. J. Sarasa. She married her husband, cricket player Bharath, at the young age of 18. She spoke about her passion, Bharathanatyam, which she called a divine dance form as very part of the body gets involved in this art form. She expounded on how a dance performance is very structured with up to 8 different parts. Her passion was very evident as was her devotion to dancing.
Shen then revealed a little known fact as to how she was diagnosed with Brain Meningioma in 1984 and had to go through an intense brain surgery to get the condition rectified. It did not end there! A few years later, she was then diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disorder, which basically meant she could not dance any longer. Luckily, the condition was diagnosed properly and she had another surgery in 1992 to remove the thymus. All this before before she hit 30. It definitely is a big miracle that she moved on from her setbacks to become the highly celebrated dance she is today. She attributed her success to the 3 D’s,
Determination, Dedication and Devotioncoupled with destiny. A key learning to take away is that while miracles do happen, an unyielding passion is most important to make sure that they count.
President aptly quoted from Tolstoy, “Sound Mind in a Sound Body”. After announcements by Secretary Selvan, Surendra delivered the vote of thanks. Surendra, a trained Kuchipudi dancer, glorified Chennai and Tamilnadu, for their zealous support for music and dance, as the cultural capital of the country. The meeting was then adjourned.
Rtn. Ravi Venkataramani
- February 15, 2012
Meeting held on February 15, 2012
The Journey of an Entrepreneur
The meeting on February 15 2012 promised to be an inspring one with a hugely successful entrepreneur as the guest of the evening. President Uday called the meeting to order and invited Surendra to deliver the birthday and anniversary greetings. Ballu then provided the final details for the Pondy fellowship which promsied to be a fun packed getaway.
Mr.Sarabeswar, Chairman and CEO of CCCL then gave a unique and motivating talk on “The Journey of an Entrepreneur“ . His words from heart are:
From the calm and serene village atmosphere of Mayialduarai , off Tanjore, the third son of a Teacher, was preached all along school days that pension job is the solution for comfortable living, studied in the safe heaven of Regional Engineering college, Trichy, worked in a leading construction company, worked as an executive in Middle East, the decision for Sarabeswar to change the career to the Hard World of Business was not by luck, but due to the “burning in belly” to achieve and do something great. Sarabeswar explained the insults and hardships he faced in the initial startup period of the company and due to his perseverance and passion to the Industry, he not only overcame difficulties but able to achieve the sweet success.
One example is, the way every Financial Institution refused to give Loan/Over draft , in 1997 and to the present scenario of a Joint M.D of a leading Nationalised Bank visiting his office for finalizing a large loan for CCCL’s project.
He also enthralled the audience about how adversities can be made success – the first job at Chindadirpet, which was refused by his peers , as being difficult, was completed against many odds, because of the hard work by entire team of CCL, which resulted GOODWILL as well as further works.
Similar case, is the first but complicated job at Infosys & with the timely and satisfactory completion now, yielding continuous works of millions of Sqft buildings from Infosys, year after year to CCCL
The unique business model he adopted was , Grab the jobs which peers say difficult, but put your soul to synthesise , delegate, find solutions, be of proper service to the clients, then automatically results will come.
Another highlight of his talk was Corporate Social Responsibility aspect that CCCL is doing
- They take the lowest 10 rank students in Corporation schools & train them for betterment. (He informed that in one School, where the lowest rank student, after training became First in the class)
- Skill development programme for construction labourers – CCCL is one of the early birds to establish Training centres, where stipend is given to the labourers during training & thereafter placement given in the company itself.
Mr.Sarabeswar also explained the features of Chennai Air port extension & Metro Rail project that they are doing, wherein contemporary technology, materials are used.
Past President Rajni Turakhia then presented the memento to the chief guest. After announcements by Secretary Selvan regarding the speaker for the next week, the floor turned to Srini (100) to deliver the vote of thanks recognising the inspiring body of achievement built by Mr. Sarabeswar. The inspiring meeting was then adjourned by President day.
- February 8, 2012
Meeting held on February 8, 2012
Idayaganam at Bala Mandir - a report
Thanks a lot for the overwhelming response and your presence in large numbers at Bala Mandir. We even had visiting rotarians Rtn. Phelomena Davi and Rtn. Jim Davis of RC Bradley Sunrise participating in the project.
We had one of the finest Idayaganam program on February 8 2012 at Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust, T.Nagar. To see 350 children singing, dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves was a moving sight. Chairman Ramana had planned every detail meticulously. We had sundal and kesari along with coffee served by smiling children at 5.45 PM. By 6 pm we had the children arriving neatly in batches and sitting down in rows. The FMLR Rotarians who have always supported the project viz., Rtn. Ilamkumaran, Rtn. Rajaram, Ann. Srimathi, Ann. Shanthi were ready with their tracks by around 6.15 and for the next one hour had the children dancing to their songs. Our own chief Ram, already a celebrity among the children, thanks to Ezam Arrivu, compered the program for a short while.
We had the formal announcements at 7.30 PM with President Uday, Secretary Selvan, Chairman Ramana and yours truly in the dias. RCME donated Rs.30,000 worth of vessels. The evening dinner for the day was also sponsored by RCME.
Thanks to all Rotarians, Anns and Annets who had visited in large numbers and supported the project with their presence and donations. We also thank the FMLR music team who even rehearsed for this project so that they can sing new songs which will be enjoyed by the children. Thanks to their passion for music and the rotary cause, this project has been a clear beneficiary.
Idayaganam is one of those programs which balances charity, social responsibility, entertainment, fellowship and a sense of satisfaction and yesterday›s project scored well on all these counts.
- February 1, 2012
Meeting held on February 1, 2012
A Shining Star from Ceylon
Another star studded evening to several others this rotary year, RCME played host to Actor Radhika Sarathkumar on February 1 2012. We had a packed room with several rotarians and anns eager to hear Radhika speak. President Uday called the meeting to order following which Rakesh greeted the rotarians celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries in the past week. Sydney Murali then briefed the audience on the completion of the PHCC tournament with Mohandas XI taking the honors. He welcomed everyone to attend the Valedictory ceremony on February 4th at Rtn. CL Ranganthan’s house as is the norm every year. Ballu reminded everyone that the Pondy fellowship tour was near and encouraged the members to register quickly. The focus quickly shifted to the star of the evening with Chief Ram introducing Radhika to the members.
Radhika, as expected, vowed the audience with her charm and easy style. She talked about the benefits and challenges of growing up in an acting family. She was introduced to films at an early age by Bharatiraja in the movie
Kizhake Pogum Rail. She recollected how people were very nice to her making for a very memorable debut film. She had a prolific film career for several years as a lead actress but broke the stereotype in the movie Jeans acting as a villain. She talked briefly about her husband Sarathkumar and how jealous she was that male actors can play lead roles well into their 60s but female actors need to move on to older roles as soon they hit their mid 30s.
Radhika however did not step aside quietly, she started a very successful media production company called Radaan Media. Her company has produced several top rated TV shows and she continues to star in many of them. In short, Radikaa Sarathkumar is a living example of how talent and hard work coupled with a vision to succeed can bring laurels that will sing her praises for eternity. The star from Ceylon is shining as bright as ever!
Sada delivered the vote of thanks and President adjourned the meeting.
- January 25, 2012
Meeting held on January 25, 2012
Meeting with Dr. Kannan Pugazhendi on Wednesday, 25th January 2012.
- January 18, 2012
Meeting held on January 18, 2012
Row Row Row your scull?
The members of RCME made a bee line for the Hyatt Hotel by 6:30 PM to attend the weekly meeting on 18th January which, after the usual sumptuous snacks and hi-tea served there, started in right earnestness at 7:00 PM sharp.
President Uday called the meeting to order with Secretary Murugavel in attendance with a strength of about 30 members.
After the silent invocation, Rtn. Rakesh Chand announced names of Rotarians and members of their family, celebrating their birthday/anniversary during the week and a delicious cake was cut by those who were present at the meeting.
Rtn Babu announced the RYLA programs for the month and requested maximum presence from the members.
PP Rtn Balaraman was in his elements, as he enthusiastically explained with help of video clippings on the meticulous planning that was going into the fellowship tour to Pondy planned for Feb ’12; and the fact that every aspect of the trip had been clearly defined, was the highlight that made even Pres Uday to enthuse more members to join with their families and make this a memorable trip. That a nearby location should not be mistaken as an anytime-we-can-go event was emphasised by both Ballu and Uday.
Rtn. Babu again took the mike, this time to introduce the Speaker for the evening, Mr Farid A Husain. The subject of ROWING, seems to be a favourite for Mr Farid and he dwelt upon its various facets, as an exercise, as a sport, as an event, as a passion and how it is promoted in other countries, as well as how it goes through obstacles and difficulties in our country.
For instance, did you know that :
- This is one sport where you can constantly see your competition that is behind you, as you row backwards towards the finish line?
- The boat you ride is called a scull?
- If your happen to fall off the scull, you would invariably land head first into the water?
- You need a tetanus shot if you happen to fall into the contaminated and polluted Adyar river, which is the main river for rowing activity?
- This is considered a complete exercise activity as various parts of the body work in tandem for rowing?
- The scull you row weighs just 60 kgs and can be carried by you alone from one place to another?
Many such interesting points were brought out by Mr Farid in the course of his talk and his interest and involvement was noticeable by all present.
After the talk, the Pres handed over a memento to the Speaker and on completion of the Secretary’s announcements, Rtn. Sanjeevi thanked the speaker and visiting Rotarians and guests.
The meeting was then adjourned by the President Rtn. Uday in true and regular fashion.
Rtn. V A R.
- January 4, 2012
Meeting held on January 4, 2012
M.J. Shriram - A Multifaceted Personality (Jan 4th, 2012)
President Uday called the meeting to order. After the customary cake cutting, President Uday then invited PHCC Chairman Sudhakar for his announcement on Paul Harris Cricket Carnival (PHCC). Sudhakar informed members that the inauguration of the much awaited carnival will happen on the 8th of January 2012 at Loyola College grounds and asked the members to be present in large numbers.
Gopal asked members to attend the Cancer Awareness Event at Cancer Hospital on January 7th. Siva was called on to introduce new member Dr. Thiagarajamurthy following which he was pinned by Past President Balaram.
President then called on Babu Krishnamoorthy to introduce Mr. M.J. Shriram to the audience. M.J. Shriram started singing at an early age and is a very accomplished singer. He is a diehard Illayaraja fan and has performed in his cinema choruses on numerus occasions.
He formed the group called SHRIRAhaM, in the year 1996, since then it’s been moving places. So far he has completed around 5500 stage shows as a Singer, crossed around 750 shows as a group.
He sings regularly at the Residency hotel every week where he sings Illayaraja hits. He felt that songs like “Kolaveri” have a very short shelf life unlike eternal numbers composed by Illayaraja.
He rendered a couple of memorable songs for the audience which was appreciated by all.This was followed by an interactive Q & A session.
Ann Deepa Thiagarajamurthy presented the memento to the speaker and our inhouse professional singer Sada delivered the vote of thanks.
The meeting was then adjourned by President Uday.
- December 21, 2011
Meeting held on December 21, 2011
Proceedings of the meeting held on 21st Dec 2011 at Hyatt Regency.
The meeting called to order by President Uday and laying the agenda for the evening and welcoming the guests and visiting Rotarians, guests and visitors.
Rtn. Ramakrishnan, representing the hosts for the Saturday “DIRTY RETREAT”, fellowship gave an exciting account of what was in store for the Saturday noon time fellowship between 11am and 2.30pm off ECR. Sand bikes and beach events had been planned to make the event an out of ordinary experience.
Rtn. Hema Sheth invited one and all to her daughters wedding on 29th Dec (Thursday) which is the venue of the next weekly meeting of the club.
Pres Uday gave a brief account of the past 6 months of action namely stressing on the Family participation theme that the weekly meetings were well attended by Rtns. and families as well. The important events in the past 6 months were apart from the fellowships, various awards and their coverage, were Membership Development, Service projects , RYLA, donations to TSN college, Terry fox run among others. He was confident that the next six months would continue to be as exciting and meaningful Rotary work that his team will deliver with the support of all the members of the Club.
Next it was the turn of the returning officer PP Rajendran, announce details of the incoming Board members for the Rotary year 2012-13, lead by Rtn. Uma Maheswari. Board members and their avenue of service is enclosed below. As each member was called they reach the dias and then there was photo op that was executed to finesse by our Dr P Srinivasan, from his phone camera.
Amendments to the club bylaws proposed by Rtn. P L Chidambaram and Seconded by Rtn. Sydney Murali were discussed and accepted.
Rtn. P L Chidambaram then made a fervent appeal to one and all to suggest meaningful projects encompassing the corporation schools or any other corporation related project for public good where the funds accumulated by WINNERS project could be put to meaningful use. A committee comprising of PPShivram, PP Ganesan, PP Gyaneswar, Rtn. Gopal, PP PL Chidambaram, and Rtn. Sudhakar was announced to mull over various ideas and the best ones could be chosen for implementation. The deadline for the ideas to be submitted in softcopy is 31st Dec 2011, and the committee will come up with its report for implementation by 15th Jan 2012.
Rtn. Shivaram appealed to Rotarians to ensure that they responded to all common mails individually instead of REPLY ALL, since it was choking the mail boxes.
With no more ado, the meeting was adjourned.
Rtn. T. Muthukumaran
- December 14, 2011
Meeting held on December 14, 2011
PP Rajendran collared President Uday who then called the meeting to order. After the customary cake cutting, Pres Uday then invited Krishna Prasad for his announcement on Paul Harris Cricket Carnival (PHCC). KP informed members that the inauguration of the much awaited carnival will happen on the 8th of January 2012 at Loyola College grounds.
PP Ramakrishnan asked members to get ready for “Dirty Partying”, a fellowship event to be hosted by a group of Rotarians on 24th December.
It was then time for Gopal to brief members about Lakhmi Chidambaram, a chess player who is being supported by our club. It was indeed very gratifying to listen to her father giving an account of how this little girl is doing wonders in the national and international arena, with very limited resources.
President then called upon Sada to introduce Mr. K Bhaskaran to the audience.
Mr Bhaskaran spoke on music & mind. He said music lets one think “out of the box”, trigger right-brain thinking, creativity etc. He, in fact stated that the brain is like the “hardware’ whereas the mind is the “software”…….
Being an accomplished flautist, Mr Bhaskaran did keep the audience spellbound with some short compositions. This was followed by an interactive Q & A session .
Secretary Selvan reminded members to be present at Hyatt for the General Body Meeting ( closed door meeting) on 21st December.
This was followed by an interactive Q & A session .
The meeting was then adjourned by President Uday.
- December 7, 2011
Meeting held on December 7, 2011
Efforts towards literate india. Rtn. Uma was collared to act as President. She called the evening meet to order with a silent invocation. Rtn. Rakesh ensured the cash register was ringing through a sunshine pour, as birthdays and wedding anniversaries were announced. Rtn. R M Narayan introduced the speakers. Teach for India, as we were told appears to be a maverick endeavour. Stringent criteria were deployed to select young aspirants who had aptitude and enthusiasm to transform the current deplorable literacy state. Investing in them quality teaching skills, they are expected to work in very less privileged schools along with regular staff. In the question answer session, members expressed inclusive methods with which they too can reach out. Sustainability was another concern. However the thought and efforts in “Teach for India” was adjudged as noble and a brave bold step. Rtn. W A Ramash read out the memento designed for the occasion before presenting them to the Good Samaritan Guests. Rtn. Murugavel Selvan wound yet another memorable meet with secretary’s announcement.
Rtn. Ramesh Kannan
- November 30, 2011
Meeting held on November 30, 2011
Winning ways as told by RI Director Nominee PDG PT.PRABHAKAR
It is not that winners are different, but they do things differently is what PTP was trying to tell us during our weekly meeting as a Guest Speaker. As a leader who has successfully managed the affairs of our District 3230 during his Governorship, he had many wonderful suggestions for being a successful leader. The fact that Rotary International has managed to almost wipe out the dreaded polio virus from the face of the earth is proof enough that Rotary as an organisation has the power, vision and the knowhow to carry out any campaign successfully. Polio will be the only second disease to be conquered in the entire history of human kind so far after small pox, as and when it happens and we are pretty close to it. There are only four countries (PAIN – Pakistan,Afghanistan,India and Nigeria) where polio is still active and in India so far this year we have had only one case detected. Thanks to the efforts of we Rotarians most of the youngsters including those within our family are polio free. But in these days of hectic international travel, no country is safe until every country is safe.
On the Rotary Foundation month ie November, it is only relevant that we Rotarians rededicate ourselves for the cause of eradicating polio, and open up our purse to contribute liberally towards this most noble cause, he appealed.
Earlier after the meeting was called to order by PP Srinivasan who conducted the meeting in place of President Uday we had the pleasant task of inducting two new members into our fold. Mr. Sundaresan & Mr. Raju who were introduced to our club by Rtn.Skandaraj and Rtn.PP.Gnaneshwar respectively.
After the Guest Speaker’s speech and the secretary’s announcement, Rtn.PP Ganesan proposed the formal vote of thanks before the meeting was formally adjourned.
- November 23, 2011
Meeting held on November 23, 2011
Young Achiever Award
As I settle to encapsulate the meeting that happened on the 23rd Nov. at Hyatt, the first thing that springs to my mind is the expeditious and brisk conduct of the meeting. President Uday enjoys being on the fast track, and fast it was... meeting completed in half an hour! and no mean task this, considering that it was the Young Achievers Award presentation.
A lot of hard work obviously goes into the selection of the Awardees, Rtn. Ramachandran and Rtn. Babu Krishnamurthy by their own admission had to scrutinise quite q few achievers before zeroing in on-
*Balaji Arumugam- a deceptively dimunitive IX Std boy, a knife fighter, having won over 25 State and 30 District level awards- aspiring to participate in the Olympics.
*Lokesh- a prodigy, who started painting when he was just 2 years old. He is all set to receive a award from the President of India on Dec 3rd in recognition of his amazing talent.
*Isai Arasan- identified through the Nethrodaya Trust, overcoming his disability to hone not just academics but the keyboard, singing, acting, and even chess.
Who better to present the award to these deserving candidates, than squash champion, Asian Junior Champion (Under14, Under19),Winner of the Australian Open, endorsing leading sports brands, attractive and smart- Deepika Pallakal. As she presented the awards Deepika admitted that she was over awed by the achievements of the recipients and wished them well in their endeavours.
The Awards came with a handsome cash prize this year. The reason being, over the years it was discovered that some candidates were not able to pay even their fare to the venue of the awards function. Rtn.Murugavel Selvan stepped in to bridge this lacuna and instituted a cash prize in the name of his late father, Sivan Arul Selvan, making this a coveted award.
Thanking their parents seemed to be the common thread of thought, not just of the recipients, but also of the chief guest. This was highlighted by Past President Rtn. Gnanesh, in his vote of thanks, when he outlined the importance of the family as a support group.
The meeting was adjourned with the Secy. Rtn. Murugavel Selvan’s announcements, that the speaker for the next meeting would be Rtn. P.T. Prabhakar on the Rotary Foundation.
- November 16, 2011
Meeting held on November 16, 2011
IDAYA GANAM at Vishranthi – Old Age Home
What a serene way to start the IDAYA GANAM for the year 2011 to 2012. It is one of premier event of RCME and speaks volumes of enthusiast interest in Rtn.Ramana , Rtn.Gopal and President Uday on this project. All of us have been waiting for this to kick off after multiple events , fellowship tours and fireside chats. We had start this year IDAYA GANAM at Vishranthi Old Age home, in Palavakkam
Honoring and respecting our mothers come first before any one else – as the age old powerful saying - Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deivam. Like the saying goes, it is perfect start to IDAYA GANAM this year. Role played by mothers in shaping ones life is very important and RCME did our little part to be with them on Wednesday to recognize them.
I read about a discussion between sage and a pupil about the role played by mothers and equating them to Goddess. Pupil was lamenting about how his/her prayers unanswered by a certain Goddess, and Sage replied :
“Never suspect your mother’s intentions. When you were newborn, did she feed you, keep you clean and healthy because you asked her to do such things? No. Till you became old enough to think for yourself and make demands on her, you had completely entrusted yourself to her care. And when you started making demands as a grown up child, she conceded only such demands which in her Judgment were good for you and declined the rest. You even got angry with her and hated her whenever she declined your demands though such feelings were momentary. To our Goddess we are all children in a cradle. Leave yourself completely in Her. She knows what to give and when to give. This is just one of the examples equating a mother to a Goddess”
Rtn. Ramana’s (Call of duty) has been gearing up for this for some time and he was the first one receive us along with President Uday. Rtn. Ramana made perfect arrangements and everything was in place for the evening.
We had two full hour singing sessions with mixture of semi-classical and old film songs by Ms. Srimathi, Rtn. Ilamkumaran, Rtn. Rajaram from FMLR participated along with our own PP Ganesan, Sada, Ann Sujatha, Annet Mansvini and Skanda Vyas. We had two inmates singing and children inmates dancing to tunes of singers.
RCME donated a 42” LCD TV, One water heater, 25 Tube lights apart from donating towards the dinner expense of the evening. Rotarians Surendra Kumar, Papa Rao, Srini 100, President Uday contributed towards the cost.
There were around 172 inmates including Old age women, children .It is run by Ms.Savithri Hari who is 81 years old (!). They have nursing facility with doctors including Ayurvedic and Homeopathic doctors making frequent visits.
The project was attended by about 20 Rotarians and families. The Vishranthi management and inmates thanked RCME for its gesture and we all returned home with their blessings.
- November 9, 2011
Meeting held on November 9, 2011
Social Media Trumps All!
The adage” the pen is mightier than the sword” is apparently passe: the Social Network media, exemplified by the likes of twitter, facebook and youtube, has supplanted the pen, making it more powerful and potent - whether in the overthrow of Middle Eastern despots or in the building (or destruction) of a product’s brand images, especially with the GenY set, than either the written word or the sword.
That seemed to be the gist of an interesting and informative talk by Sourav Jain, whose work is in this field. The talk primarily focused on how such media can be intelligently, cost-effectively and productively used to market a firm’s products or services, through a number of real life examples such as Fastrack watches. Mr Jain also pointed out that the Social Network could be a double-edged sword, especially if your product/ service was poor or faulty, as this would be mercilessly highlighted in the fora. He shared the recent case of the delays in Kingfisher airlines and another case of a bakery, whose products were perceived to be of poor quality, both of which were “tweeted” extensively, resulting in diminishing the brand image, with the latter outfit deciding to withdraw itself from the space, as a result of the negative publicity. At any rate, Mr Jain warned, there was no option to ignore this powerful medium, except at your peril: the Network was growing very rapidly, @ 8% p.a., and is expected to play a major role in marketing strategies of firms. The Social Network is quite pervasive, touching all of us in different capacities: as individuals sharing personal info or searching for answers, as consumers sharing our experiences - good or bad, or as producers marketing our services/ products.
Earlier the meeting began with the Greetings List read out by PP Ganesan; PP Balaraman spoke about an upcoming Fellowship at Pondicherry Feb 17-19th; Rtn. Ramana shared with members details re the first Idhaya Ganam program next Wednesday (Feb 16) at Vishranthi and solicited funds towards purchase of a new and larger TV set for the inmates as the existing one was very old; President Uday volunteered to sponsor 25 tubelights and PP ganesan, a geyser for the facility. Rtn. Sudhakar briefed about the plans being made for the PHCC in Jan 2012. He also indicated that PP PLC, Dr MS Ravi, and Rtn. Surendar had come forward to donate Rs 10,000 each toward this flagship event of RCME (and that more would be welcome). Rtn. Ramana also informed the members that a city-based fellowship at Hotel Marriott is scheduled for December 19th.
The meeting concluded past 8pm after the speaker took a number of questions on the contentious nature of this topic, providing unintended amusement for members, and a Vote of Thanks by Rtn. Shreen Raghavan.
Rtn. Shreen Raghavan
- November 9, 2011
Meeting held on November 9, 2011
Rohini Shines Brighter than Ever!
The weekly Wednesday meeting had an aura of glamour with Actress Rohini being the main speaker. However as always in Rotary, it was not the aura of the star but the topic she chose, “Children & Adolescence”, that everyone was intrigued about. The meeting was first off to its customary start with President Uday inviting Rotarians, Anns and their guests. Then it was onto the birthday and wedding anniversary announcments by Rtn. Ramesh Kannan. Rtn. RMN Narayanan then gladly announced the successful fund raising done for the VHS project with the pleasant surprise that our funds would be matched by matching grants from Rotary Foundation.
It was then the turn of Ann.Veena to give a wonderful introduction of the speaker Rohini. It turns out that she has been a star right from her childhood days and has also won accolades of Best Actress for “Stree” in Telugu and the more recently the “Kalaimamani” from Tamilnadu Government for the year 2010. Rohini started her talk by emphasising that she was very interested in this topic as that was something near and dear to her. Even though she was only 5, she felt she had no choice and that she was made to be a movie star. She cautioned parents on being very open especially with children and having close dialogues with them all the time. Children she felt require that comfort and will not openly express themselves otherwise. They may act in various ways like being distracted or irritated and those are signals that parents should pick up. Especially when it comes to adolescents, it is very important to explain to them about hormonal changes in the child’s body and the effects of these. In all she was for open dialog and not brushing the truth under the carpet as many in society especially ours tend to do. In fact this motivated her to make a documentary on child actors titled “Silent Hues” which even won her international recognition. As she was ending her speech, Rohini stressed again that addressing unpleasant topics like puberty in teens etc. should be boldly addressed and discussed by parents with their teenage children. She feels that these days even women have platforms to express themselves freely but still children seem to be not having the freedom to do so. After a few Q&A from audience, her talk concluded with a thunderous ovation.
It was then onto announcements from Secretary Rtn. Selvan and the evening ended with a warm vote of thanks from Rtn.Ravi Venkataramani. In all an informative evening where real topics of teens today was discussed by an Actress and for a change not the usual film/movies oriented discussion that we expect from film stars.
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan
- October 19, 2011
Meeting held on October 19, 2011
AWARD IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR OF MEDICINE PRESENTED TO THE CINDERALLA OF MEDICINE.
This was the theme of our weekly meeting on 19 October 2011 at the Hyatt Regency.
As the dignitaries walked up to occupy their chairs, it looked like a dream come true.
Dr. KV Tiruvengadam, Dr. Sarada Menon, Mr N Kumar along with our President Rtn. Uday, Secretary Rtn. Murugavel, Co-sponsor for the function, Dr. MS Ravi and chairman for the program, Rtn. Srinivasan made a beautiful sight and this was immediately confirmed by the lensmen, clicking away to glory.
The meeting started at 7:00 PM sharp, with a solemn invocation song rendered by Ann. Veena Ramaswamy, followed by welcome address by the President and then cake cutting, on the occasion of Dr. KVT’s birthday a few days ago.
Rtn. Srinivasan highlighted the salient features of the award and the citation,prepared by Rtn. Gyaneshwar was also read out by him.
The award was thereafter presented to the recipient, Dr. M Sarada Menon for her meritorious services to the needy and under privileged in affordable health care services, by the chief guest, Mr. N Kumar, Vice-Chairman, Sanmar group.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Sharada Menon spoke very passionately about this field of medicine, which has had dominance throughout her life, Schizophrenia or mental illness. With all the achievements and milestones that she has crossed in her profession, her mentioning that she has many more goals to achieve in her preferred speciality, was an eye opener to the audience.
Co-sponsor for the event, Dr. MS Ravi mentioned that he was very proud to be associated with this award function and in the presence of such great luminaries as Dr. KV Tiruvengadam and Dr. Sarada Menon, he felt humbled. It was very gratifying to hear his commitment to support this function for many more years.
In his trademark smooth and calm manner, Dr. KV Thiruvengadam elucidated the excellent work done by Dr. Sarada Menon, over the past many decades. It was very interesting to listen to his mention of his professional association with the recipient over more than 40 years. With satisfaction and joy, he turned to the recipient and anointed her as the ‘Cinderella of Medicine’.
With Rtn. Shreen Raghavan introducing the chief guest, Mr N Kumar in his inimitable and relaxed manner recalled his family’s Association with Dr. KVT over the generations and mentioned it was a privilege to be present when a veteran such as Dr. Sarada Menon was being recognised for her unparalleled service to the medical profession.
He made particular reference to the excellent work being turned out by Rotary Club of Madras East and expressed that he has some interesting projects in mind to be considered and implemented by our Club.
Mementos were then handed over to the dignitaries and after Rtn. Surendra touched upon the recent successful fellowship visit to Dubai, the secretary made the customary announcements about the next meeting.
Rtn. Umamaheshwari, the incoming president, proposed the vote of thanks in her customary fluent style and the President adjourned the meeting after the national anthem was sung in unison.
Rtn. V A R
- October 12, 2011
Meeting held on October 12, 2011
Hey Dubai Tour Team...
The journey began on Wednesday night at 11.30 with the drive to the airport to have Rtn. Kumar and Kruthika welcoming us at the airport with all our visas. We checked in and loitered around till the flight started off by 3.15 am. We were educated by Rtn.Rakesh Chand on how to stay/eat/drink free in chennai airport. If you have a Mastercard, I guess everything is free inside the lounge! We reached Sharjah 10 minutes ahead of schedule and then 2 luxury buses took us on a lovely drive to the city of Dubai landing at The Rolla Residency in 45 minutes’ time. A special mention must be made that Mr and Mrs Rtn.Ravidas left Chennai early for Dubai just to receive us at the Hotel when we arrived.
We headed straight to the restaurant to devour a sumptuous breakfast at compu speed !!!!!!. Hot idlis, chutney, noodles, potatoes, fruits, Cereals, breads juices etc. We then checked into our rooms and went straight to bed. We all had spacious suites while some of the Rotarians even had a double bed room suite. We rested for a couple of hours and by 12.30 started off to The Aryas to have our lunch. Our lunch was sponsored by Rtn. Muthu Kumar. Every item was cooked with love as ingredient, the highlights being the kara kozhambu and Ada prathaman.
After lunch, we set off to see The Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world attached to the Tallest structure in the world “The Burj Khalifa”. Here we spent time shopping, and seeing the biggest Aquarium and the waterfall. We then assembled at “At the top” at the bottom most part (paradox) of the building! (kindly sponsored by president). Exactly at 6 pm we entered the lift at The Burj khalifa and reached the 124th floor in just a minute. The lift is indeed the fastest we have experienced. They could also be just changing numbers in the display!. We had a lot of photos taken and collected lots of information about the place. The structure is about 828 meters long, built with 35000 metric tons of iron. From the top-most floor, we can see as far as 98 kms. We then returned to the mall and saw the musical fountain, which splashes water upto 100 feet high with a Hindi song as an accompaniment. This is very similar to the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
On Day 2, we spent about 2 hours at the electronics mall called Plug-inns and at IKEA furniture mart. Lots of money was spent with heavy shopping at IKEA from fellow Rotarians. After lunch and shopping at the Emirates mall, we headed back to our rooms. In the evening, at around 6 pm, we headed out for the Cruise. We had a red carpet welcome by Uday and gang with the cruise ship fully lit giving us an Arabic flavour. The ship had 2 decks with the top deck arranged as a party hall, and the one below arranged as a dining hall. The whole dining hall had more dishes than the table/chairs. We had a Lebanese/Arabic singer singing Arabic songs. Some Rotarians even taught him how to sing a hindi song. We had a gala time there singing, dancing and helping ourselves to a well spread dinner. Some of our Rotarians tried Indian/Arabic singing and belly dancing too. The route chosen was scenic/beautiful with lots of sky scrapers in the background. Our dinner and the cruise was sponsored by our dear president Uday. We returned to our hotel reluctantly by 11pm.
On the morning of Day 3, we were left on our own and so a few of us visited their relatives, a few went to Meena Bazaar and the others went to the Gold Souk. Whatever little was left in Gold Souk was purchased by us as the earlier batch swiped off most the gold in the Gold Souk! By 3pm, all of us assembled and started off to our desert safari in 13 Land cruisers. It was a lovely drive. We stopped to have our tyres deflated and then on to our exciting rides which went on for about half an hour. It was similar to a roller coaster ride with the Land Cruiser zipping, skidding and dropping. We stopped for a photo session and also at a Camel farm. We also had pictures taken with the Falcons and by 6 arrived at cute little tents (more than 30) set up right in the middle of the desert. Here we had camel rides, runs on a sand slide, good drinks and a mouth watering dinner finally followed by the grand finale “ The belly dance “. The belly dancer was graceful and quite a professional dancing to foot tapping Arabian music. Rotarians did try their hands on a Hookah as well and then we started off to our hotel.
On Sunday morning, we had a good breakfast and started checking out by 9 am. With all our luggage in the bus, we went on a City tour. It was a guided tour giving a chance to learn about the UAE and its people. 7 families rule the 7 states which combine to make the UAE. About 195 nationalities live in Dubai. The main income for the UAE is from the 2.4 million barrels of oil they drill out every day and is about 185 million USD per day. Water is more expensive than oil in the UAE!. We went around the Jumeriah mosque built in the Egyptian style, Burj Al Arabhotel, Armani Dubai hotel, The Atlantis and Palm Jumeriah. We heard that Shah Rukh Khan has a villa in the Palm Jumeriah. By 1 pm we reached the Dragon mart, the last mall for this visit. This stretches for about a kilometer having all Chinese products. By 4.45pm, we set off to Sharjah airport. We were all checked in by 6.30 and in our flight by 9pm. We all had a lovely dinner very well packed by organizers.
The entire trip was very well organized by Kumar Ashirvadam, Srini Rao and team. Hats off to their efforts and we would like to thank our president Uday for making it a very memorable and enjoyable trip.
Ann Veena and Rtn. Srini (100)
- October 6, 2011
Meeting held on October 6, 2011
It was a high tea meeting at the Bheemannapet Community College (BCC) premises on the auspicious Vijayadasamy day, the day Goddesses Saraswathi is worshiped.. Guest were greeted with hot puffs, chocolate cake and masala tea at 4.30 in the evening. In the absence of President Uday, Rtn. Umamaheshwari, President Elect called the meeting to order followed by a melodious rendering of the Tamil thai vazhuthu by the students of BCC. Rtn. Uma then welcomed the gathering comprising of Rotarians, students of BCC and Winners, faculty members and the print media. We had two visiting rotarians from RC Madras Coromandel, President Bala and Rtn. Subbu.
BCC Project chairman, PP Rtn. Venkat addressed the students on the importance of computer awareness and the relevance of the project. Winners Project Chairman PP Rtn. PL Chidambaram then talked about the beginning the BCC project had in the earlier days and the need to enroll more number of students currently.
The certificates were then distributed to about 15 students of BCC and 6 of Winners. Hot Breads founder Mr. M. Mahadevan, who was the guest of honour then joined us in congratulating the students and posed for photos with the students.
Rtn. Natarajan welcomed everyone to a program by singer Suda Raghunathan at the corporation school at Thiruvanmiyur on Monday, 10th October 2011 @ 10.00 am as part of the Joy of Giving week celebration.
As part of the Joy of Giving week and in support of the “A Tribute to Tamil Cinema – longest cake project”, RCME donated a sum of Rs. 5,000 to Mahesh Memorial Trust in support of its fight against paediatric cancer. This was handed over to Mr. Mahadevan by PP PL Chidambaram. The meeting ended with Secretary Rtn. Murgavel proposing the formal vote of thanks.
Post event, media persons were briefed by Service Project Director Rtn. Gopal and press notes were also distributed. The meeting was well attended by about 25 members in-spite of the changes in venue, timing and day of our regular weekly meeting and thanks goes to all of them for their support.
- September 28, 2011
Meeting held on September 28, 2011
The Sergeant at arms collared the President and the meeting was called to order. Birthdays and Wedding Anniversaries were announced by Rtn. Sridhar. After the project announcements the chief guest of the evening (Rtn. Balaraman) was introduced by Rtn. Ananth.
Balu’s topic was “Around the US in 45 days”. It was a dream trip for Ballu, Vineetha and the kids. They covered 12000 miles across 29 states and they combined sight seeing together with, spending quality time with each other. According to him, it was an unforgettable experience
The entire trip required meticulous planning and AAA (Automobile Association of America) provided them with maps, distances and pit stops as well. Ballu and Vineetha decided that between themselves they would alternate during the day (not more than 3 hours at a stretch) on the steering wheel and that they would not drive beyond 5 PM everyday. They had a Toyota Previa with 100,000 miles on it and they got themselves a portable VCR with lots and lots of Disney movies for the kids.
Some of the memorable moments during their road trip were :
• A Hungarian who was singing ‘Awara Hoon’ in a small town in South Carolina
• Seeing more than half a million motorcycles in Sturgis, ND
• A wild wolf crossing their path in Yellowstone National Park
• Bignets at Café Au Lait in New Orleans
Ballu also shared with us some pictures of his trip that covered the Caverns of New Mexico, Riverside Walk in San Antonio, the window from where Oswald shot Kennedy, Epcot Center, Orlando, Daytona Beach Florida, Virginia Beach and Mount Rushmore (which has the faces of the presidents sculpted on it.)
A lively Q&A session followed after which, Rtn. Ramesh Kannan gave the vote of thanks. The meeting was adjourned by the President
- September 14, 2011
Meeting held on September 14, 2011
“Madras String Quartet”
The weekly Wednesday meeting had a special air to it, the speakers had come bringing along musical instruments along with them. So every member was anticipating to hear soothing music instead of merely listening to words for a change!! However the meeting was first off to its customary start with President Uday inviting Rotarians, Anns and their guests. Then it was onto birthday and wedding celebrations. This week a new member S. Sridhar was brought into the RCME family. He and his wife Lakshmi Sridhar run a very successful air-conditioning business. They are blessed with two children Nivetha and Vishaal. A very warm welcome to them into our RCME family!!
It was then the turn of the Madras String Quartet to enthrall the audience with lovely renditions. These included 1st Movement of Eine Kleine Nacht Musik by Mozart, Petals in the Mist by Karikudi Mani, Krishna Nee Bagane Baro by Vysaraj and finally The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. The four artistes V S Narasimhan (violin), Heman- thraj Muliyil (violin), B J Chandran (viola) and V.R. Sekar on the Cello did an outstanding job playing their respective instruments. The hall was filled with melodious music and you could see and feel the members enjoying the music in pin drop silence. Although everyone was an accomplished veteran in the film/music industry, it was nice to see that they formed this quartet out of pure love of bringing Western and Indian Music systems closer together. It was such a technically outstanding performance that Ann Rajalakshmi an accomplished singer herself made it a point to thank all of them in a brief message at the end. Of course all good things also have to come to an end and it was on that note that Rtn. Sada signed with his Vote of Thanks. A request was however made to the Quartet that in future it will be great to have them play at one of our other events and we would definitely be welcoming them again to RCME !!!
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan
- September 7, 2011
Meeting held on September 7, 2011
September 7, 2011, marked a very special day in the events calendar of RCME. The annual presentation of Dronacharya Awards to noteworthy teachers and coaches was held at our usual venue at The Hyatt. This year, we had two very deserving candidates – Mrs Alamelu Mani, a Carnatic Music teacher from Mumbai and Mr D. Sreekumar a roller skating coach from Tamil nadu Roller Skating Association and Besant Nagar Roller Skating Club, Chennai. The award function was sponsored by La Ambience Interior Decorators and Consultants.
After the President Uday called the meeting to order, the evening started with a mellifluous prayer song of the Carnatic genre by Ms Alamelu Mani’s Student and the younger sister of our own Rotarian Jayanthi Govindan. Rtn. Praveen then read out the Birthday and Wedding Anniversary Greetings. President Uday then welcomed the gathering which had amongst it several students of Ms Mani over the years and the family members of both the recipients. Uday spoke about the noble profession that teaching is, and how all of us really owe our success to the seeds sown by our own teachers during our formative years. He also said it was RCME’s privilege that we were able to do our bit in recognising the efforts of some of these unsung teachers and coaches and talked about how deserving each of the chosen candidates that evening were in their respective areas.
The evening then moved on to the reading of the citation and presentation of the awards. Rtn. Ananth read out the citation for Ms Alamelu Mani and the award was presented by the Chief Guest Father Dr P Christie, S J, Director of the illustrious Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA). Ms Mani then gave a short and sweet acceptance speech. It was very obvious that she was emotionally overcome by the occasion and the fact that one of her very early students, Rtn. Jayanthi, had remembered her and sponsored the award literally made her shed tears. Ms Mani’s very first student, Ms Sarayu Srinivasan, offered to say a few words about her teacher and she stepped up to the mike and gave the audience some insight into the selfless nature of the awardee. Ms Sarayu went on to talk about how Ms Mani was humility personified and how, in spite of being the constant source of inspiration for her own famous son (yes, Ms Mani’s son is none other than the famous ghazal and film playback singer Hariharan), she remains the same old simple person.
Rtn. Siva then read out the citation for Mr Sreekumar and the award was presented by Fr Christie. Mr Sreekumar, in his acceptance speech, recalled the days several years ago when he started in a small way with a couple of young children and how, over the years, that stretch of Besant Nagar area has now come to be identified with roller skating. He has been the coach and mentor to several hundred children over the years and Mr Sreekumar said that being chosen for the award gave him immense satisfaction.
The eloquent Chief Guest, Fr Christie, then took over the evening with an inspirational talk facilitating the two recipients of the Dronacharya Award. Being from the teaching profession himself, he talked about how there are two different generations of of students – today’s generation is inattentive and obsessed with gadgets and SMS etc, while during the older days, they were very devoted to their teachers and very obedient. He also mentioned that the dedication of the teachers of the older days also stood as a great example to the current crop of teachers. Today’s teachers also have to be on their toes because the students are sometimes better informed because of the information overload and access through the internet. He did dwell on the fact that teaching is one of the noblest and selfless professions and it is a great gesture by the Rotary Club Of Madras East that they have chosen to recognise deserving teachers year after year. He saluted the two awardes of the evening and confirmed that RCME could not have found better candidates.
The evening ended with a Vote of Thanks by Past President Dr M S Ravi.
For members of RCME, it was one more occasion to savour the excellent causes that the club has been supporting over the years and one could sense the glow of satisfaction not only among the award recipients and their families and students, but also all the Rotarians who had gathered there. Kudos to Rtn. Ramachandran for a wonderful execution of the function, and thanks to Rtn. Jayanthi and Mr Govindan for having sponsored such an excellent function. We all felt proud to be part of RCME that evening!
Rtn. Bala J. Raman
- August 31, 2011
Meeting held on August 31, 2011
The meeting was chaired by Pres. Uday and Rtn. Siva standing in as Secretary in the absence of Rtn. Murugavel Selvan. After the invocation, Pres. Uday announced about the demise of Rtn. Govind’s father and the members stood up in a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul.
Rtn. Balashanmugham greeted the members on their birthdays and wedding anniversaries and the cake was cut by the Rotarians who celebrated this week.
Rtn. Badri gave a detailed account of Terry Fox run which attracted around 12000 people participating in the run. The committed collection so far is around Rs.14 lakhs and Rtn. Badri is hopeful of making it to above Rs.20 lakhs. Rtn. Badri also thanked all the sponsors and the team that made the run so successful. Kudos to Chairman Badri and his committed team for making this a grand success for the third time.
Rt. Siva once again announced about the RYLA that will be held at Tiruvannamalai on the 9th, 10th and 11th of September and urged all the members to be part of the trip arranged by the Fellowship committee. The members and families can use this opportunity to visit Tiruvannamali to encourage the students and also visit the temple and ashrams. Rtn. Siva further announced that the pricing for this trip is Rs.1500 which included travel by AC coach/Stay in a luxury resort and all meals.
Rtn R.M. Narayanan announced about the completion of documentation for applying for matching grant from Rotary Foundation for some critical equipments in VHS, Chennai. The matching grant committee headed by RMN has made sure to get commitments from our sister club and also from a Rotary Club from Austin USA for their contributions. He also thanked the DG for allocating a good sum from the District designated fund towards this project.
Rtn. Gopal announced about the ongoing blood donation programs and also announced about the Dronacharya Awards next week and requested the members to come with their spouse and Annette’s. This award is sponsored by Rtn. Jayanthi Govindan.
Rtn. Gopal recognized the presence of Mr. Parasuraman who runs a night school at Velacherry. He further announced about our club’s contribution of Rs.25000 towards this worthwhile project. Rtn.M. Srini handed over the cheque to Mr. Parasuraman.
Pre.Uday then invited Rtn.IPP. Rajendran for presenting the accounts for the year 2010-11. Rtn. Rajendren announced that he would be transferring a sizable amount to the current year Board from his year’s admin account. The presented accounts being so crystal clear, there were no questions and the same was passed unanimously.
Pres. Uday announced about the fellowship tour to Dubai from 13th Oct to 16th Oct and requested members to join and send in their payments directly to Rtn. Kumar’s office.
There being no other agenda the meeting was concluded.
Rtn. M Srinivasan
- August 24, 2011
Meeting held on August 24, 2011
Our club met in a larger hall on Wednesday, 24th August 2011, at the Hyatt Regency. It was to accommodate our own Rtn. Lanka Lingam to address us and to allow Rotarians to engage in an interesting session of "out of the box" thinking. The topic Lanka spoke to us was on “Innovation and Inner Vision.”
P.P.Ballu at first briefed us on the successful Terry Fox run with which RCME is associated. A tremendous enthusisam had brought in a huge crowd of more than 10000 people of all age groups and lifestyles towards awareness of Cancer treatment and cure. This is one cause that surely has no controversies and the run took place in the IIT campus on Sunday last.
Siva spoke to us on the Thivannamalai tour RCME is taking to combine RYLA and divine pursuits. It is to be on the 10th and 11th of September a Saturday and Sunday. The details of the tour have been mailed to all Rotarians.
A representative of Sakthi Travels spoke about the arrangements for the travel made to visit the R.I. Convention to be held in Bangkok next year. Lanka in his talk conveyed that Innovation is not a single event or discovery but a series of steps taken that leads to improvement in product, process, people and values. For this an organisation needs to constantly think out of the box and not be restricted to established mindsets and ways of doing things.
He brought home the point in a game that all Rotarians were asked to take part which involved two teams making an attempt to reach from one end of the grid laid on the floor to the other end. Each team member was asked to take one step at a time in the grid in which were hidden mines that could blow up by stepping on them thereby terminating his or her movement. Both teams tried hard and came across a point where they could not proceed further and to do so they needed to step outside the grid. This was what Lanka called "out of the box" thinking.
Now, one could claim that this was not according to the rules though it was not specifically prohibited. One would be right in claiming so. But one would have learnt the lesson that one does need to think outside his/her mindset to move ahead in life.
Lanka then showed some video data to show how things could be done in better ways and spoke about his inventory holding idea of ships that would go slow and charge less and thereby provide storage space and savings in inventory costs.
I believe it was a lesson well learnt.
P.P.Gurmukh proposed vote of thanks and said in his twenty years in RCME this was a first time he had such an interactive role playing session.
The Secretary made his announcements and the President adjourned the meeting which had an intresting and valuable take home for all of us.
- August 17, 2011
Meeting held on August 17, 2011
Did you know Chennai has 16000 cops on a 1:500 Cop to Chennaite ratio?
(Well, in Delhi it is 1:200)!!!
Have you realised there are 6 police controlled locations along the sea shore for Ganesha idols’ immersion after the festivities?
That Chennai has 1800 kms of roads of which only 800 kms is densely used?
Interesting statistics about our city seemed to be second nature to Mr. Natarajan IPS Retd. and former Commisioner of Police, who kept our members glued to their seats with facts and details about our great city, laced with his subtle humour.
He says, “EVERY CITIZEN IS A COP, THOUGH NOT IN UNIFORM”.
Having seen the changing and ever increasing population of this city over the past 4 decades, he stated that the act of policing in this city, has undergone a radical change. In those days, the police were the first to get information on any burglary or breach of law and could act accordingly. Nowadays, thanks to the TV channels’ coverage, as well as the proliferation of mobile phones, the public know about happenings much before the cops do. So, the manner of their handling law and order has also changed and adapted accordingly.
They have a large Police Training Academy in the outskirts of the city and the training given to young cadets is very systematically and professionally drawn out.
It was a pleasure to see all our Rotarians sitting through the meeting, though extended by 15 minutes, due to various announcements and the narrative capacity of the speaker for the evening.
Earlier, the meeting was called to order by President Rtn. Uday, with the customary birthday/wedding announcements following. Quite a few were encircling the cake to be cut, but it was Rtn. Chandrasekhar who was first and thereby literally ‘had the cake and ate it too.’
Announcement on RYLA fellowship program to Tiruvannamalai by Rtn. Shiva, a light hearted narration about the previous week-end fellowship dinner by Rtn. Swamy, a plea by our Treasurer Rtn. Rakesh Chand on subscription payments, update on Rotaract by Rtn. Gopal was then followed by the entry and participation of Mr. Akash Dubey when a short and heart touching film on Terry Fox run was shown to the members. This was followed by a ‘direct from the heart’ appeal by Akash and then by Rtn. Badri detailing the program for the run on Sunday, 21st August 11 at IIT campus. The by-now folklore gesture from RCMEians was seen again that evening, with spontaneous contributions flowing from those present which was heart warming.
With Rtn. PE Ram taking care of the speaker introduction, the last couple of activities were the Secretary’s announcements and Vote of Thanks that was rendered by Rtn. K R Chandrasekaran.
Rtn. V A R.
- August 6, 2011
Meeting held on August 6, 2011
The meeting on 6th August was significant for more than one reason. First for choosing, aptly, Mr. Seshasayee of Ashok Leyland to receive the “M S Swaminathan Environmental Protection Award” and for celebrating the birthday of Dr. Prof. M S Swaminathan a day before others could do at other forums (Prof. M S Swaminathan’s birthday was on the 7th of August). The meeting was called to order at 5.30 P.M by President N S Udaykumar and he also briefed the gathering about the importance of the award and the numerous service activities carried out by our own Rtn. CKR, and his company Cavinkare the sponsor for this program.
This was followed by the introduction of the award recipient by Rtn. Ravi Venkatramani and the glowing citation which was read very stylishly by Rtn. Shreen. The awardee, Mr. Seshasayee, in his acceptance speech insisted on personal discipline and sacrifice as part of saving the mother earth in so many ways apart from rotary clubs setting an example by choosing Energy Saving Programmes at District level. He also encouraged our club to adopt a model project in a middle class area as well as it would be more difficult to show significant progress and any resulting success would be more rewarding. Dr. M S Swaminathan spoke about how much he respected Ashok Leyland and Mr. Seshasayee for their efforts especially considering that their industry was top on the list of the biggest contributors to global warming.
The Chief Guest of the evening Mrs. Lele spoke, that for two reasons she accepted to be the Chief Guest for the evening. One was that the recipient of the award is Mr. Seshasayee whose work was appreciated and acknowledged at global level on Energy saving and the other was that the award is instituted in the name of Dr. Prof. M S Swaminathan. She added the problem of global warming was real and the world had to come together to cut down on greenhouse gases and adopt green practices.
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan proposed the vote of thanks and the evening ended with the national anthem.
- August 3, 2011
Meeting held on August 3, 2011
It is indeed rare to meet someone who you instantly connect with, rarer to hear a candid voice with a mindful view, and perhaps the rarest of instances when one sees a young yet firm head resting on ever so delicate shoulders, deliver an evening that was refreshingly different.
The meeting of August 3 commenced with the weekly string of birthdays and anniversaries followed by singing and cake cutting, and then it was time to tune in tothe speaker of the day, Chinmayi Sripada.Speaking on the topic of “Follow your Dream,” Chinmayi shared with us, a very personal journey, which she relived animatedly as she spoke in an almost casual manner, not mincing words, keeping it real and ‘as is.’ Her talk was infused with satire, her struggle with ‘free advice’ and a tinge of bitterness; she only glowed when she spoke of her ‘dreams’ and her mother who is also her ‘guru.’ One felt like wiping away the frown on her young brow, and perhaps no one had given her this bit of tested advice that “This too shall pass.”
Blessed with a voice to die for, an attitude to kill for and above all a feistiness that one can only watch and envy, Chinmayi has crafted a career that spans diverse domains like music, entrepreneurship and is the CEO of a translation services company, that goes by the name “Blue Elephant.” Not surprising, as the first time you meet her, you can feel it in your bones that ‘this babe is diff’rent!” Doing true justice to her personality, Chinmayi peppered her talk with a few of her popular numbers - the recent and melodious ‘Nenjil Nenjil” and the timeless and heart wrenching ‘Oru Deivam thantha poove,’ adding musical sheen to our evening. She then spoke about her passion for music, how she knew her mind at 11 years and made the switch ‘overnight’ from traditional Carnatic classical to the then lesser-preferred Hindustani music! [In South India, in Madras!!] Imagine the eyeballs it would have gotten her! In this case, ‘free advice!!’ Undeterred by all, Chinmayi recounted with verve, how she stuck to her guns and waited with conviction for her musical break with Rahman, and the memorable ‘kannathil muthamittal’ happened when she was just 15! From then on, there was only one way to go; not just forward, but a path that touched a zenith with Playback singing, Radio Jockeying, Television hosting and finally ‘Blue Elephant.’
Now, this is not all. As I am writing this, Chinmayi Sripada has her own ‘App’ on iTunes, the first ever for a woman of music in India, we are told and her precious head is buzzing with ideas, plans, projects and ‘dreams.’ In her words, ‘there is room for all of this and more. Who says that you can ride only one horse at a time? If it is a chariot drawn by twenty horses and you are in the driver’s seat, think about it. It is possible, no?”
Julie Andrews’ lilting melody in ‘Sound of Music’ is perhaps the best ode to this gen next tweeter, who has over 25000 tweets, reaching out to all out there, saying her story, speaking her mind, sharing her music.
Live on, Dream on and Rock on, Chinmayi!
“Climb every mountain, Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.”
Rtn Janaka Pushpanathan
- July 27, 2011
Meeting held on July 27, 2011
This meeting promised to be a blockbuster due to the presence of action hero and political heavyweight Sarath Kumar and it did not disappoint. We had a record attendance of over 80 members, anns and annettes who eagerly showed up to savour the action (and the fantastic spread). PE Ram made the announcements for birthdays and anniversaries and Sarath Kumar happily pointed out that he was also celebrating his birthday this month. Rtn. Uma Maheswari graciously donated Rs 30,000 to the Jeevan Stem Cell Bank on the occasion of Annette Hasini’s 21st birthday which was happily received by Rtn. Tarachand Dugar. Vaishnavi (niece of Rtn. Shivram) spoke about the Terry Fox Run and requested help with spreading the word and soliciting sponsorships. Rtn. Babu informed the club about the interact installation at National Public School and also made a mention of the Green Kalam Project and how well it has been received. Rtn. Sydney Murali advised the members about the M.S.Swamination Environment Protection Award to be presented to Mr. R. Seshasayee, Executive Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland on Saturday, August 6th. President Uday Kumar then set the stage for the highlight of the evening with a statement “Sound Mind in a Sound Body” and pointed to a former Mr. Madras and one of our fittest chief guests ever.
After Rtn. Ganesan’s warm introduction, Sarath Kumar proceeded to impress the audience with his charm, wit and articulate thoughts about politics and government. He pointed to his long standing friendship and association with Rtn. Jayaraman and his family. He talked about his association with the Rotary and even pointed out that renowned Unesco was conceived of at a Rotary Conference! He is currently working on a project with the Rotary Club of Tenkasi to build a model village that will help stem the migration of the rural population to the cities. He talked about his schooling at Raja Muthiah School and Anglo Indian School following which he joined Loyola where he participated in the first ever strike! He spoke about how he was (and still is) a fitness freak and sports lover and how his entry into films was accidental. He is married to Actress Radhika and has 3 daughters and a seven year old son. He joked about how Radhika played both his mother and his wife in the movie, Suryavamsham.
The floor was then open to one of the longest and most interesting Q&A sessions I have ever seen at RCME. He handled the various questions like a pro and drew the audience closer to him with every answer. Moving onto a topic close to his heart, he strongly stated that the political system in India needs a blood transfusion. He talked about his time as MP, where parliament behaved like a big social club and no serious business got done. He commented about how it was important for educated people to enter politics to change the system in the long term. He alluded to the story of a person spent his whole life building a tunnel through a mountain just so that future generations could benefit. He stressed the need for an iconic leader to emerge from the educated people to cure the political system of its ills.
Secretary Selvan introduced Rtn. Balaji Sreenivasan as the chairman of the attendance sub committee who then pointed out how easy it was to make up ones absences. Rtn. Srinivasan (100) then proposed the vote of thanks and expressed his admiration for Sarath Kumar’s efforts in the empowerment and education of people.
Rtn. Ravi Venkataramani
- July 20, 2011
Meeting held on July 20, 2011
The meeting was attended by a group of over fifty rotarians eager to get expert insights on Real Estate from the eminent realtors of RCME. The meeting began briskly with Rtn. Mohan Rao announcing the birthday and anniversary greetings. A cake was cut by Rtn. Sudhir on behalf of all the rotarians announced. Rtn. M Srinivasan spoke briefly on RI President Kalyan Banerjee’s inspiring speech during his visit to Chennai last week. Rtn. Siva spoke of the fireside meetings held during the previous week. Announcements were also made about the tree planting event at Valasaravakkam under the aegis of RCME and American Eye Care Centre on 17th July. Rtn. PLC urged members to refer students for the Bheemanapet Community College. Also an appeal was made to refer Corporate Donations/ Sponsors for the Terry Fox Run to be held on 21st August.
With no more ado, the scene shifted to the event of the evening, “A Panel Discussion on Real Estate”. The panelists were V A Ramash, T V Ramkumar, Sudhakar, Surendra (off the dais) and the panel was moderated by PP Ganesan. The discussions ranged from the do’s and don’ts in Real Estate Investing to the dilemmas of investing within the city to investing in the outskirts, investing in land or building, is low cost housing a myth and many more. All the questions were analysed and expert insights were provided by the panel. While the questions were innumerable, the time being a limiting factor, the discussions had to be unfortunately wound down. The first classification talk of the year was a success and spelt a good start for many more to follow in the months to come.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Rtn. Surendra thanking the panelists and the moderator.
Rtn. Babu Krishnamoorthy
- July 13, 2011
Meeting held on July 13, 2011
The second meeting of the rotary year played host to another great speaker, Divya Vijayagopal, Host of Airtel Super Singer on Vijay TV. It promised to be a great meeting and several Anns and Annettes eagerly showed up.
The meeting started with the birthday and anniversary announcements followed by another great cake from our very own Winners Bakery. New Generation Director Babu talked about the recent rotoract and interact installations at TSN College and PS Matriculation School. Service Projects Director Gopal advised the club about the upcoming Terry Fox run and the various activities that have already begun. Rtn. Doc Srini briefed the club about his one-on-one meeting with RI President Kalyan Banerjee and his promised support from Rotary International in making the Cord Blood Bank a global project. Rtn. Prabhu seized the occasion and graciously donated Rs 30,000 towards the Cord Blood Bank project which was received by Rtn. Guptaji.
Idaya Ganam Chairman Ramana recognized the contribution of Rs 40,000 made by Rtn. Papa Rao towards the project. Rtn. Harish advised about the various blood donation camps conducted thus far and was optimistic about hitting our goals for the year. RCME has definitely made a busy start to the new rotary year as always!
The focus then turned to the feature of the evening with Annette Sindhu doing a great job of introducing Divya to the audience. As expected, Divya gave a very entertaining account of her road to becoming the host of Airtel Super Singer. She mentioned that she was a very good student while at Church Park and graduated near the top of her class. However, when she joined MOP Vaishnav for her B.Com she discovered her passion for the stage. While she had been learning carnatic music since the age of 5, college provided her the opportunity to explore new horizons and discover herself as an entertainer and model. She was also very active in the student union and enjoyed being the focus of everybody’s attention. When the time came to think of an MBA, Divya felt that she was not good at marketing or finance and preferred instead to choose HR as her specialty at the School of Social Work as she loved interacting with people.
Divya talked about her first big break as a playback singer for a Telugu movie and how easy it came to her. She shared her experiences hosting her first TV show in Malayalam and then onto Super Singer Junior and how she almost walked away from it all. It was quite clear that Divya has achieved the success that she has because of her immense confidence in her abilities, determination and her unique quality of taking both success and failure in her stride. She encouraged the audience to seriously consider a career in media as it was a fun place to be in but warned that very few people make it to the top. She added that as long as enjoyed the journey and remembered to “make hay while the sun shined” they would have no regrets.
Secretary Selvan made his club announcements and reminded the members about the visit by RI President Kalyan Banerjee requesting a large turnout from RCME. It was then the turn of Ann Veena Ramaswamy to give an eloquent vote of thanks. She pointed out that Divya, despite her supposed inability to market and sell, had done a fantastic job of selling herself and Airtel Super Singer to the audience.
Rtn. Ravi Venkataramani
- July 6, 2011
Meeting held on July 6, 2011
RCME 2011-12 Rotary Year First Weekly Meeting
The first weekly meeting of the Rotary year 2011-12 got off to a great start at RCME’s new venue “The Hyatt”, last Wednesday the 6th of July’11. President Udaykumar briefly welcomed all Rotarians and then as a sign of things to come, he proposed that this year Birthdays/Wedding anniversaries would be celebrated a little differently from before. All the celebrating Rotarians were called up front to join together in a wonderful cake cutting ceremony. Of course as Secretary Selvan pointed out, something’s still remain the same as he proceeded to collect “Sunshine” from the celebrating Rotarians. Following these, club announcements on blood camp was made by Club Services Director Gopal. Then IPP Rajendran updated everyone on the Kannagi Nagar project.
It was then the turn of Rtn. Venkat to introduce the speaker of the day Mr. Stanley Evans. The topic being “Indigenous languages of the British Isles”. Stan started off by letting everyone know that there are at least 17 different Accents and Dialects that are present in the British Isles. He then went on to say a few words in many of them and did an excellent job of showing the variations. The audience were taken aback at, how complicated even pronunciation of certain simple words could be. Stan explained to the audience that how depending on the geography a lot them could be Scottish, Gaelic, Irish, Welsh, Cornish etc… After his explanation of the origins and how these accents have evolved and merged, he concluded by saying that the few major accents mentioned above he feels will stand for a long time. It was then onto a vibrant question and answers session.
Secretary Selvan then made his club announcements, including an important one about this year’s RI President Kalyan Banerjee addressing a joint Inter City Meet on Thursday July 14th. It was then the turn of Rotarian Sadasivam to give an entertaining vote of thanks. He talked about how, even though while growing up his English teacher was the most feared, he gladly still accepted to do the Vote of Thanks for this speaker even though topic for the day was related to it. In all the first meeting got off to an excellent start and there was an overall appreciation from many Rotarians not just on the speaker/topic but also on the food being served at the Hyatt!!
Rtn. Murugavel Selvan
- June 29, 2011
Meeting held on June 29, 2011
New Address. New President. New Rotary Year!
RCME’s IP address now reads 600018.27.2011.12
It was an evening of change. Change of guard from the 26th President to the 27th, change of venue from the familiar brand ITC to the nouvelle Hyatt, change of setting from the ubiquitous banquet hall to the ‘atrium in the lobby!’ But for those sturdy pillars in the line of vision, it seemed like a nice idea, to start with.
It was also an evening of many firsts. Anchored in true ‘bollywood ishytle,’ Sydney Murali and Ann Uma Ramesh lent sparkle to the flow of events, scripted with crisp prose and interspersed with a sprinkling of some headily yet apt music (chosen carefully by Rtn. Sanjay and Ann Raji) which gave a new dimension to the customary introduction of N S Udayakumar and his new board.
Another poignant first was that Annette Shruthi represented her mother and secretary Rtn. Jayanthi Govindan and took us through the year gone by, presenting the report from her mother’s desk, and in her words. We wish Jayanthi a speedy recovery and cannot wait to welcome her back into the warm folds of weekly Wednesdays!
The ‘last first’ was the choice of First Lady Rtn. Dr Sai Prasanna as Chief Guest and she touched us with her feisty speech on Rotary, the movement, its objectives, and what a club like ours could do, to create that difference. We particularly related to her articulation of a Rotary club being Viable, Vibrant and Visible and the 17awards that we bagged at Kireedam in the last Rotary year stands a tall testimony to this!
“Installation Night,” read the tastefully done invitation and the evening kicked off with a serene rendition of a hymn invoking the blessings of Sri Raghavendra, sung beautifully by Ann Aruna Sivasubramaniam. It was a proud moment for many as President Rajendran outlined the various activities of the club and thanked all the people behind the scenes for the wonderful presidential year that he and the club enjoyed. Rtn. PP R Venkatakrishnan’s introduction of the incoming President was laced with the trademark ‘Venki’ humor and drew quite a few laughs, at the same time, gave us all insight into the real person that Uday is! Both the roster and bulletin were released after which AG Rtn. Palaniappan and District Secretary Rtn. Babu Peram addressed club members. President Uday’s acceptance speech was short and to the point; again it was a reminder of his personality, “Do More, Say Less.”
Ann Vineeta Balaraman then introduced Rtn. Dr Sai Prasanna and invited her to address the RCME gathering. Dr Sai’s address was filled with many Rotary anecdotes that were both thought provoking and action oriented. There are many leaves that one can take from Dr Sai’s book, one of which is her commitment to know more about Rotary, which she shared with us, saying, “When I said I was going to Madras East as the Chief Guest, everyone warned me that it is one of ‘the’ clubs! So I read more and prepared well, as I am not an accomplished speaker like most of you!” We were touched by her humility, as she charged us with her honesty and perhaps this is what R I President Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee meant when he culled out this year’s Rotary theme of “Reaching Within to Embrace Humanity.”
Rtn. Janaka Pushpanathan
- June 22, 2011
Meeting held on June 22, 2011
Himalayan Trek by Krishnan Naganathan and M. Srinivasan
It was an emotion filled evening for our club members when we met at Park Sheraton for the last time this year before we move to Hyatt Regency. We have decades of pleasant memories at this venue and our members turned up in large numbers to reminisce the evening. President Rajendran started by thanking VA Ramash and Ramachandran for their excellent contribution in bringing speaker after speaker, every week this year. Ann. Viji Shivram announced birthdays and holidays in her usual style. Dr. Rebecca spoke highly of RCME’s support for palliative care education project and Ann Ramaa Venkatadri issued certificates to the students of the palliative care program. Shreen Raghavan updated the club with the progress of our Secretary Jayanthi’s health after the surgery and said, “she is recovering well.” The final episode of Idayaganam project at Russian Cultural Centre was announced by Ramana, which will be a tribute to the legendary singer PB Srinivas on Sunday, 26th July at 10 am. RAINS, the Indoor Sports Fellowship hosted by Bala and Ann. Usha was dubbed as a major success with PE Ram providing a succinct update on the winners of the tournaments. The stage was then set for M. Srinivasan and Krishnan Naganathan to showcase their trek to the Himalayas. It was a laugh riot for the audience with M. Srini holding the mike and responding to the comments and jokes from other members. Krishnan spoke in detail about their 9 day trek of the Rupin and Supin Valley. The pictures of the Himalayan Glaciers, beautiful flowers, pristine forests, lively streams and fabulous views made everyone turn green with envy. The audience must have surely felt as though they made the trip as well. Incidents of snakes in the tent and slips on the snow certainly made things dramatic. Members were assured by Krishnan that there will be more treks and we could join him. Another highlight of the evening was the talk given by our Annet. Anirudh Ravi who visited NASA and bagged an award. He shared his experiences on space walking, G-Force Gravity, meeting with Astronauts, etc. Muragavel Selvan announced that the next meeting will be held at Hyatt Regency on Anna Salai and welcomed everyone for the installation of the new board members. All in all, it was another wonderful and memorable evening for the RCME members, guests and visitors.
Rtn. T Sivasubramanian
September 24, 2014
Exploring best practices of companies that have delivered shareholder value
Time: 06:30 PM
ITC Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers,
132, TTK Road,
Alwarpet - 18