97th Installation of Rotary Club of Calcutta
The Club held its 97th Installation with traditional pomp & splendour amidst a packed audience with gentlemen incustomary button-down shirts in tie & jackets, and ladies dressed in their evening best.
Having welcomed the Chief Guest, His Excellency The Governor of WB, Kesari Nath Tripathy, and the DG, District 3291 Rtn Shymashree Sen, with flower bouquets, and signing of the National Anthem led by Rtn Shankar Ghosh and Anusua Das, President Dr Ashok Kr Basu elaborated on the major achievements during the year under his ‘watch’, briefly highlighting various multi-locational projects executed stretching across Sunderbans (Night shelters, solar power plant) to Birbhum (Nityanagar WASH, Ajodhya Hills Happy School), to paediatric surgery in Midnapur, to Purulia (Nanritam ‘beyond Glaucoma’), and to the distant foothills of Himalayas (AlipurDuar school toilets). He thanked the entire team, including Roteracts and the RCCs, for their hard work and unflinching support ably reflected in the tally of district awards received, mentioned with pride the group Goodwill visit to 6 Rotary Clubs in UK and Europe which will foster greater partnering in future large projects under Global Grant schemes, and announced the Rotarian of the Year Awards to Rtn Amit Ghosh and Subhajit Guha Mazumder. He then introduced Rtn Nilima Joshi, a practicing CA of repute and a Rotarian for over 15 years having served in various official capacities, and installed her as the President for year 16-17 by exchange of Charter and Collar.
The ‘Just Installed’ President Nilima Joshi, in taking charge of the proceedings welcomed all Guests & dignitaries present, thanked the outgoing President with words of appreciation of the excellent work he had done and presented him and his Secretary, Rtn Santanu Deb Mookherjea, with Silver Salvers (including one for the deceased Dr Sujit Chatterjee), and assured the members of achieving the set targets of immunisation & healthcare, literacy & e-learning, water & sanitation, and all district initiatives thereby fulfilling the motto of “Rotary Serving Humanity”. She introduced her energetic & committed Board who will assist her in her journey. In introducing Guest of Honour, DG Shyamashree Sen, the representative of RI President John Germ, she detailed various achievements which had earned her accolades & citations over her 22 years of Rotary life. In her Address Shyamashree Sen related John Germ’s vision of “Changing the World” through a single picture of an Indian rural woman bearing Pots on her Head, ferrying water – and progressively elaborated RI’s four focused action areas adopted for the year, of potable water supply to the rural poor, decease eradication riding piggy-back on polio eradication’s success, strengthening communication & literacy campaigns, and making Rotary more attractive by ushering in flexibility in customs & practice with attention on ‘Willing Hands & Caring Hearts’.
President Nilima then introduced the Chief Guest, The Right Honourable Governor of WB, Sri Kesari Nath Tripathy, by profession an advocate of repute with Allahabad High Court, by vocation an erudite literature and an acclaimed poet with various publications, and requested him to address the gathering. His Excellency traced the trends in ‘Quest of Knowledge and Service to Society’ in this part of the geography with Britishers induction of liberal education, which in turn changed society through poverty alleviation, health improvement and educational upgradation; these incidentally constitute the core Mission of the Rotary Movement. Addressing RC Calcutta as “The Old No. 1”, he acknowledged the Club’s contribution over almost 100 years of its existence citing examples of Bally Bridge and Howrah Bridge conceptualisation, sanitation system in Indian Railways, and stated areas where the State may welcome Rotary’s help and assistance, including Adult Literacy Campaigns, rural community illumination with renewable energy, supporting infrastructure in rural health centres along with decease eradication schemes, sanitation & hygiene in rural areas thereby making all vi l lages ‘open defecation free’, all focused in progressively uplifting the weaker section of the society. He concluded wishing RC Calcutta all success in the year ahead . His address was followed with a standing ovation from the audience.
After Secretary Raj Agarwal conducted the club business, at the request of the President, Rtn Probir Gupta raised customary Toast to Ladies, comparing men folk’s tough work routine with the relative easy life amongst the fairer sex. The Toast was aptly replied to, also at the President’s request, by the Lady of the Ceremony, Rtn Nandini Ray, detailing an imaginary man’s sex change wish granted by the Gods, and its consequential result and its irreversibility. President Elect Saumen Ray then offered a courteous yet detailed Vote of Thanks, following which the President adjourned the meeting and invited the gathering to an elaborate fellowship and dinner. The meeting concluded with a thunderous applause, and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the networking over drinks and appreciated the dinner spread.