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Celebrating international goodwill

Olympia Shilpa Gerald

Rotary team from San Diego toured eight revenue districts


Rotary district 5340 has funded projects worth Rs. 1.5 crore

Friendship exchange programme gives a taste of Indian culture and art to the six-member-team


. —PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.

Picture perfect:Rotarians from RI District 5340, San Diego, interacting with their counterparts in Tiruchi on Monday

TIRUCHI: Giving a global perspective to its resolution to promote inter club and inter district interaction under the ‘Build Friendship' theme, members from various Rotary clubs of Tiruchi and Srirangam, District 3000, hosted an evening, celebrating international friendship and goodwill for their counterparts from San Diego, Rotary District 5340.

The friendship exchange programme that brought together two international districts was incidentally a first in the history of Rotary District 3000, according to T.Valliappan, district governor.

A vital offshoot of the team's visit was the pledging of support to an impending comprehensive project at Palakurichi. Funds from the visitor's clubs would be used for rain water harvesting projects, desilting of tanks, infrastructure for schools, establishment of vocational training centres, among a slew of social activities.

According to Rajadurai G.Michael, one of the hosts, district 5340 has funded projects worth Rs. 1.5 crore over the years, including micro-credit finance, eco san toilets, waste disposal treatment, incinerators for sanitary napkins and equipment for various programmes supported by the district.

The team of six led by Louise Andres, former president of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club included Cheryl Minshew of the Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Club and Mike Cooper and Judith Thompson of Club 33. Steve McNeil and Steve Andres, spouses of two of the Rotarians were part of the group.

The team that has spent a month touring eight revenue districts in Rotary District 3000, halted in Tiruchi for two days. Being first time visitors to India, the Americans were impressed by the country's diversity and the people's warmth.

“What unites Rotarians over the world is putting service above self which finds a resonance in all our cultures,” said Ms. Andres who was impressed with the dedication and commitment of local Rotarians in reaching out to the grassroots .

For Judy Thompson, the entire tour was a humbling experience as it was like ‘visiting an extended family' . “The whole experience has left us with a sensory overload. It has been a profusion of art, culture, museums and temples,” said Mike Cooper.

Cheryl A.Minshew felt a slice of life in India was packed into one month. “We've been to a funeral, a wedding, celebrated Pongal. It's been an exhaustive tour.”

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