Five couples inducted into Arch C. Klumph Society on India Day
Rotary Foundation Trustee Ashok Mahajan salutes Arch C. Klumph Society inductees for their generous gifts to The Rotary Foundation during the India Day induction ceremony on 19 June in Evanston. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska
T he Rotary Foundation inducted five couples from India into the Arch C. Klumph Society on 19 June. The society honors those who give at least US$250,000 to the Foundation. Attendees at the ceremony, held at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, included the consul general of India in Chicago, Mukta Tomar, and several Rotary senior leaders with their spouses.
India is the second-largest Rotary country in the world, with more than 121,000 Rotarians. “As we induct our friends as members of the Arch C. Klumph Society, we salute their generosity in putting India among the top-giving nations to The Rotary Foundation,” said Foundation Trustee Ashok Mahajan.
Sajjan and Chanda Goenka
Sajjan Goenka is managing director of Texport Industries Ltd., which manufactures and exports clothing. A member of the Rotary Club of Bombay West and a past district governor, Goenka called global polio eradication his “utmost desire” and credited Mahajan with inspiring him, his brothers, and his son to contribute to Rotary’s effort to wipe out the disease in India. He made his gift to the Foundation in honor of his late parents, Deviprasad Gangabux Goenka and Shivdevi Deviprasad Goenka.
“Because of [Sajjan’s] efforts, scores of people in need have been given access to cataract surgeries, thousands of students have been educated in a state-of-the-art secondary school, and ample supplies of blood have been collected,” said 2011-12 RI President Kalyan Banerjee. He was referring to medical camps sponsored by the Goenka family foundation, a school established by Goenka in his role as general secretary of a Hindu association, and a blood bank created by the Bombay West club with the help of the family foundation and a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.
As a district governor in 1982-83, Goenka said, he looked to then-Rotary International director Rajendra K. Saboo (who later served as 1991-92 president) as his “mentor and guru,” adding, “I was deeply touched by his philosophy of service and his message that we must always try to enhance the image of the organization to which we belong.”
Sudhansu and Mina Bhattacharyya
Sudhansu Bhattacharyya is a cardiac surgeon, and his wife, Mina, is a retired professor of gynecology. “Sharing is a must in today’s times,” he said. “There comes, in the life of an individual, a stage when he gets an inner drive to give to the society what he has earned from the society. The donor is more blessed than anybody else.”
Mahajan referred to Bhattacharyya as “the first doctor to bring cardiac surgery to India. [He] operates on all socioeconomic classes of people, from political figures to film personalities to the very poor, on whom he operates free of charge.”
A member of the Rotary Club of Bombay Central, Bhattacharrya said he supports Rotary International because it is a grassroots organization with a diverse membership that “works tirelessly for the uplifting of the community.” He praised the Foundation for its transparency and stewardship.
Habil F. and Nafisa Khorakiwala
Habil Khorakiwala chairs Wockhardt Ltd., a global health care enterprise, and also established the Wockhardt Foundation, which operates a fleet of medical vans to provide care in rural and remote areas.
Trustee Mahajan called the Wockhardt Group “one of the finest health care institutes in India” and said that more than 44 million people have received medical care through the Wockhardt Foundation.
A member of the Rotary Club of Bombay North, Khorakiwala also established the Wockhardt HIV/AIDS Education and Research Foundation, known as WHARF, which offers free training for health care providers. Nafisa chairs the organization and assists programs that provide nutrition to HIV-infected children.
Said Habil: “One of the unique contributions that Rotary has made to my life is it has provided a balance. We have been able to create an ethos in our organization that business obviously has to have profit, but that’s not good enough; it has to be acceptable to the community and society in which we live.”
Rajju and Sandra Shroff
Rajju Shroff chairs United Phosphorous, a leading agrochemical firm in India. He and his wife, Sandra, established the Sandra Schroff Nursing College and the Rajju Shroff Institute of Management Studies, several schools, and a 250-bed hospital. Both are members of the Rotary Club of Vapi.
Banerjee, also a member of the Vapi club, credited Rajju with introducing him to Rotary. He called Shroff “an innovator who is responsible for much scientific progress” in the chemical industry. “He helped develop medical facilities in areas around his fledgling businesses and he helped those areas to grow and develop healthy communities,” Banerjee said.
“Rotary has often been a game changer in the lives of young people,” said Sandra. She also referred to the polio eradication campaign as a “path-breaking project. I have no doubt in my mind that Rotary leaders such as Kalyan Banerjee have played an important part in getting to where there has not been a case of polio [in India] for the last 16 months.”
Surya and Foram Varsani
Foram Varsani, originally from India, is a member of the Rotary Club of Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles. She spoke movingly about her husband, Surya, who died in 2009 at the age of 39. He was an assistant district governor and a member of the Rotary Club of Golders Green, Greater London, England.
“His passion was the kind that one feels like saluting. He truly lived the motto of Service Above Self,” she said, and added that the contribution to The Rotary Foundation is in her husband’s memory. “I couldn’t believe the energy he had for all the commitments for running three businesses and to spend so much time and effort [to help] Rotary improve, to get more members for Rotary clubs, and to raise more funds.”
V.J. Patel, who is Surya’s father and a past district governor and Arch C. Klumph Society member, paid tribute to his son. “Surya joined Rotary before he was 25. . . . He had the hope of becoming a district governor. He also enjoyed the taste of giving and became a Major Donor. He had the wish to become an Arch C. Klumph Society member.”
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