Banerjee elected RI president for 2011-12
Kalyan Banerjee speaks to attendees after being elected president of Rotary International in 2011-12 during the fourth plenary session at the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Photo by Monika Lozinska-Lee/Rotary Images
Kalyan Banerjee, of the Rotary Club of Vapi, Gujarat, India, was elected president of Rotary International in 2011-12 by delegates during the fourth plenary session at the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
"I thank you from the depths of my heart for this incredible opportunity to serve the world's most outstanding service organization," said Banerjee, who stood beside his wife, Binota.
Banerjee told attendees about his first encounters with Rotary in India. "I loved the way the Rotarians seemed to enjoy meeting friends and enthusing about community service projects to benefit hundreds of people," he said. "I decided then that I must be a Rotarian as soon as I could make it."
As Rotary continues to grow and become more influential, it increases its capacity to effect change in India, Banerjee said. "As I have seen more and more Indians choose to become Rotarians, and I have seen what those Rotarians have achieved, it has become clear to me that India and Rotary International are part of a symbiotic relationship: Each is making the other stronger," he said, pointing to the PolioPlus program as a sign of Rotary’s ongoing success in India and other polio-endemic countries.
"In a way, some parts of India still exemplify a developing country, and this gives me perhaps a different perspective on Rotary's international service," he said. "I have seen the impact that our simplest projects can have. I have seen firsthand our work in literacy, in health, in hunger, in providing safe water -- and I have seen the difference it makes to each village, each family, and each individual human life."
Banerjee encouraged all Rotarians to self-reflect and to serve generously.
"Through service, we are able to look within ourselves to find reserves of generosity, of grace, and of care and concern, and to seek a deeper meaning to our daily lives. We discover what it means to help a human being and, in so doing, become more fully human ourselves," Banerjee said.
Read Banerjee's acceptance remarks
The Rotarians who will serve as RI directors in 2011-13 were also elected: José Antonio F. Antiório, of the Rotary Club of Osasco, São Paulo, Brazil; Kenneth R. Boyd, of the Rotary Club of Kerman, California, USA; Yash Pal Das, of the Rotary Club of Ambala, Haryana, India; Elizabeth S. Demaray, of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA; Allan O. Jagger, of the Rotary Club of Elland, West Yorkshire, England; Paul Knyff, of the Rotary Club of Weesp (Vechtstreek-Noord), The Netherlands; Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India; Ju-In Park, of the Rotary Club of Suncheon, Jeonranam, Korea; and Kenneth M. Schuppert Jr., of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA.
RI General Secretary Ed Futa also declared elected the nominees for district governor in 2011-12 and announced the officers for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in 2010-11: President James A. Moulson, of the Rotary Club of Paisley Callants, Strathclyde, Scotland; Vice President Ray M. Burman, of the Rotary Club of Kelvedon & District, Essex, England; and Honorary Treasurer Greg Thacker, of the Rotary Club of West Woodspring, Avon, England.