What is Rotary?

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders in over 32,000 Rotary clubs. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It was founded in 1905 by Paul P. Harris.

Rotary clubs belong to Rotary International (RI) and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs. To become a Rotarian, one must be invited to join a Rotary club by a member of that club.

If you wish to join this multifaceted, vibrant organization, you may get more information at your local Rotary club, from a Rotarian friend or by simply visiting www.rotary.org

The Object of Rotary:

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
  • First. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • Second. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • Third. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
  • Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Rotary International World Headquarters is at Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago USA.

The RI Board is Chaired by the RI President and most offices in Rotary are for 1 year commencing July 01. The transition takes place automatically and many leaders are elected a year in advance.  The RI Board consists of 19 members, including the President Elect. There are 17 Directors elected from various zones from around the world.  There are approximately 530 RI Districts around the world and they are via a District Governor who is an RI Officer.  Ideally there are about 75 Rotary Clubs in an RI District, which are autonomous and is headed by the President.

Rotary in the Indian Subcontinent:

CALCUTTA was the home town for the first Rotary club in the mainland of Asia. R.J. Combes, the manager of a steel products company while on a business trip to U.S.A. was so impressed by the "Friendship, fellowship, and service" aspects of the movement called Rotary that he wanted to introduce the idea to his friends in Calcutta also.

There was no difficulty for him to convince enough people and convene the first meeting on 26 September, 1919. The new club was chartered just after three months of the first meeting, on the new year day of 1920 to be exact. All the twenty charter members were non-Indians.

The first Indian member was S.C.Rudra who was inducted in 1921. In 1921 itself Sir Surendranath Banerjee was made an honorary member. The first Indian to become the club secretary was Nitish C. Laharry (1926) who climbed all steps to reach Rotary's top slot viz. R.I. presidentship in 1962-'63. A.FM.Abdul Ali was the first Indian to adorn the collar of a club president.  Mahatma Gandhi addressed Rotary Club of Calcutta which had only non-Indians on the rolls even then.

The growth of Rotary in India was rather very slow for many years. In 1933 Rotary branched out to Amritsar and to Bangalore in 1934. By 1936 Ahmedabad, Baroda, Jamshedpur, Poona and Sholapur had Rotary clubs.

By the time India became independent, there were 71 Rotary clubs (14 in Gujarat, 10 in Maharashtra, 10 in UP, seven in Tamilnadu, seven in Karnataka and 23 in another 10 states) with a total membership of 3121 members.

RI District 3190:

RI District 3190 comprises of 5 revenue districts; namely: Bangalore, Chitoor, Kolar, Tumkur & Mandya.  There are about 40 clubs in Bangalore City and a total of about 72 in the district.  Dr.R.S.Padmanabhan was the first District Governor of the newly constituted RID in 1978-79.

Over the years, the clubs in the district have contributed immensely to the welfare of the community in areas of Health, Hunger, Literacy, Polio Immunization, Water & Sanitation, Low Cost Housing, Rotary Volunteers, and financial contributions to the Rotary Foundation.  The list is endless !

We, in our district have a distinct honor of having Rtn. Panduranga Setty of the Rotary club of Bangalore who was elected to serve as the Rotary International Director during 1991 -93 and has brought many laurels to the club, district and our community.

The officers of the Rotary International (PDG’s) are:

I was a District Governor in 2000-2001 when, Rtn. RI President was Frank J. Devlyn.

Rotary club of Bangalore: 

Chartered in 1934 Rotary club of Bangalore (RCB) is one of the oldest and a premier club in Bangalore and in this region.  The club will be celebrating its platinum jubilee in the coming year.  Eminent members of this club have contributed ideas, talents and money which have been emulated by other clubs.  With a membership of 250+ the club is runs successfully due to the fact that all the committees meet regularly and carry out their plans to reach their goal systematically with excellent fellowship. I joined RCB in Dec; 1976

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