Distrikt 1880/Distrikt 1950
Ihr macht einen tollen Job
Lobende Worte von K. R. Ravindran für die Projekte der Clubs – Rund 500 begeisterte Rotarier/innen begrüßten ihn bei den verschiedenen Veranstaltungen in Nürnberg und Erlangen – Volles Besuchsprogramm in nur zwei Tagen
K. R. Ravindran wurde begleitet von seiner Gattin Vanathy
Trotz Übermüdung, Jetlag und eines vollgepackten Zeitplans blieb er
stets freundlich, interessiert und allen Fragen gegenüber
aufgeschlossen: K. R. Ravindran, amtierender RI Präsident und –laut
Nürnbergs OB Ulrich Maly – der „Papst der Rotarier“ - genoss den Kontakt
und die Gespräche mit den Clubs des Distrikts 1880 und 1950 sichtlich.
„Wenn ich mit Rotariern zusammen bin“ so Ravindran, „ egal wo immer auf
der Welt, dann bin ich unter Freunden und fühle mich zuhause“.
500 Rotarier/innen nutzen denn auch die Gelegenheit, dem Präsidenten
ihre Projekte vorzustellen, beim Galaabend auf der Kaiserburg oder dem
Intercity-Meeting in Nürnberg mit ihm ein paar Worte zu wechseln und in
seiner Nähe internationale rotarische „Luft zu schnuppern“.
dem internen Treffen mit den Clubpräsidenten, von Ravindran
kommentiert mit den Worten „Ich bin begeistert, Ihr macht einen tollen
Job“, diversen Grußworten und Ansprachen, dem Eintrag ins Goldene Buch
der Stadt Nürnberg und dem der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität sowie
Firmenführungen und –besuchen, nahm sich Ravindran, der von seiner
Gattin Vanathy begleitet wurde, stets Zeit für persönliche Gespräche mit
den rotarischen Freunden und Freundinnen.
Einer der Höhepunkte
seines Besuches war die Ansprache anlässlich des Intercity-Meetings im
Germanischen Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg, wo er besonders auf die
aktuelle Situation von Rotary International einging und daran erinnerte,
dass ohne Bereitschaft zu Veränderungen keine gelebte Gemeinschaft
Auszüge der Rede finden Sie im Anhang. Mehr Bilder zum Besuch des Weltpräsidenten folgen in Kürze.
Auszüge der Rede von K.R. Ravindran beim Intercity - Meeting am 22. Februar 2016
Rotary is many things to many people. And I am fortunate to belong to
the small group of Rotarians who have truly seen the power Rotary wields
to do good.
To build a world that is a bit safer, a bit happier. A world with better health, and perhaps, a bit more hope.
A world that will soon be forever free of polio.
We had only 73 cases of wild polio in all of last year, in only two countries. The number of cases so far this year is one.
We are not talking of years now, but perhaps only months.
of us, I think, see the end of polio as the end point of our efforts.
We think of the children we will save, the fear that will be lifted. We
focus only on polio, and what it will mean to live without it.
how many Rotarians know, that because of this work, we will see some
fifty billion US dollars returned to the global health budget over
thirty years—because of the cost savings eradication will bring?
Fifty billion dollars that will become available, to fight malaria, AIDS, TB, cancer—because we lifted the burden, of polio.
many Rotarians know the impact we had, on the Ebola crisis last summer?
For one of the most terrifying scenarios to be modeled, was one in
which the virus reached Nigeria. Because Nigeria is a trade hub for all
of Africa, with a dense population, poor sanitation, and very high
mobility. I remember one public health official in Africa saying, “The
one thing nobody wants to hear, are the words ‘Ebola’ and ‘Lagos’ in the
same sentence.” Well, Ebola did reach Lagos, on a flight from Liberia.
But it spread no further—because of the resources that were already in
place, there in Nigeria, to fight polio.
operations centers, the disease surveillance officers, the lines of
communications between local and international health authorities, the
capacity for real-time data analysis and modeling: all of this was ready
and waiting, when it was needed most. Because of this
infrastructure—established and funded in large part by us—Ebola was
These are the things that Rotary can achieve.
This is the power of Rotary. This is what Rotary does, what we have come to Rotary to do.
once we have come to Rotary—once we have seen what it is that Rotary
can achieve—then I think it is only natural that we become more
ambitious. And we look for ways to break down the obstacles before us:
those placed in our path by chance and circumstance, and those that we
sometimes unwittingly place before ourselves.
Paul Harris once
wrote, in words that have become famous over time, “It is well that
there is nothing in Rotary so sacred that it cannot be set aside in
favor of things better.”
In Rotary, our traditions belong to us: but we do not belong to them.
so Rotary has changed, evolved, responded over the years, to a changing
landscape. But I think there has been no change that has been as
significant, and as overwhelmingly positive, as the decision that was
taken by the 1989 Council on Legislation to admit women into Rotary.
has been made so abundantly clear to me, here in Germany where I have
seen female Rotarians making such incredible contributions to Rotary.
Last night I had the privilege to honor donors to the maternity hospital
that was rebuilt some years ago in my home country of Sri Lanka. It was
destroyed by the tsunami in 2004, had sat in a mess of mold and rotting
walls for years, until your own Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart stepped forward,
to begin the work of rebuilding it.
Today, there is a first-rate
maternity hospital in the south of Sri Lanka. It is the only public
hospital in a region of six million people. It has brought 160,000
infants into the world to date—many of whom would have died, if it were
not for the care that they received there. It is staggering to think
about, how many families there are, in the south of my country, who are
whole today—who have their children in their arms, in their
lives—families that would have been forever broken, had it not been for
one Rotarian—one woman in Rotary—who saw this need, recognized it as
critical, and stepped forward to meet it.
It really gives one
pause, to think what we might have lost in Rotary—had we not decided
twenty-seven years ago that it was well past time to admit women.
is no question that our organization today would be both smaller, and
poorer. And there is no question, that countless lives that have been
saved by Rotary—would have been lost.
In 1995, only five of every
100 Rotarians were women: today, that number has risen to twenty. It is
progress, but it is not enough.
We have had women in Rotary for
only the last quarter of our history, and it is no coincidence that
those years have been by far our most productive.
Because in order to fully represent our communities, we must truly reflect our communities.
it is just common sense to say that if we want all of our communities
to reach their full potential, economically, socially, and
educationally: we can’t exclude half of the world’s population from
representing them in Rotary.
Yet nearly one-fifth of our clubs
today continue to exclude women. In some districts, even in modern,
developed countries such as this one, the proportion of clubs without
women is as high as one-half!
Let me tell you, if you want to
live like you are in some Jurassic Park era, you should take a moment to
remember what happened to the dinosaurs.
A club that shuts out
women shuts out much more than half the talent, half the ability, and
half the connections it should have. It closes out the perspectives that
are essential to serving families and communities effectively. It
damages not only its own service, but our entire organization, by
reinforcing the stereotypes that limit us the most. It makes our
partners take us less seriously. And it makes all of Rotary less
attractive to potential members, especially the younger people who are
so crucial to our future.
To perpetuate discrimination against
women in Rotary is to doom our entire organization to irrelevance. We
cannot pretend that we still live in Paul Harris’s time, nor would he
ever want us to. For, as he said, “The story of Rotary will have to be
written again and again.”
My friends, that story lies open before you. The pen is poised over the page. What will it write?
Will it write of generous deeds, of ambition, of responsibility; of work well done, and a life well lived?
Or will it write of days that follow after days, each one alike, unremarkable —
in their coming, hardly noticed; in their passing, hardly missed?
Remember that every moment of our lives—every page, that we are given to write—is a gift.
And each one, is a choice.
choice, as Martin Luther King put it: whether to walk in the light of
creative altruism, or the darkness of destructive selfishness.
To be selfish—or to be selfless.
To live for ourselves alone—or to live, for others.
Rotary gives us that choice.
It gives us the choice, as it gives us the chance: to Be A Gift to the World.