Millions of people all over the world are currently displaced by armed conflict or persecution. Through service projects and Rotary programs, the Rotary family is committed to pursuing projects that address the structural causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.
Lets understand more about this avenue from our very own member PP Dr Pradeep wagh who is District Counsellor PEACE of ROTARY International District RID 3131….
PP Rtn.Dr. Pradeep Wagh
PEACE is an oft repeated word ,but it is a state of being, which is often elusive to achieve in the world at large.
Many a thinkers and world leaders have laboured for Peace .
Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King ,Mother Teresa ,Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Karve , to name just a few leaders , have striven for Peace in their own ways and attempted to provide an answer to situations and circumstances that prevailed at their times.
More than often Peace has come at a price. History is replete with tales of Conflict and Violence.
Conflict and violence displaced several million people in the past year alone , and half of those are children.
To get a feel , one in about 100 persons, in the world, is an asylum seeker , or a displaced refugee.
Given that we are 1.2 million Rotarians world-wide, as a mathematical average, without implying anything, there are 7 people displaced for every Rotarian.
These average figures are only to drive home a measure of magnitude of need for Peace in the world. .
In monetary terms,the economic impact of violence on the global economy is estimated to more than ten trillion USD .
So we have a task cut out for us .
Should we Rotarians accept conflict as a way of life ?
Or, like some of the leaders named, are we finding ways to mitigate and prevent conflicts by addressing the underlying causes?
And are we in turn able to uphold and nourish peace in the society around us. ?
PEACE AS A FOCUS AREA
The good news is that Rotary has identified PROMOTING PEACE
as one of its seven focus areas and February is a designated PEACE MONTH in Rotary.
Most importantly, through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.
At Rotary we believe in Promoting positive peace. Our Rotary efforts are directed towards helping address the root causes of conflict and creating conditions that foster peace.
🖝 RID 3131 and RCPS club in particular, took a major initiative in the Rotary’s Focus Area Peace and Conflict Resolution / Prevention, when it held the
“International Understanding and Peace Symposium, IUPS”
On 18th & 19th Feb 2017
IUPS helped RID 3131 understand some of the various actors for Promoting Peace:
– United Nations Peace Keeping
– United National Environment Programmes
– Diplomatic Channels
– Culture and its exchange
– Indian Army Sadbhawana (good-will)
And many more
32 national and international experts addressed some 700 delegates over two days.
Rtn.Paul Netzel , the Chief Guest gave a practical focus to PEACE and Rotary Service , when he said :
“ Throughout ROTARY history , we have proven that you don’t need to be a diplomat to make peace.
When you build a sustainable water and sanitation system , you are a peace builder.
When you mentor a young student struggling to graduate, you are a peace builder.
When you launch any project to support education, health or economic development in your community ,you are building conditions for positive peace.”
Ambassador Sudhir Deware, in his keynote said:
“ Diplomacy is a very ancient art of fulfilling your wants with your opponents or other countries, without resort to violence.
When diplomacy fails , war starts. “
He further referred to Track II diplomacy as being not through Governments , but at private levels like ROTARY.
🖝 TRF’s Global Grants Programme, GGP Under GGP two clubs from two different countries come together to do a socio-economic development project in host country is a good example of Track II Diplomacy that nourishes Inter country Understanding and hence Peace.
But the regret is that most GGPs in India and also RID 3131 are done with first world countries like USA, UK ,Germany.
🖝 ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE, RYE :
In 1972, the RI Board of Directors recommended a Youth Exchange to Rotary Clubs as a worthwhile international activity that PROMOTES GLOBAL PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING.
RID 3131 has been quite effective in this RYE domain.
Again some extra efforts seem to be needed to welcome and do RYE with neighbouring countries .
🖝 ROTARY Peace Fellows, RPF :
Each year, Rotary selects 100+ professionals from around the world to receive fellowships to study at one of our peace centers.
“Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers, RPC program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution”
In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,000 fellows for careers in peacebuilding. Many of them are serving as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations.
🖝 ROTARY SERVICE BEYOND BORDERS:
RID 3131 continues to work on a series of international medical welfare projects which bring about greater understanding and friendship , thus contributing to world peace. Over 500 Rotary Clubs , 43 Rotary Districts and 18 countries came forward to help Nepal during the crisis of an earthquake there.
This turns out to be a classic example of Positive Peace through ROTARY Service.
🖝 DISTRICT PEACE AVENUE SERVICE Team
RID 3131 has in place a District PEACE AVENUE SERVICE team which has comprehensively worked as follows:
Its been a happening year for the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution/Prevention RID 3131 team.
The most impact making project was the celebration of International Peace day, in which more that 14000 individuals participated belonging to Rotary Clubs, ROTEX Club, Rotaract Clubs,Interact Clubs, Innerwheel clubs, Non-Rotarians (NGO’s and individuals) and international peacebuilders. Activities like Meditation, blood donation, paintings, drawings, essay competitions, Zumbaa, Yoga, Multifaith Rallies, sessions for cultural understanding were dedicated to Peace to mark the day.
PBCRP District team members Rtn. Pradeep Wagh, (Counsellor), Rtn Smita Vikhankar (Director), Rtn Santosh Honkarpe (Co-director), Rtn. Dr. Vidya Bhate (Avenue secretary), Members Rtn. Puransingh Mehraji, Rtn. Rakesh Agrawal, Rtn. Prof. Shilpagauri Ganpule, Rtn Dinaz Tarapore, Rtn. Dattatraya Mhaske, personally participated and organized Peace day celebration events. Rotaract Club of Vibrants hosted the entire event. All the participants were sent e-Certificates for their participation.
Other impact making projects were:
a) Peacebuilder awards to 80 Police Patil and Tanta-mukti Presidents of villages of Daund Taluka, recognizing Peace building efforts at grassroot level.
b) A District message and Flags were sent to DG RID 3070, DG RID 3272, Pakistan, through Peace walkers.
c) Continued monthly meetings with RAGFP and Pakistan Rotarians led by Rtn. Andleeb Sandhu for the second year
d) Several clubs have conducted sessions on Peace awareness, establishing Peace through conversations and building Emotional Intelligence. Rtn Smita Vikhankar, herself conducted Emotional Intelligence sessions for Interact schools, 17 Rotaract Clubs and for 80 Peacebuilder awardees of Rotary Club of Daund.
🖝 Rotary Club of Pune Shivajinagar, RCPS and the PEACE AVENUE
RCPS has been in the forefront of the District in this little known avenue.
It is perhaps the only club which has set up a fund donated by “Development Education (International) Society, DEIS ” an NGO in Pune whose Secretary is our PP Rtn.Pradeep Wagh . From the interest earned on this fund RCPS gives away
ANNUAL RCPS ROTARY PEACE AWARDS
to deserving people from the following two broad categories:
Those who have done valuable service to propagate peace in conflict zones of India or the world.
Those who have done exceptional Humanitarian work to create conditions for peace in the society at large,
RCPS has also organised several PEACE oriented activities some of which are:
PEACE ESSAYS by school children
PEACE POSTERS by school children
Continuing the spirit of POSITITVE PEACE through its various Medical and non-medical projects every year.
PEACE SONG lyrics by PP Rtn.Dr.Pradeep Wagh District Counsellor PEACE of ROTARY International District RID 3131and General Secretary of DEIS ,
You Tube Link Please click on this for the song.
|| LET PEACE BE ABIDING ||
Let your LOVE reach HORIZON,
WORLD’s a FAMILY !
TEARS of AFFECTION,
Make CLIMATES lovely. || 1||
The WINDS bring tidings,
Let PEACE be abiding
GREY SKY is crying || 2||
For the CLOUDS in rumbling,
Streaks of LIGHTNING,
NATURE in UNISION,
BLESSETH all dearly. ||3||
Much remains to be done in the field of Focus area of Peace.
RCPS is looking ahead to doing its bit for a peaceful World ,
as while there are dangers to peace, but at the same time there are enough grounds for optimism.
(M) 9881 364 977
Dt. 23 Jan. 2023