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From Strength to Strength

STRENGTH TO STRENGTH… IIW District 329

Compiled by PDC Madhulekha Sen

The glorious history of Inner Wheel in the eastern part of our country started with the formation of Inner Wheel Club of South West Calcutta in 1961 with the Late Arati Dutta as the founder  President and Roja Branley as founder secretary of this club. The charter was presented by DG Rtn Karim of Bangladesh (in RI Dist 329 then) . The club celebrated its Golden jubilee year in 2012-2013.

In 1976, The Association of inner Wheel clubs in India & Bangladesh was formed & Raksha Mehta became the first Association President.

 Our Inner Wheel Dist 329 was formed in 1977 with 4 clubs, South West Calcutta, South Calcutta, Darjeeling and Guwahati. Late Arati Srimal was the founder Dist. Chairman and Late Purnima Chowdhury was the founder Dist. Secretary. 1st Dist conference was held in Guwahati and 1st Dist Assembly was held in Calcutta.

Maya Barooah became Dist. Chairman from IWC of Guwahati in 1978-79.

DC Gyan Swaroop(1979-80) formed IWC Calcutta Midtown which was the 5th club in our Dist. She brought out the first Chairman’s Newsletter. During the year, 2nd Triennial conference was held at Bhopal.

Late Manju Prasad & Late Namita Roy became Dist. Chairmen in 1980-81& 1981-82 respectively. Namita Roy wrote a valuable guide book Inner Wheel rules and regulations which became very useful to all the members.

Late DC Dhara Roy, (1983-84) formed 19 clubs in India & most of them are in Bangladesh now. She started Dist.Rally for the first time, 3rd Triennial was held at Trivendrum.

During the tenure of DC Sumi Agarwal (1984-85) the thrust was on consolidation of existing clubs. For the first time a mega fund raising was held to create a very healthy bank account for the District. The bifurcation of Bangladesh into a new Dist.(328)happened. An Assn Council meeting was hosted by our Dist.

Late Kajal Nag was Dist. Chairman in 1985-86. 4th Triennial conference was held in Delhi.

Clubs were guided under the leadership of DC Geeta Ghosh(1986-87)to arrange Cancer detection camps in bustees and rural areas. A substantial amount was donated to Thakur pukur Cancer Research Center.

First National polio workshop was attended by DC Reba Bhattacharya (1987-88) in Delhi. Inter Dist. I.S.O. meet was organized which was attended by the delegates from our neighbouring Dists.

1st Dist. Directory was published by DC Dr. Lalita Seth (1988-89). She also started Club Officers’ Training institute for the 1st time in our Dist. From our Dist. She was elected as Assn Secretary for the 1st time. A massive toy collection drive was launched to support the IIW theme, Protect Children they are the future. The launch of this project was held at Raj Bhawan, by Begum Hassan, sister of the then Governor of West Bengal. Shri Nurul Hassan. A press conference was organized on Inner Wheel ideas and objectives. 5th Triennial conference was held at Vijaywada.

During the tenure of Late Dr. Pratima Dutta,(1989-90) IIW theme was ‘Put your HEART into it’. She explained the word HEART through Dist. Functions which was appreciated by IIW. She started conception of CGR. Incoming Chairman’s institute was hosted at Darjeeling. Mother Teresa was implanted with a pace maker. 25 minutes discussion on IIW  & Dist 329 was telecasted on TV. 19 club bulletins were added.

22 clubs were grouped during DC Sarbani Ghosh’s (1990-91)term and were allotted 4 bustees to promote 20 point action plans to develop the slum areas. The project was inaugurated by late Russi B Gimi, late Shri Jugal Srimal and other dignitaries. For the first time ‘Explore Talent Rally Go’ with different enjoyable items was held .

DC Swadesh Bhargava (1991-92) 6th Triennial conference held in Bombay. The Dist was bifurcated for the 2nd time and Dist 324 was formed.

During the tenure of DC Madhulekha Sen (1992-93) our Dist got recognition in the Assn. by hosting the Assn installation ceremony of Dr. Lalita Seth at Taj Bengal. Past IIW president Minna Kapur was the keynote speaker. 1stEC&AC meetings of assn. were also hosted by the district. The past President meet was organised for the first Time. A big sum was given for rehabilitation of drug addicts. Chairman was chosen as one of the four zonal coordinators to coordinate with the clubs in eastern zone for 9th IIW convention at Sydney, Australia. Celebrated IIW silver jubilee day .

DC Vijaya Mohan (1993-94) organized an inter district seminar. The then IIW president Anita Agarwal was the chief guest. Donated Rs.70.000 to Dist.313 for earth quake relief . Vijaya was elected as Assn Secretary for the year 1994-95 and Dy National Representative in 1999-2000.

DC Monica Karmakar(1994-1995) promoted joint installation. For the first time Dist. Conference & Dist. Assembly were also jointly hosted. For the first time Dist. Chairman’s installation, along with her team, held in the inaugural session of Dist. Assembly. Unique cultural program ‘Collage’ for Inner Wheel children starting from the age group of 3 to 30 was organized for the first time. A project on eye operation and spectacle donation was held at Labpur village in Dist.324. 7th Triennial conference held at Cochin.

During the tenure of DC Asha Agarwal(1995-96) clubs organized a sit & draw compitition on polio free India. For the first time teacher’s training workshop was held where 30 teachers from vocational centres, run by inner wheel clubs participated

During DC Subhalakshmi Roy Chowdhury’s term (1996-97) the then captain of Indian Cricket, and pride of our country, Saurav Ganguly was felicitated for his debut in England. Hosted 2nd AC meeting and past IIWRs meet at Calcutta club.Past IIW president Minna Kapur was felicitated.

DC Mamta Agarwal(1997-98) organized 1st ICM on cruelty against animals where Maneka Gandhi, Chairman of “People for Animals” was guest of honour. She received a cheque of Rs.25,000 from the dist. The mega project of the year was construction of an operation theatre at Subodh Memorial Cancer Institute at the cost of Rs..5lacs. 8th triennial conference held at Coimbatore.

Late Manju Guha was DC from July 1998-Dec98. could not continue due to ill health.

During DC Shibani Das’s (Dec 1998-2000) year the major project was to adopt a mother, to look after a pregnant mother for 18 months, starting from 6months before birth of the child and 12 months after the delivery. ICM was held on ‘Child labour and broken family’ 2nd ICM on ‘concern for Elders’ reflected a sense of proximity and a sense of responsibility.

Late PDC Sunita Awatramani (2000-01) organized a collection drive of Rs.1 lac for the victims of earth quake in Gujrat. 9th Triennial conference held in Chennai.

DC Chandan Chakraborty (2001-02) encouraged the clubs to collect a huge amount for building a fully equipped 3 storied higher secondary school with computers and science lab for girls in Sunderban area. The cost was Rs. 35lac. Adopted an Ultra Sonography room at Rotary Diabetic hospital at a cost of Rs.50.000. This was inaugurated by the then Assn President late Gulnar Marfatia.

The Dist had a land mark event during the term of DC Shikha Sanyal (2002-03) when our Dist. Completed 25years of noble service. The Silver Jubilee celebration held at Gorky Sadan was hosted by all the clubs and was a great success. Founder Dist. Chairman late Arati Srimal was felicitated along with all the past dist chairman.A traffic island at Saltlake was adopted by the clubs for beautification and this was inaugurated by Assn President Geeta Padmanabhan.

DC Sushmita Sarkar (2003-04) encouraged all the 33 clubs to maintain the traffic island at Saltlake. District had 2 days of Dist. Rally and collected Rs.50,000, which was donated to the children’s wing of Thakurpukur Cancer Center. District got recognition from Rotary International for DC’s contribution towards stitching the longest Polio banner in the world. 10th Triennial conference at Pune .

During the tenure of DC Basabi Mitra(2004-05) a Multi Dist. ICM was held to celebrate Golden Jubilee of Inner Wheel in India. She attended an inter district meet hosted by Dist.305, at Jodhpur for the same purpose. Rs.2,50,000 was spent for building 10 cottages in Port Blair after tsunami. The money was sent to the IWC of Port Blair  in cash. Basabi has served as the webmaster of our Dist, for a long time.

DC Bichitra Sen took over as Dist. Chairman in the year 2005-06. During her leadership, club contributed toward the renovation work of Arun Roy school at south Calcutta. Which was specially applauded by the then Assn. President, Shailaja  Bhatt. She received Matangini Hazra award for extra ordinary social work for the  underprivileged. Opened a school for street children at Keyatala and turorial classes at Sonarpur where clubs provided a tubewell. A home was started for mentally retarded at Rajarhat.

DC Sharmila Dutta Chowdhury (2006-07) organized a felicitation program for the then IIW Vice President Kamala Ramakrishnan along with PDCs and very senior member of our District. This was an unique function .For the first time, all the clubs jointly helped renovation drive of a school. They also jointly helped “Refugee”, a center for under privileged children to get drinking water connection. 11th Triennial conference in Mumbai.

During DC Bhabani Dhar’s (2007-08) term joy tram ride was organized with the inmates of old age home. Organized a walk on International Peace Day. PDC meet was held at Lake club . Hosted Incoming Chairman’s  Institute at Tollygunge  club. Joint education project was held to help a vendor’s daughter  to complete her graduation. Dist website was created this year. Bhabani became Assn Secretary in 2008-2009.

DC Sarmila Bose (2008-09) attended the 1st South Asia Rally in Cochin with a large delegation from our District. IIW President Suzane Nelson gave emphasis on education for girl child. More than Rs.2 lacs was collected and spent by the clubs towards the education expenses of girl students. IIW day celebration, Srijon, where performance by members at Tagore’s Chitrangada, was noteworthy. Sarmila attended 14th IIW convention at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

During the term of DC Snigdha Barat (2009-10)  emphasis was given on utilization of solar energy and a solar energy set was donated by 13clubs to Apna Ghar oldage home. Three Auto Pipettes, one centrifuge, one 2 star AC machines were given at Haemophilia  society. Micro credit project for providing requisite funds for purchase of 30 bicycles, 12 Tulu pumps, 17 fishing nets and for obtaining driving license. Lip, cleft and palate operations were done for 44 patients. A cookery book was published. 12th Triennial conference at Varanasi.

Inter Dist. I.S.O. Meet was organized during the tenure of DC Sumita Roy (2010-11). IIW Day celebration was graced by the then IIW President Dr. Pallavi Shah. World Heritage Day was observed at Victoria Memorial Hall. This was presided over by His Excellency Governor of West Bengal  N K Narayanan and other eminent speaker. Margaret Oliver Golding award was conferred on Prof. Chitra Ghosh, PP, IWC Calcutta, 2nd recipient from India.

DC Arunima Guptu (2011-12) attended a seminar on Image Building at Cuttack along with Past Assn president & PIIWR Lalita Seth, PDC Sumi Agarwal, PDC Monica Karmakar . Our Dist also organized a program on Image Building. Bijoya Diwali Meet , Alingan was attended by Assn President Bina Vyas. IIW day was observed at Shantiniketan, hosted by IWC Cal Metro East. For the first time joint installation for 10clubs was held at Dist. Assembly. Dist.329 was recognized for Micro credit project at Deora village at IIW convention at Istanbul. Postal ballot was introduced. Pan card was introduced in each of our clubs as well as the Dist. for the first time.

DC Rupa Mukherjee (2012-13) organized East Zone Seminar ‘Synergy’ at Rotary Sadan. It was an interactive training session given  by Assn president Sarita Lunani, and all other Assn office bearers. This seminar was attended by Dist Chairmen and members of neighbouring Districts. An IW Haat was held where 25 NGOs displayed their stalls free of cost. IIW President, Carole Young and Assn. President, Sarita Lunani were felicitated at Birla Sabhaghar. This was followed by a cultural program. 13th  Triennial conference was held in Hyderabad.

DC Dr. Sunanda Ghosh (2003-01) of Dist.324 joined Dist.329 by becoming a member of IWC Salt Lake City. Triennial conference was attended by her in Pune, held during her term as DC.

DC Chandrika Banerjee (2013-14) involved corporate participation in IW through fund raising and joint programs. A celebrity debate was organized jointly with Times of India Bengali daily that gave IW huge publicity. 75 members performed in the fellowship monsoon celebration and women’s empowerment was stressed in both the ICMs. More than two lakhs were sent to Uttarakhand relief fund. Several toilets were constructed in and around town for ladies. Two big projects for challenged children were taken up. Defence Training for under privileged girls were arranged.

IWC South Calcutta has celebrated its golden jubilee in 2013-14.

PDC Mamta Agarwal has added another feather to our District. She was elected Association Vice  President for the year 2014-2015 & Association President in 2015-16 .This gave our District a great opportunity to host the 14th triennial conference in 2015-16 in Calcutta for the first time.

DC Saswati Dutta (2014-15) organised SEVARPAN, East zone felicitation of IIW President Abha Gupta. 46 delegates from 3 other Districts attended.

She also Organised Take One- Ek Shuruaat, the installation of  Mamta Agarwal, Association President 2015-16 in Vedic Village. It was a wonderful programme in surreal surroundings appreciated by all. Actor Soumitra Chatterjee released the District Souvenir. The 16th IIW Convention was attended by 17 delegates from IWD 329 including DC and 4 EC members. All 47 clubs joined hands to set up an orphanage in Sandeshkhali. DC Saswati personally wished each member on their birthdays and this personal touch was extremely appreciated by all.

DC Mamta Gupta 2015-16 some milestones of 2015-16:

44 Presidents were the voting delegates in the 14th Triennial Conference held in our home town Kolkata. The first new gen club of the district, Kolkata New Gen Club was formed with 19 young vibrant members.  First time E-newsletter was released at District Conference.  First time District History Book consisting history of 51 clubs  was released. District Directory was given a name for the first time. A Unique project Manavata started  to provided sanitation, hygiene and health facility to the underprivileged women and  school girls. 67 Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine and Incinerator were installed in schools. Organised a week long Friendship trip to Punjab District 307 by 40 members.  Think pink  Kolkata -First ever walk \ by more than 650 people, for Breast Cancer Awareness. Six other organisation, school children   and two  corporate houses joined the walk. IIW Day was thus celebrated and widely publicised through the Telegraph newspaper. Dialogue with Dinesh Trivedi, Hon’ble MP in the intercity meet and eminent singer Lopa Mundra In Bijoya Diwali meet were enjoyed by  members.

Elected as  1st  Association Treasurer from our District for the IW year 2016-17.

DC Jayshree Paul Chowdhury (2016-17) organized COTI with a difference, question and answer session was held from the beginning till the end. First time Intra District ISO Meet was organized, from morning cruise over the Ganges, till evening, with cultural programme and competitions held amongst all Club ISOs. Sports Meet was organized for the first time at Gitanjali Stadium where all clubs participated in the March past, showcasing their projects and beneficiaries also. Members took part in various races and relays, prizes were distributed by AP Prabha Raghunandan. The IIW Day Celebration extended for a week with Cleanathon as the  theme. Walks, seminars, road side plays, distribution of Eco friendly bags, articles, dustbins and tree plantation was carried out  in large scale from 5th Jan to 12th Jan 2017.  District 329 participated in Literacy on Wheels which covered 600 km., Safar Swabhiman Ka to spread the joys of Literacy.

IIW President Oluyemisi Alatise with AP Prabha inaugurated four Mega Projects on her first visit to our District.  43 clubs joined hands together for the construction of Water Kiosk at Dhapa and donation of 135 wooden desks to Adyapeeth School. 17 Happy Schools were made and 470 children sent back to school under Asha Kiran.  CCC Chairman became a member of the District EC from this year. 1st EC and 1st DC was held  before Assembly which is to continue forever. 40 members participated in the 4th South Asia Rally held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

DC Jayanti Dutta of Dist.324 joined our Dist.329 as the Charter President of the revived club IWC Calcutta Park Point.

DC Vinny Kandhari (2017-18) organized the East Zone Meet – FOOTPRINTS. Chief Guest of the Zonal meet was IIW President Dr. Kapila Gupta. This was attended by Association President along with Association EC. 70 delegates from district 302, 315, 324, 325 and 326 attended this Zonal Meet. 50 clubs joined hands to start a computer training centre for Acid attack survivors and help them become stuff dependent. 14 school have been provided with E-Learning kits to help children learn in a happy and better way. More then 400 toilets have been built in villages under project ‘Dignity’. 16 schools have been converted into ‘Happy Schools’. Keeping in mind the present scenario seminars on ‘Good Touch-Bad Touch’ were organized in more then 30 Schools. Inter Clty Meet ‘Victorious Voices’ had women achievers from different fields as speakers. Attended the 17th IIW Convention in Melbourn with 23 delegates and ‘Swarna Manjari’ the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the formation of IIW in Varanasi with 130 delegates. A great year for our District as PDC Mamta Gupta has been elected as AVP for the year 2018-19.

Branding Inner Wheel was also done by joining other organizations and speading our network of service.

DC Indrani Chatterjee (2018-19) began the year with a mega join project with 49clubs .  Inner Wheel branding was taken up in a big way with the whole city of  kolkata  awashed with Inner Wheel banners on electronic display board, also a huge Inner Wheel  sign board was put up at the entrance of the Subhash Sarobor lake . The very relevant issue of trafficking of women & girls was addressed in the Intercity Meet which was taken forward by 48 clubs joining to provide better medical and counseling facility at the Sukanya Shelter home. Many clubs which were hitherto only joining other clubs for projects came forward as lead clubs and undertook relevant need based projects. Children were empowered with the making of 14 happy schools, construction of libraries, installation of e-learning facilities, remaking of play ground. Similarly many women & young girls were empowered in different ways to evolve into self sufficient, confident business women simultaneously taking care of their family. Respect and gratitude was shown to our brave soldiers and their families by the members. A new club was formed this year, Inner Wheel Club of Kolkata Evergreen. Attended the 15th Triennial Conference at Pune with 70 delegates Dist.329 was on a winning spree with 5 prizes won in the East Zone Meet and 1 prize at a Multi District Rally. A grand finale to the year was Meraki – Installation of Mamta Gupta as Association President 2019-20  hosted by Dist.329 during her tenure.

DC Ruchi Gupta (2019-2020) “Together we can” was the IIW theme and “Together we certainly Did” 18 joint projects in various areas both rural and urban. Grameen Udyog, a mega project to create a model village. The Adult Literacy project there has been a grand success . Income opportunity created through plantation of medicinal plants. For Mission Mamta orphan free India ,Clubs have created awareness through hoardings, banners and distribution  of pamphlets. This also served as branding for Inner Wheel. Parents of adopted children were recognised and honoured at the District Rally which garnered media support on News channels & on social media. Drinking water was a focal point with 7 water kiosks and 3 tubewells constructed. 5 Inner Wheel schools were created benefitting over 700 children.  Five villages were adopted by clubs individually. Empowering women and girls, through vocational training leading to income generation, distribution of sanitary napkins & installation of sanitary napkin vending machines to maintain the dignity of women.

Though Covid 19 and Cyclone Amphan threatened to derail the year it brought our members together like never before! Exemplary work was done in providing relief in cash or kind. An ambitious project construction of a permanent cyclone shelter in Jhorkhali village has been taken up.

20 members attended the East Zone Meet where our short skit on Adoption was greatly appreciated.

 At present there are 54 active clubs in Dist.329. Each and every District Chairman worked hard to help out the growth of Inner Wheel by adding clubs in an around Calcutta and by increasing membership.

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