Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta, has urged Rotarians in District 9110 comprising members from Lagos and Ogun States to redouble their efforts at doing good and touching lives in their various communities.
Rotarian Mehta, who was accompanied by his wife, Rashi, and past Rotary International Vice President, Yinka Babalola, spoke in Lagos during an official visit to Nigeria.
He was received on arrival by Remi Bello, Governor of Rotary International District 9110, and other leaders.
The Rotary International President, who had earlier commissioned the Indo Eye Care Hospital as part of his visit, noted that he was delighted to see Rotary’s excellent and impactful projects.
Mehta revealed how participating in service projects through Rotary changed him as a person and made him empathise more with the needs of others.
Soon after joining his club, he helped carry out projects that benefited rural communities in India.
He was later at the Rotary Centre, in Ikeja, where he observed the vaccination of secondary school girls against cervical cancer.
An elated Mehta said the scourge of Cervical Cancer was real and praised District 9110 for taking up the challenge of reducing the disease.
Mehta stated that he wanted members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed.
Mehta averred that diversity, equity and inclusion was critical to Rotary’s work.
He noted that just as the organisation took up the challenge of ridding the world of Polio, the fight against cervical cancer was winnable.
As a means to encourage Nigerians to care more for their environment and continue the fight against global warming, the Rotary International President also planted some trees at the Rotary Centre.
He said the gesture was “not only to show that we need to take actions to improve our environment but it symbolises the need for growth in our organisation”.
He said there was a need for Rotarians to grow more by introducing more people into the service organisation.
He said his target under the Each One Bring One, Retain All programme was to add at least 100,000 members in the next one year, adding: “If we grow more by adding more members, we would be able to also do more projects and save more lives.”
He also paid a visit to the Polio House, where he was received by the Chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho, a past District Governor, who took him on a tour of the facility.
Rotarian Mehta commended the work of the Polio Plus Committee and applauded it for its contribution to the effort that has made Nigeria and Africa free of the Wild Polio Virus.
He noted that the experience that Rotary has garnered through over three decades of Polio vaccination will be deployed to help the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic as well reduce the issue of vaccine hesitancy.
In his remarks, Rotarian Bello noted that District 9110 was excited and honoured to be the first port of call of the Rotary International President during his visit to Nigeria.
He revealed that the Rotary President’s activities were carefully chosen in line with his aim of enhancing health and education for the girl-child, membership retention and expansion as well as care for the environment.
He said the visit was significant because it will inspire Rotarians to do more community projects, touch more lives and impact humanity.
Later that evening, Rotarian Mehta and his entourage were hosted to a dinner at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, where he savoured Nigerian culture, cuisine and hospitality.