group of Six Rotarian couples included Llew and Janiene Sandford
(team leaders), Ray and Dorothy Worden, Geoff and Jennifer
Kennedy (after trekking in Nepal), Noel and Barbara Cochrane,
Stuart and Jeanette Davidson and Laurie and Ann Fagan.
In the words of Stuart Davidson & laurie Fagan- team members
Much discussion took place during this time about the 2 hour
trip from the Mumbai airport to the Hotel, traffic and driving
conditions, and the number of people (18 million), cattle,
cars, motor bikes and tuk-tuks.
We were met by Deepak Agrawal (RFE Co-ordinator R.I. Dist.3060
India) very early on the morning of the 8th to catch the train
to Bharuch, our first host club.
On arrival we briefly met our hosts before being taken to
the District Conference for lunch and later we presented to
Team Leader Llew introduced all team members, each of whom
gave a brief outline of their own club and local area background.
During the two week period of the Exchange we were hosted
by the following clubs – Bharuch, Vapi, Surat, Baroda,
Nadiad and Rajkot Midtown.
Because we were home hosted we were able to see India at “the
grass roots level” and not merely as tourists.
Throughout the Exchange the Clubs involved and our hosts gave
an exceptional amount of time and effort to ensure that we
were more than comfortable and that we would leave India richer
for the experience and with great memories.
Team members commented on numerous occasions about the number
and size of projects and the passion with which the Rotarians
addressed the obvious responsibility they felt towards improving
the lot of the vast number of less fortunate Indians throughout
Some of the
very impressive projects were
visits included a diamond cutting factory, textile dying factory,
a sugar processing plant, a peanut oil processing plant and
the Amul Dairy Corporation.
Culturally, we were able to visit a number of temples as religion
is a key facet in the lives of all Indians; to frequently
pay homage to the holy cow; to experience artisans at work,
often in their homes; to enjoy the great variety of spicy
food (although we learned to be very careful); to marvel at
the colors of India and to wonder at the very amiable nature
of the people no matter their circumstances.
This was a most rewarding experience in a country which is
quite different to our own in so many ways.
The sheer weight of numbers presents problems for governments
at all levels but creates opportunities for others to make
The Rotary Clubs of D 3060 have certainly taken up the challenge
with a passion and do encourage other clubs of Rotary International
to support them
It was a magnificent Exchange full of rich experiences.
All team members are very appreciative of the opportunity
they were given to “taste” another culture and
for this we must thank all Rotarians and host families both
in India and Australia for making this possible.