All problems in the world are caused by the unattended mind. The inner personality of a human being is constituted of the mind and intellect. When the intellect is not strong enough to govern the mind, the mind goes haywire causing all the stress and strain in life. A strong education will help the person to strengthen the intellect and this process should start from the time the child goes to school. A teenager who is not exposed to any kind of formal education system can exhibit restlessness and a range of emotions: optimism-pessimism, hope-despair, peace-violence and so on. This person’s mind is replete with likes and dislikes and is easily led by them. When a person with a restless mind faces a constantly changing world, he becomes frustrated as the world cannot cater to his likes and dislikes all the time.
When anxiety enters such a mind or when such a person is misled by divisive forces, misery sets in and the mind worries about a bad past or becomes concerned about an uncertain future. Such a person becomes fatigued and loses concentration. This is when they are most vulnerable and take up to ways that the world now calls as terrorism or anti-social. The mind is made to generate a plethora of desires. And when the generation of desires is not regulated and controlled by the intellect, they gain massive proportions. And unfulfilled desires lead an uneducated or misguided person to indulge in actions that are condemned in a civilised society.
Educating the child, the youngster and the young adult in a formal system helps in developing the intellect which alone can control the vagaries of the mind. Intellect, which must be distinguished from intelligence, can be developed by one’s own thinking, questioning, enquiring and not blindly following what others say or want us to do. Education is a must for this development. American philosopher John Dewey said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Pulitzer Prize Winners Will Durant and his wife Ariel’s remarkable quote about education are: “Education is the transmission of civilsation.”
India’s relative position with respect to the Education Development Index remains poor. UNESCO’s report places India in the 105th place among 128 countries with low educational development index. The countries next to India are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and a few African countries. Reports suggest that only 66 percent of the adults in India are literate! The most shocking factor is that over 34 percent of the children enrolled in class 1 drop out before reaching class 5. They drop out without acquiring any level of basic education. The enrollment rate which is supposed to be 90 percent or more thus has no meaning when the dropout rate is 34 percent. The Annual Status of Education Report, 2009 points out that in many areas, students in government schools do not get proper education. It says that the survey has shown that a 10 year old cannot read what a 7 year-old is supposed to read.
High educational standards are vital if India must really become an emerging power. It must exude excellence and the highest standards which are necessary to raise good citizens. The place for affirmative action on youth is undoubtedly at the school or at best in undergraduate courses. In most rural and semi-urban areas the educational facilities are far from being progressive and are a recipe for national under-achievement. Basic education and training should be tailored to develop appropriate manpower to meet the growing needs of industry and service sectors. Children need education that will teach critical appraisal of advances and ensure ethical practice in the vocation they choose after graduation. The current system in many educational institutions falls short of these objectives. The changes made have been minimal and superficial. Training students to be entrepreneurs continues to be inappropriate and inadequate. The much debated reservation policy in education does no favour to the people and India simply must aim to achieve excellence in education and strive to exceed world standards and not breed mediocrity under false notions of social justice that pulls everyone down.
Some institutions modeled on European institutions retain their colonial inappropriateness. The system of examinations has a greater impact on the approach of students to education than the curriculum. Most schools and colleges focus on the transmission of information to students. The training for acquisition of skills and the confidence to apply them is limited. The emphasis is on getting high marks while a hands-on-approach to apply the knowledge of the students is not stressed. The superficial and theoretical approach to education makes most of the students less competent while those who have taken their own initiative to understand what they studied seem to be migrating abroad for higher education and lucrative jobs. Seeking a graduate or even a postgraduate qualification is a survival strategy for most youngsters rather than a choice based on aptitude or one based on need. Red tape in bureaucracy is not always the result of rigid governmental policies. Many times it is the effect of people with little or no aptitude or analytical skills occupying seats from where they are supposed to help the citizens. Today, the Government of India is seriously considering a recommendation that all government employees be screened at
the age of 50 and that deadwood does not rise to the top by sheer efflux of time.
Many things have to be done in India to put dire poverty and appalling human indices which include illiteracy, health, hunger, discrimination and atrocities behind it. Quite a few are gradually coming into place: growth, equal opportunity and a supportive legislative framework and the right to information have made the emerging new generation overcome stubborn vested interests in impeding development. Education is the main cause for this social awakening, but is it reaching the nook and corner of the
country? The answer is still no.
The Government of India has announced that US $400 billion is needed for investment in the education sector over the next decade. The ambitious programme includes building 30,000 colleges and 900 universities. The allocation of Rs.13,100 crores for Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan is being utilised and nearly 2.22 lakh schools were opened out of the target of 3.3 lakhs. But not all States have achieved the targets. Out of the 11 lakh classrooms targeted 9.9 lakh classrooms have been added, again mostly in the already literate States. The Annual Status of Education Report being prepared by the private audit agency Pratham shows that only in three States — Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu — the reading competence level of children has increased. In most other States, the report says that 30 percent of the kids are unable to recognise numbers. All these reports lead us to the necessity of encouraging more private sector investments in schools and improving the educational standards. This is what Rotary Club of Vapi, RI District 3060, is doing.
For a section of the population in Gujarat the situation is bright and promises to be transformational for the students. The desire that children get a good education runs deep here like any other Indian household. Parents are prepared to sacrifice and invest in their children’s future. What were needed were good schools run by an efficient management under a visionary who can mould the students. It is said that life always brings to us people who inspire us. Enter Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee. The community in Vapi sees him as a role model. He is known to be a person who does not pay lip service while advocating education for all, but as a teacher and a mentor who set up schools and educational facilities for the future generations to benefit. His actions speak louder than words. He realised that if justice and integrity are imperative in national life, then educational facilities must be provided to everyone. He knows only too well that education is central to India’s ambition of becoming a global power. He asks, “If ethics in personal life is important can a child be illiterate? Have we not suffered enough from people who are unethical?”
India is witnessing severe issues of corporate frauds and terrorism amongst others. All these were possible since someone was corrupt and did not learn to be ethical. It is shocking to see people without a sense of shame or regret for the wrongs they have done. A recent report from Bangalore stated that in a government hospital a new born baby is shown to its parents only when money is paid to the employees engaged in the maternity ward! Nearly all of these unethical people have one single motto: ‘If devil is to be supped with so be it.’
If India educates its millions, keeps its head, heart and investments in the field of education, it can turn into an instrument of empowerment. The decades that went by saw youngsters stand poised between a collapsing past and an uncertain future. At the turn of the 80’s the Government confronted the truth that providing education to the people was important and unless it adopts and adapts to a qualitative different way of providing education India will soon lose out on its ambition to become a developed nation. The launch of the Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan in 2002 was preceded by investments in elementary education under the World Bank funded District Primary Education Project. Economic growth is directly related to the percentage of children moving from secondary to higher education. The Right to Education Act, 2009 aims to increase the gross enrollment ratio, which is now at a dismal 12.4 percent to 30 percent. The Government is actively taking steps to build enough capacity to cater to the needs of additional 40 million children. But this is a long process.
Realising that building infrastructure cannot be left to the Government alone, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee decided to enter the fray of higher education. Rotary Club of Vapi soon set up the Rotary Foundation for Education and Learning Trust (ROFEL) in 1985. The aim of this trust was to give scholarships to students of the backward community for collegiate education. The amount of Rs.10,000 per student given by the trust benefitted more than 30 students annually. The students were able to buy the required
books with this grant.
However, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee’s foray into the field of education started in 1971 when the club built a school at Vapi. Known as the Smt. Sandraben Shroff Gyan Dham School, the facility provides classes from nursery to the 12th standard and is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Over 1,500 students get quality education in this school which has the distinction of being the first English medium school in the area. The school not only boasts of very good results but also takes pride in developing the students into responsible citizens. His concept for a school began in 1969 and wanted to establish an educational facility which encourages creativity and tests the raw intelligence of the child. He wanted to move away from the rote system of learning to methods which can expand the child’s horizon of knowledge. His desire was to make the children innovative in the context of challenges that confront contemporary society. Students of this school evolve into responsible, sensitive and tolerant citizens, proud of their roots and willing to embrace the challenges of tomorrow. The school is managed by the Gyan Dham Charitable Trust with Rtn. Rajju
Shroff and Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee at the helm of affairs. Land, to the extent of 5 acres, was donated to the trust by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation. The benevolence of the Shroff family has helped the school to become a modern institution today.
The Rotarians of RC Vapi knew what stands between rural girls and a good education is often basic facilities like proper toilets and transport. The only reason they will not become engineers and doctors of the future is because there is no hygienic toilet facilities in most schools. They were concerned to note that thousands of girls are chafing at being deprived of a good education for no other reason than the lack of a hygienic toilet. By setting up good facilities for the students, the school has brought more students into its portals.
Only 85 percent of the schools in the country have drinking water facilities; 37 percent do not have toilets and only 44 percent have separate toilet facilities for girls. Only one-fourth of the schools have electricity connections and only 6 percent have computers. There are only three classrooms per primary school and there are only three teachers per school. About 14 percent of the schools have a single classroom each and single teacher. If this is the scenario, the aim of providing education to all can be achieved only if service organisations such as Rotary take up the task of setting up educational facilities. If petroleum outlets in the country can be modernised it is time that every school must be made functional and attractive.
Rotarian Kalyan Banerjee knows that education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. He understands that the purpose of education is to teach people to behave as they do not behave. The school that he has built does not just teach the children the shapes of letters or the tricks of numbers; it trains them to understand themselves and their relationship to the world. As he travels around India, speaking tirelessly at many Rotary meetings, he has constantly stressed the need to invest in edu-
cation. He recognises that it is a difficult work to be done; it needs to be done continually, by watching, by percept, by praise and above all by example. He has set the example for every Rotary Club in India to follow. A make-shift literacy programme announces in the newspapers that people will be taught to read. But Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee asks, “What shall they read? What is the purpose of making people read undesirable literature?” Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Soviet Union who later became the leader of the country said, “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Prophetic words said in 1934! Today we know how a wrong kind of educational atmosphere can change young minds into suicide bombers. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, truth and non-violence are inseparable. Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee has given to the world a band of people who have not only a formal education to eke out a living but also a strong commitment for truth.
Much of the worries for the local people arose from regretting about their past or anxiety about the future. And nearly all of these centred on how to educate their children. When Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee opened up the school he told them to take a look at what can lead to their well-being. He made them realise that nothing exists outside his present moment and if they must experience anything in life they must create it in his moment. For him, there was no some-day, there was only right now. Thinking too much about what they don’t have makes people unhappy. Instead, if people take a little time out each day to think about what feels good to them, their emotional energy soon overpowers frustration and worry. One of the serious concerns was the lack of a college in that area and when Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee and his action group from RC Vapi took up the task of setting up a college they knew that there will be impossible demands. But an impossible demand is what Rotary conquers.
To the Rotary Club of Vapi that was the second lesson in success. It was not about what they created for the community; it was about they left behind for generations that defined their success. Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee had to create a bloom in a desert and whenever he was given a place he has left it more beautiful than how he had got it. To him, imagination was everything. He imagined a future for the youngsters of the area and he created it. Other people now live in that area which holds a promising future. That was the essence of his success. Being a Guru, success to him was not about seeing the world but seeing the light that lights up the life of every individual around him. The citizens of Vapi learnt from the actions of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee that there is no limit to how concerned a person can be for another human being and the inclusion he could create.
In 1987 an Arts College and another Commerce College were started with donations of Rs.11 lakhs each from a philanthropic family in Acchari village near Vapi and from a family in Bombay. The Arts College was named Shrimathi C D Jobalia ROFEL Arts College and the Commerce College was named Shrimathi I S R Acchariwala ROFEL Commerce College. Both these institutions are affiliated to the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in Surat. The club raised the required funds by conducting ‘Dandia Nite’ during the Navarathiri festival. There has been no aid from the Government for the construction; however the salary for the staff in the Arts and Commerce Colleges is now met by the Government. The club has spent over rupees one crore for setting up these institutions. Sixty students were admitted each year during the initial years for the three year B.A. and B.Com. courses. Now 150 students are admitted each year. It is significant to note that the Arts and Commerce courses are offered in Gujarati medium.
ROFEL has been recognised by the Academic Council of the University and it has renowned academicians from reputed institutions such as the IIM to advise it. The ROFEL Trust has the Rotarians of RC Vapi as the trustees. The teaching staff for the colleges is recruited by the trust while the seats are filled by the Government in accordance with the policy of the State. Management quota is also filled up only with the approval of the Government. The finances of the colleges are managed by the trustees. Scholarships to students are given by the trust. The success of setting up the colleges removed all fears from the minds of the Rotarians of RC Vapi on their ability to get things done. Their faith in their ability to serve the community sky rocketed. Their leader, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee had yet again taught them an important lesson: faith and fear can never coexist. There is nothing in a caterpillar that says that it will become a butterfly. And yet it goes on to become one!
Rotarian Bharat Patel, Managing Director of Filter Machines Pvt. Ltd., and a member of RC Vapi says, “For years RC Vapi focused on one thing. A better education for the children of this area. We go that extra mile to make sure that happens with all children who walk into our educational institutions across Vapi. The future of Vapi depends on how successful we are in making it a hub for knowledge creation. The area has an advantage — good human resources. It is for us, the Rotarians to either build on that advantage or be condemned to mediocrity. We have to build the future for this city. If we are unable to do so it will be a historic blunder.” He is also a trustee of the ROFEL and is confident that under the Chairmamship of Rtn. Rajju Shroff, the trust will be able to further its ambitious plans in the field of education.
Now that the club was able to manage colleges, the ROFEL Trust decided to start newer courses and colleges. In the words of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, “It is about the unfolding of thought processes.” In 1994, a three year programme, B B A was started under the banner of Rajju Shroff ROFEL B B A College. This college provides education in English medium and admits 120 students every year. In 1998 the trust set up the G M Bilakhia ROFEL Applied Science College and offered B C A course. Every year 120 students are admitted for this programme. These courses are also affiliated to the Veer
Narmad South Gujarat University. All these colleges function at a beautiful campus at Namdha. At a separate campus in Namdha, the trust started The G M Bilakhia ROFEL College of Pharmacy to provide B.Pharm degree. This unique campus has changed the
demography of the area and everyone is now aware of the benefits of education. Higher literacy and better health conditions are reflected in this place. MBA students The human face of RC Vapi is visible all over.
If arts and science colleges were in place can management studies be far behind? The GIDC Rajju Shroff ROFEL Institute of Management Studies, Vapi was set up to provide two year full time M B A programme in 1999. Recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education and with affiliation to Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, the institution provides excellent ambience for developing the managers of industry and business of tomorrow. Air-conditioned class rooms, full- fledged library Gyan Mandir, computer laboratory with 24 hours 512 kbps internet access, seminar halls and a huge auditorium make this institution a much sought after place for learning. No wonder, with top class faculty imparting training the students are immediately absorbed into the industry once they complete their studies. Commenting on the facilities provided by the institute, Ms. Mardi from Navsari, a student in the final year said that she came here to study after hearing very good reports from several individuals. She says that the
facilities are top class and the education levels are comparable to the best in the world. One hundred and twenty students pass successfully through the portals of this management institute annually.
The year 2002 saw the introduction of nursing course and Sandra Shroff ROFEL Nursing College was started. Every year 40 students are admitted for the four year programme. This course is affiliated to the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University, Mumbai. Affiliation to this prestigious University has proved that the nursing course has become a symbol of excellence and students are able to get better opportunities for employment.
In 2004 the GIDC ROFEL Business School was set up to provide a two year full time post graduate diploma in management (PGDM). This institute has tie-ups with HEBEI University of Economics and Business, China, the Ahmedabad Management Association
and is soon finalising tie-ups with Universities in New Zealand and Australia. The Vapi Management Association was started with the initiative provided by the GIDC ROFEL Business School. This unique partnership between Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation and ROFEL caters to the growing need for professional managers in the country and is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education. The business school admits 60 students annually. Students come from far off places to study here. The separate hostel for boys and girls has wi-fi connection in all rooms! The land for these projects has been allotted by GIDC and the building which housed the office of GIDC has been renovated to become classrooms. The library and other facili-ties are excellent.
The variety of courses started by the ROFEL shows the vision of one man — Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee. It shows his sensitivity to small people, their hopes and aspirations. He has given them an opportunity to have the best educational facility and to be connected to a larger world. Every course has a professional director who heads the operation. Starting so many colleges shows the personal tenacity of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee. It reflects his value of giving back more to the society than it has given to him. He has shown that he can motivate people to create extraordinary success with their ordinary lives. “Nine tenths of formal education is encouragement,” said Anatole France, the French poet. It takes courage and conviction to come forward and establish institutions of excellence that will encourage the people to go forward. Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee must be congratulated for the possession of such qualities. To accom-
plish the goals, there is much that he has sacrificed. His vision is to add many more courses in the near future and get a ‘Deemed University’ status of autonomy which will symbolise the high performing standards set in the GIDC and Namdha educational campuses.
The National Commission on Higher Education and Research Bill, which will be introduced in the Parliament, aims in letter and spirit to secure true autonomy for universities and institutions of higher learning. It also proposes to have a Collegium of Scholars with educationists in different branches of knowledge who will advise on the structure and content of higher education. Entrusting education in the hands of people with distinction is what is proposed. Rotary’s achievement in the field of education as seen in Gujarat, should make its guiding star and visionary Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee an ideal choice for this apex body in education.
The guiding principle of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee is “follow truth wherever it may lead.” This seems to be his message for Rotarians everywhere. In every forum Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee discusses the importance of values and inclusiveness in district administration, his hopes for a different Rotary in India and how the ideals of service can be renewed. His approach conveys frankness and humility and each point he makes is persuasive. His talent for proposing humane and sensible solutions does fill one with hope. And perhaps it was out of his intimate knowledge of hardship and the grounding of faith in people that he has set out to be a messenger of hope and peace. A nation that is unable to channelise its human energy sources cannot control its future. Education alone helps people to master their mind and Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee decided to invest in education, science and technology. He knows that none of these investments will yield results overnight. But the result itself was not in doubt. By educating people who live in remote areas he was confident that the local economy will be less vulnerable to economic disruption and life styles will improve as innovations accelerate. Upgrading education levels in rural or remote areas alone won’t necessarily protect the people from growing competition, but it will improve their ability to adapt to a global economy. By providing quality education to the people, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee wanted everyone to have an equal opportunity to compete for good new jobs. He said, “It’s possible, not probable. Education minimises the vulnerability of people.” He demonstrated that Rotary can afford to do what needs to be done. He made Rotarians realise the point that what’s missing is not money, but a sense of urgency in service.
I think that from reading this and the earlier articles about Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee’s wonderful work in Vapi, Rotarians can obtain a glimpse of the man’s history. Every issue that helps to relieve the suffering of people demands his earnest attention. I hope Rotarians will realise the great quality of the person who has been chosen to lead the
Rotary world in 2011–2012. The life of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee in Rotary is an intellectual and spiritual quest undertaken for reasons more compelling than any ambition. Any article on him can never be complete.
Being Kalyan Banerjee is not easy. He is unique not because he has done what no Rotarian has done before. He is unique because he has not done what other Rotarians have done before. He is the first example of modern day Rotary and is the champion unpolluted by fame and position. Kalyan Banerjee is a Rotarian par excellence. Emulating Kalyan Banerjee is difficult, but every Rotarian in the country should at least try.
Rotarians in India should know about Kalyan Banerjee who has been shaping the lives of thousands of people in and around Vapi in Gujarat. The Rotary Club of Vapi, in which he is a member, is the pride of the Indian Rotary movement for the high standards of service it has set and the zeal with which the members continue the activities year after year. It was due to the dynamism and foresight of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee that RC Vapi is regarded today as one of the best clubs in India. Rotary Club of Vapi fitted admirably into the scheme of things as the prime mover of Rotary’s service in the area. The club’s growth from its infant days can be attributed to the mature leadership provided by Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee. His account of life as a person committed to social causes in the district with all its trials and tribulations makes interesting reading. Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee was at the receiving end of the stick. Unde-
terred by bureaucratic delays he plodded to build up a formidable reputation for his club by implementing mega projects that swiftly carried him up the Rotary hierarchy. Honours came Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee’s way unsought.
All the projects of the club have been funded totally by money raised in the community by the members. A lesser man than Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee could have been tempted to exploit his position as Director, Rotary International or subsequently as the Trustee of The Rotary Foundation. For Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, however the massive community development programme in Dang District was sheer dedicated work that the Almighty had ordained for him when he joined Rotary. His work in the Dang District was eventful especially for the dexterous planning that was needed to bring the tribals out of their poverty and ignorance.
The result driven arena of Rotary is the ultimate reality show. There is no hiding place for each signature of character. Strength or weakness, vice or eccentricity, kindness or indifference, each trait is accentuated manifold. Indeed there is so much about the present day Rotary that stokes cynicism. Greed, money, corrupt practices, abuse of position, cheating and self- projection has been rampant in many districts leading to admonishment from Rotary Interna tional Headquarters frequently. It is to
“He is one of those rare leaders,
an icon in Rotary, who has been
able to combine fame with a sense
of responsibility and perspective.”
be expected then that, juxtaposed with unadulterated moments of courage and grace are instances of human weakness and misconduct. Strewn around us are people who claim to represent a modern day culture that is increasingly embracing crudeness as way of life.
Leaders of clubs and districts have often exhibited narcissism instead of being icons for a movement in which humility is the first trait to be learnt. The lifestyles of many Rotarians have led to a head on crash in slow motion. Stories of self-styled leaders whose attention seeking self strutted from throwing lavish parties to distributing gifts are abound. Many district leaders’ claim to fame rests on sustained trampling of other good aspirants who were not willing to deviate from the manual of procedure. Many people have had their names sullied by bar brawls or kiss-and-tell scandals. And for nearly all of them, the road ahead no longer leads to guaranteed greatness.
Hence the relevance of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee. He has achieved titles and superlatives with equal grace and has more and more praise heaped on him, each passing day. His remarkable work in Rotary, especially within his Rotary Club of Vapi, RI District 3060, constitutes an oft-told tale. Less detailed, but arguably of greater bearing on his stature, are those attributes of him which place him on higher ground than most people. He is extremely humble and knows that it is his responsibility to do good to people around him who need help. He has the self-restraint to avoid the distractions lurking in the shadows of the limelight and the decency to not to pretend to be what he is not. These are qualities that cannot be quantified by statistics. And yet, when evaluating a person, such details count.
Leadership at the highest level often involves supremely gifted but mercurial human beings susceptible to erratic behaviour, egoistic tantrums and indiscretions. This maestro from Vapi, has displayed ample evidence of his capacity to be grounded. He is one of those rare leaders, an icon in Rotary, who has been able to combine fame with a sense of responsibility and perspective. His concern for the less privileged, appreciation of every good worker in Rotary and the willingness to give a helping hand are features that endear him to not only Rotarians but thousands of people in and around Vapi. He is a doer who, whether it is for a small service activity or a mega community development project has unwaveringly fulfilled his responsibilities. He acknowledges that it was undoubtedly a statement of his priority, his selection of Binota as life partner.
Rotarians have to understand that Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee cannot be in all the places at one time. No one can. And yet, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee has somehow managed to mean all things to all people. He has never disappointed the Rotarians for the demands placed on him. Always, it has been a word with a smile. Hence, the relevance of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee.
Based on these impressions, limited as they are to what is in the public realm about the ways of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee, it would not be premature or even erroneous to conclude that he is the ultimate symbol of virtue in a world where service to humanity is the main activity. Though he has never made such a claim, it is precisely because of the modesty of his character that he calls attention to himself and others regard him with admiration.
People who work in the public domain are subject to intense scrutiny and those around them see what they want to see. Some search for tiny speck of dirt on those in the spotlight. Leaders are expected to be visionaries and models untouched by controversy. Such are the sensibilities of our times. Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee makes sense of these sensibilities. Hence, the relevance of Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee.
The Rotary world considers Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee to being a statesman, a global ambassador for Rotary and what it represents. With Rotary increasingly becoming synonymous with global healthcare the honest sweat of Rotarians is bound to earn the recognition it deserves. One man will continue to reinforce the values to over 1.2 million members, the way to be a Rotarian and what Rotary stands for — Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee.
When most people involved in service to others choose superficiality as the path, Rtn. Kalyan Banerjee has taken every step in a calculated manner. This is not an affectation
or a carefully maintained strategy aimed at public relations or brand building. The finesse with which he conducts his business comes naturally to him. He has never been
marketed or allowed himself to be marketed or packaged as a leader. The only way he has been cast is as a worker, a humanitarian who rushes to alleviate the sufferings of
people — inarguably that is what he is.