The first Sri Lankan Global President of Rotary K. Ravindran addressing the elite Rotary Club of Colombo on the theme ‘Power of a President’ reminisced on the year gone.

He said, “One day I received a call from a staffer that a girl had to be operated urgently and she was out there in a rural area of Mongolia. The only place this operation can be done was in Chicago as a designated hospital and it had to be done in 48 hours.” It was a tough choice given that the typical President having to be present in 47 different countries whilst attending the administrative tasks during the year. But I took the challenge and got in touch with the Rotary Club of Hongkong and together as a team saved the child’s life notwithstanding the many political and policy approvals that were required in Mongolia. 

This is the power and responsibility of a President apart from bringing reforms on board decision making, instilling a business attitude to organisations like Rotary that has assets over a $ 4 billion dollars whilst meeting the Presidents and Prime Ministers of countries, said Ravindran with pride and humility. 

“This is why we say that ‘Let us be the gift to the world’,” Ravindran emphasised.

He shared some insights to the role of an organisation like Rotary in today’s world and the power that the organisation has to make an impact on a little girl in Mongolia to eradication of polio from the face of the earth. “Once I went for a billion dollar dinner in San Diego that I honestly felt bad for, me coming from a third world country. But, I did attend and we raised 15 million dollars that night and when I was just about to announce it at the end of the dinner a person walked to me and said ‘I will match this’. We collected 31 million dollars that night for humanity. That is to me the power of a President to do good provide the values and leadership style fits the role. 

The new President appointed at the Rotary Club of Colombo, top business and tea exporter Mohammed Abidally said, “Sri Lanka badly requires the calibre of Ravi to support our county’s development agenda. We are from Rotary Club of Colombo as per the new theme ‘Serving Humanity’. The Governor of Sri Lanka and Maldives for Rotary District 3220 commented, “We have a great challenge ahead in the year 2016/17 to live up to the expectations and delivery that IPRP Ravi has set for the world. We have to play our part in the developmental agenda of Sri Lanka that the Prime Minister conceptualised at the World Rotary Conference in Korea,” he said.


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