Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran, the first Sri Lankan to hold the post, and his wife Vanathy arrived in Sri Lanka from the organisation’s Chicago headquarters yesterday.
The members of the Rotary Club of Colombo welcomed him at the VIP Lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport.
Rotary International is the world’s first and largest service organisation. Established 110 years ago, it enjoys observer status at the United Nations.
As President, Ravindran heads 34,000 clubs in 200 countries, accounting for a total of 1.2 million members across the world.
Rotary International established its Sri Lankan branch in 1929 and today has 73 clubs with over 2,000 members.
As a service club, Rotary established the Ceylon National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis (CNAPT), the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association (SLANA) and the Centre for Handicapped in Peradeniya. It also implemented Sri Lanka’s polio eradication campaign, a hearing aid project at the General Hospital and rebuilt 25 schools devastated by the tsunami to benefit 15,000 children in the south east of the country.
It has also established a cancer prevention and early detection centre and a new neonatal intensive care unit at the Mahamodara Hospital.
Ravindran, who is CEO of Printcare Plc, has been a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo since 1976. He has been the President of the Sri Lankan branch and later served as its Governor. He has also been a trustee of the Rotary Foundation.
Text and Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya