Ravindran becomes first Sri Lankan to head Rotary International
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:00
Respected local business leader and CEO of Printcare PLC, K.R. Ravindran, has been selected as the President of Rotary International; one of the worldâ€™s largest service organisations, for 2015-16. Ravindran will be the first Sri Lankan and only the 10th Asian to hold this prestigious office in the 108-year history of the organisation.
Rotary International, formed in 1905, consists of more than 1.2 million members in over 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world. Rotary is a worldwide organisation of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations. The Rotary Foundation is the charitable arm of the organisation with assets in excess of $ 1 billion.
Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organisations. The eradication of polio from the world is one of the stated goals of Rotary. After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners, WHO, UNICEF, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease.
In Sri Lanka, K.R. Ravindran headed a taskforce with members from the Government, UNICEF and Rotary, and worked closely with UNICEF to negotiate a ceasefire with Northern militants during national immunisation days. Rotary funding for polio eradication in Sri Lanka exceeded $ 2.5 million. Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to become polio free. The last virologically confirmed case of polio was detected in Sri Lanka in 1993.Â Ravindran also chaired the Schools Reawakening Project sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka. This project, consequent to the tsunami and costing over Rs. 1 billion, consisted of building over 20 new high quality schools, benefiting 15,000 children in this country
A member of Rotary Colombo since 1974, Ravindran has previously served Rotary International as a Director and Treasurer and as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation.