Historic Perspective of Rotary Club of Karachi
At the time of independence, there were only 3 Rotary Clubs in Pakistan – Lahore (7 Dee. 1927), Karachi (11 May 1933) and Hyderabad ( 5 March 1939). Today the Rotary Club of Karachi (with a membership of 130 – highest in Pakistan) is one of the 85 clubs in RI District 3271 which covers the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan in Pakistan.
The setting up of the Rotary Club of Karachi was the outcome of the vision and initiative of its service-minded charter members amongst whom figured personalities like Hatim A. Alavi, Hatim B. Tyabji and Jamshed Nusserwanji. And when in 1947 at independence, the Club boat was being rocked with the migration of a good number of its members, the storm was weathered by the foresight and hard work of Rotarians like Dinshaw B. Avari, Hakim M. Ahson, Dr. Sohrab Anklesaria, Yussuff Chinoy and Ahmed E. H. Jaffer.
From its very commencement, the Club started taking an active interest in the civic life of Karachi and also devoted considerable attention to the international aspect of Rotary service. The principal activities-cum-achievements of the Club during the 70 years of its existence, new State of Pakistan (August 1947) are summarized below:
Old Completed Projects
- 1958 a cottage at the Ojha TB sanatorium
- 1962 a clinic in Gizri Bagh Colony (now defunct)
- 1981 a school hall at APWA Artisans’ Colony, Drigh Road
- 1987-88 Sewing machines for Afghan Refugees – 375 Singer sewing machines at a cost of Rs.535,000 thanks to a substantial contribution of the Rotary Club of LudwigshafenRheinschanze (Germany) and The Rotary Foundation. This Project was declared as one of the 50 best World Community Service Projects of 1987-88
- 1989-1996 Mass Miniature Radiography (MMR) Project. A Mercedes-Benz van fitted with sophisticated x-ray equipment (for TB detection), costing over 4 million rupees, for screening Afghan refugees suspected of TB. This Project was made possible by very generous contributions of the Rotary Club of Ludwigshafen-Rheinschanze, RI District 186 (Germany), the German Government and the Rotary Foundation. Over 21,000 Afghan refugees and “contact” persons were screened.
- 1991-92 Hospital equipment (worth over Rs. 3 million) received from the Rotary Club of Nedlands (West Australia) was donated to the Civil Hospital and the Ojha TB Sanatorium.
Ongoing Club Projects
- 1982 Eye-camp in Khairpur (450 km north of Karachi). Annual feature that lasts 3-5 days and is conducted by PP Dr. Hoshang Anklesaria and his team.
- 1982 Hearing Aids for inmates of the Ida Rieu Centre for the Hearing and sight-impaired children. An annual event.
- 1983 Recognition of top successful students of Karachi S.Le. Exam with participation of teachers and parents. An annual feature.
- 1986 Supply of drinking water to “water-less” slum colonies of Karachi – a tanker a day.
- 1996 Adoption of Jaswani Girls School. Looking after its needs, e.g. fans, furniture, digging of a well, etc.
- 1997 TB control in slum areas of Karachi with special emphasis on school children – a project made possible with the co-operation of the Rotary Club of Ludwigshafen-Rheinschanze and The Rotary Foundation MMR methodology being used against a target of 10,000 children, over 8000 already screened.
- 1990 Rotary Community Centre. On a plot of land measuring over 2000 sq.yards a multipurpose Project is taking shape. Up to now the generous donations made by late PDG Kassim Dada and Reuters, the constructed accommodation houses a computer training school (with 100 students) and a big gymnasium.
Recognition of Vocational/Professional Excellence
- 1987-88 Gold Medal to artist Gulgee.
- 1988-89 Gold Medal to Jahangir Khan, world squash champion.
- 1989-90 Paul Harris Fellowship to A. Sattar Edhi for his service to humanity.
- 1990-91 Paul Harris Fellowship to Dr. Ruth Pfau for work among lepers of Pakistan.
- 1993-94 Paul Harris Fellowship to Mrs. Bilqis Edhi for social service work.
Contributions to The Rotary Foundation
Up to now, the Club has contributed over US$ 486,000 to The Rotary Foundation which represents about XX percent of the total contributions of all the Rotary Clubs of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Club has 109 Paul Harris Fellows, 67 Paul Harris Sustaining members, 4 Benefactors and one Major Donor Level .
Past District Governors
The Club has the unique honour of having eight of its illustrious members elected as District Governors since Independence (1947):
- Youssuff Chinoy (1954-55)
- Hakim Muhammad Ahson (1961-62)
- Kassim Dada (1969-70)
- Muhammad Amin (1981-82)
- A. Haiy Khan (1981-82)
- Mohamed Akbar (1985-86)
- Akhtar K Alavi (1995-96)
- Abdul Aziz Memon (2007-2008)