Rotary Club of Ottapalam | Club ID : 22653 | R.I. District 3201

About Rotary Club of Ottapalam

In 1985, Ottapalam was a town with a population of 35000 people in Kerala, a state of India it its southern tip. Kerala is popularly known as GOD’s OWN COUNTRY due to its natural beauty with green hills, paddy fields, rivers, lakes, temples, mosques, churches, synagogues and its friendly people. Its inhabitants took pride of the valluvanadan culture. The small town boast of historical importance. It had produced many a social, political and bureaucrat leaders in state and central governments, defense and external affairs, public and private undertakings. Apart from the age old famous secondary level schools, it had a college of repute, teachers and training college and scores of other institutions catering to a variety of segments, students including physically and mentally challenged and blind. Ottapalam was(and is..) the taluk headquarters with courts and an array of leading advocates with peaceful police station, busy head post office a railway station that welcomed and bid farewell to may, a social club that attracted the elite, government and private hospitals. It did have, in and around, small scale industries mainly involved in making tiles, match boxes, iron foundries, etc. Majority of the population was involved in farming and fertile land contributed to enrich the paddy fields. The neighboring village, Chunangad was famous for paddy production. Today, Paddy fields are giving way to housing and other crops and cultivated area is getting reduced.

The then sleepy town is now brimming with vehicular traffic that infrastructure could hardly cope with. Ottapalam is not an exception to the change that the run of time witnessed by most of the places in God’s own Country.

The Rotary movement which was well rooted in India, however did not have a club here. Against this background, a few friends (You must have suddenly remembered Paul Harris and his friends) planned to start a Rotary club – thus Rotary club of Ottapalam was born, sponsored by Rotary club of Palghat (Palakkad). The club was chartered in 16th April 1985 as club number 22653, in the then undivided RI District 3200, with a modest number of Rotarians. The Charter President was Cpt. P.S. Rajan. In the initial stages most of the meetings used to be at the President’s residence. Later on the meetings were held at Hotel Aramana, Ayodhya, SCN Hall, etc. Mrs. Meenakshi Rajan of Ambalakkat Chembolly family, the first lady gave a piece of land to build the Rotary hall for a pittance. Afterwards Rotary meetings were held in a hall called Rotary Hall built on this land. The same was bought by Rotarians and shareholders in the name of a registered company named Rotarian Recreation Enterprises Pvt Ltd. Later on the hall was sold by shareholders to Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Once we got a piece of land donated by Rtn. Mrs. Nirmala Ram Mohan of Chembolly family in memory of her late brother Chembolly Ravindran, Chembolly Ravindran Rotary Trust(CRR Trust) was formed under the chairmanship if Rtn. Dr. K Gopikumar, the then President of the club. The CRR Trust build a Rotary Hall which was inaugurated on 10th April 2003. The club started function here during the president ship of Rtn. Dr. Gopikumar. All functions and meetings are held in this hall since then.

In the following years, the club had many members from different walks of life and under various classification. It as in Dec 1997, Girija Chandrasekharan joined the club as the first lady Rotarian. The club had and continues to have close contacts and brotherly relations with its neighboring clubs. It had every year under various presidents and their teams successfully implemented Rotary Priority programs. Club’s community programs have earned a good name for Rotary club of Ottapalam and enhanced the image Rotary.

In the year 2004, a land of 1.5 acres was donated to Raotary by Mrs. Leeal Raghunathan, in memory of her mother late Rariankandath Chinnammu Amma where an Old age home was built during the presidency of Rtn. R Madhusudhan in 2005.

The Rotary year 2006-07 when Rtn E Prabhurajan was the President witnessed a spurt in the international services activities. A team of 19 members led by Rtn. Ambalakkat Ram Mohan visited Malaysia on the invitation o Rotary clubs of Bandar Sunway and Damansara on Rotary Family Friendship Exchange, truly a memorable visit. A sister club agreement signed during the visit in 2007 by Rtn. E Prabhurajan, president and Rtn. Mavin Miranda, president fo Rotary club of Bandar Sunway paved the way for greater cooperation.

During 2007-08 under the president ship of Rtn. VA Balu, the club grew to the membership strength of over fifty by adding 14 new Rotarians. A matching grant project of US$ 21,500 was successfully carried out during the year apart from 153 various community service projects that suited the needs of the community which earned Best club recognition for the club. Besides this was the year in which RC Ottapalam started contributing to TRF in big way. We saw 14 our Rotarians being honoured as Paul Harris Fellows (PHF) in one solemn function.

The club celebrated its silver jubilee in the year 2008-09 with pomp and show, under the Presidency of Rtn. M.G. Koman. The silver jubilee image building project “Roshni” (Rotary’s Shine Ottapalam Initiative) High Mast lamp at the Ottapalam bus stand was commissioned in 2011 during the presidency of Rtn. Col V Gangadharan.

During his Presidency a jumbo team of 42 Rotarians and their family undertook a visit to Thailand in May in connection with the 2012 Rotary International convention in Bangkok - By all means a historical event for the Rotary club of Ottapalam. The club bagged 6 district awards including best community award, best project in district (High Mast Lamp) outstanding TRF contribution outstanding o international service. The club was declared as outstanding club in the district and was adjudged as a STAR club. The club successfully executed matching grant project worth Rs. 1,000,000 during this period which benefitted physically and mentally challenged persons of Ottapalam and surrounding areas.

During the presidency of Rtn. C.P Baiju in the year 2012-13 the club carried out a record of more than 200 projects. The icing of the cake was the signature project of construction of a new generation bus waiting shelter at Lakkidi which has become a rage in Ottapalam and Palakkad areas. The club bagged a record of 23 awards in the district (including international, district and individual awards) the best president and outstanding secretary’s award was bagged by our club for the first time. The club became computerized during this period.

The same zest was shown during the presidency of Rtn. N.K Jayadevan and his team in 2013-14.Many community and vocational projects were carried out. Rtn, Col KCK Nair and team worked overtime to make changes as per new requirement of RI and requirement of the present generation of creating change in the functioning of the club.

The team 2014-15 under the president ship of Rtn. Col KCK Nair has carried out more than 200 projects costing Rs. 22,31,000. The club inaugurated a new generation bus waiting shelter at Manisseri. A fresh project was inaugurated during the Rotary-LION Sangamam on 28th Mar 2015. The join program will be conducted as an ongoing project. There is rampant use of narcotics and drugs abuse in the schools on Ottapalam and surrounding areas, the 2 international NGOs plan to abolish this menace with the help of IMA, a parent teachers association, excise department and police from this area. If we can abolish Polio from the face of earth why can’t we get rid of this menace which will adversely affect the new generation? Younger and fresh Rotarians were given responsibility by including them regularly in community, club service and vocational service projects like gift of life, artificial limbs, adoption of girl children, etc. The team 2014-15 also bagged several Rotary district awards.

The team 2015-16 under the president ship of Rtn. Krishnadasan saw a spurt in club service activities included modernizing the club with false roofing and part air-conditioning.

The team 2016-17 under the presidency of Rtn. Dr. Narayanan saw the development of club facilities further. The club was fully air-conditioned and entire flooring was replaced with modern tiles. A signature project of the year was providing free computer education to 100 poor youth with NIIT and Government certifications. This district grant project was carried under the chairmanship of Secretary Rtn. K Ramachandran. Several health care projects including free Breast cancer scanning were carried out during the year.

Rtn. Raaj Mohan, son of one of our founder members and past president of RC Ottapalam Late Rtn. Madhavan, took over the presidency in 2017-18. He will be remembered as the youngest President of the club. He undertook several major projects. The signature project of the year was THAMARAKKULAM, a 1 acre pond was cleaned and made usable to a large public in the region. Rotary district recognized his performance and awarded for many areas including best president and club.

The team 2018-19 is under the leadership of President Rtn. Adv. P Pradeep. The signature project of the year is the implementation of Global Grant # 1861779 of US$ 35,000 for the benefit of paraplegics and quadriplegics under the chairmanship of Rtn. Ambalakkat Ram Mohan. A total of 27 beneficiaries received chin operated wheel chair, 3-wheel scooters and sewing machines through the project. A training centre for the beneficiaries was also set up at the Rotary garden in Koonathara Rotary Garden. All building and facilities made wheel chair friendly to make the movement of trained easy. This project will see more of the training during the sustainability part under the leader ship of President Elect Rtn. K Ramachandran during 2019-20.

A few noteworthy community service over years were:
● Two ambulances under matching grants (RC Singapore Orchids and RC Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
● Mortuary Freezer (RC Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
● Clean drinking water project at Poly Gardens home for mentally challenged at Lakkidi(Matching grant RC Hinsdale and RC Oak Brooks), Furniture teaching aids, training and production equipment, transportation vehicles, etc. to Medha Foundation a school of mentally challenged under Children Opportunity Grant from Rotary Foundation and sponsoring from Grace Foundation, Canada.
● Community based rehabilitation project in association with Nation Association for Blind, under matching grant (RC Bandar Sunway, Malaysia) benefiting more than 800 less fortunate persons.
● Our major image building project “Roshni” a 20 meter high mast light at the centre of Ottapalam town.
● Handed over a developed cremation ground to the Municipality
● New Generation waiting sheds at Lakkidi
● Old age home (Rotary centennial project) now Rotary Garden
● Rotary Friends of Flowers Garden
● Adopted schools, innumerable free medical camps, eye care, dental care, geriatric care, public health awareness programs, vocational training programs, educational assistance, tailoring institutes, water supply projects and so on.
● Humanitarian projects of building a house for Damayanthi a poor lady whose family of 10 consists of five unfortunate physically challenged members.
● New generation bus waiting shelter at Manisseri.
● New revamped CRR Hall with new tiles and part air conditioning
● E-Literacy district grant project for the benefit 100 youth in association with NIIT Ottapalam
● CRR Hall renovated with full air-conditioning
● Recharging of a large pond after a pond cleaning project THAMARAKKULAM for the benefit of general public and also for water conservation.
● Club’s first Global Grant project for the benefit of 1 Quadriplegic and 26 paraplegic persons who were provided with chin-operated wheel chair, 3-wheel scooters and sewing machines that will make them to start a new life with training to make eco-friendly paper pens, LED bulbs, umbrellas, detergent soap, etc. RC Ottapalam are thankful to all donors and well-wishers who have been closely associated with us in our humanitarian activities.