Eastern Bridge – RCME Newsletter, Issue #09






  • Baku Beckons

  • Fireside


  • Dr. KVT Award

  • CSR Mindtree Visit


  • VET Thoraipakkam Visit


  • Science Film Festival

  • Young Achievers Award

  • Wings2Fly




Happy new year and wishing all of you and your families a propitious and fulfilling new year. Half of the year went by in the blink of an eye and worked us hard. Every event at RCME was well attended, curated and benefitted more number of people than ever anticipated. The fellowship tour at Baku was a dream come true and was a much needed break from the all the hard work every Rotarian has been doing. Some of other highlights have been the young achievers award function and the Dr KV Thiruvengadam award function, both of which were a massive success. Every Rotarian returned inspired and awed by the multitude of achievements and dedication put in by all of the awardees- Rian Kumar and Hansini Mathan as young achievers and Dr.Thangarajan Rajkumar and Dr V Sridevi as awardees for the Dr KVT Award.

With the new year in, I am greatful and thankful for being President and I am indeed proud of the new heights the club is soaring to everyday.

Hoping for your continued cooperation,

President Rtn. Ramakumar


Back to the digital age from the last issue, it is been quite some time over a fortnight. With the year-end commitments hanging over our heads, the club has had its fair share of fun and events. The CSR visits have been a huge hit and stand testimony to the continued great work undertaken by the Club. Special mention to the Baku fellowship which was the icing on the cake and recharged everybody’s batteries. Those of us who missed out sure look forward to the other smaller fellowships and cozier firesides through the course of the year. 

Concluding, I certainly cannot believe that half of the rotary year is over and I am eagerly looking forward to the remaining half. The past year as an assistant secretary has been challenging, fulfilling and certainly enriching. I am more than excited to see what this year has in store for us! 

With love and commitment, 

Rtn. Ramya Subramaniam
Assistant Secretary


Baku Beckons



The international fellowship tour to Baku, the lovely capital of Azerbaijan, hosted RCME, was the much needed break from mundane. Expertly planned and managed by Rtn.Bharat Doshi, Chairman, International Tours ably assisted by Rtn. Lalit Jain, Rtn. Jagdeesh Babu and the rest of the team, it was well attended by a total of 44 members and their families. The trip was a balanced mix of touristy activities, downtime with friends and personal unwinding. We visited and marvelled at Little Venice, The Baku Eye, Gobustan Mud Volcanoes. The belly dancers made us feel royal but we certainly out danced them!

The Gabala tour is worth every mention, which took us 3.50 hours to reach the scenic and it was a misty sight with minimum visibility. Then we took the cable cars to reach the top of the mountain, to our pleasant surprise, it was snowing! The boating on the Nohur lake was no less and every scene was straight out of a postcard.

Apart from the heartwarming company of friends, the picturesque stay at Courtyard by Marriot Hotel, the gorging on the spread and never ending entertainment made this trip one of its kind. During the trip, we did not miss out an opportunity to fraternize with Rotarians from the Rotary club of Baku. We met with the President, Rtn. Bahram Atabeyli, PDG. Rtn. Hakan Karalloglu, PDG of Siberia, Asst Gov Rtn. Emil M Hasanov, and exchanged flags. Count on Rotary to make any country feel like home.

The image that will always stick in my mind is that of the bus was always buzzing with laughter, fun, and singing.


Rtn. Hiranand M


October, 22, 2022

there was music, singing, dancing, fun, and fellowship at Rtn Krishnan Naganathan’s Residence.

Rtn. Parameswaran and Ann. Latha Parameswaran Rtn. Ramawamy and Ann. Veena Rtn. Suresh Ramanathan and Ann.Kalpana, Rtn. Archana Rtn. Prabhuram and Ann. Sabitha were all present at the fireside.


26th November 2022

Krithi Maala, at Azure, RA Puram

In anticipation of the auspicious month of Margazhi, RCME fireside Krithi Maala, a musical tribute in praise of the Lord was presented and hosted by Rtn. Jay Jaidev and Rtn. K S Natarajan with ably supported by Ann. Usha Swaminathan and Rtn. Magesh Pattabhiraman.

From Annamayya and Bhakta Ramadas to Saint Kabir, Sant Ekanath and Tulsidas Poet saints praised the Lord in most lyrical ways by Shreya Ramnath.

“Krithi Maala” is an attempt to weave a Garland of poetic verses from across India in multiple languages set to tune by renowned veteran musicians both from the traditions of Carnatic and Hindustani Music.

The Krithis sung by Kumari. Shreya Ramnath, a performing artist, an empanelled AIR devotional music artiste and research scholar in the area of Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Vienna, Austria. It was a amazing and Memorable start for the RCME Carnatic enthusiast group with around 45 Rotarians, Anns and Annettes attended the concert.



Dr KVT Award Function


The Prestigious Dr K V Thiruvengadam Award for Health Care 2022 was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in a well-attended and meticulously conducted manner.
Dr.Thangarajan Rajkumar, professor and head of the dept of Molecular Oncology at the Cancer Institute WIA and Dr V Sridevi, Professor Dept of Surgical Oncology, Cancer Institute WIA were the awardees for this year’s Dr KVT Award. While Dr Sridevi was travelling and could not make it, Dr Rajkumar was humbleness personified. That a man with such a huge volume of work behind him especially in the esoteric Molecular Oncology, can be so unassuming is something that speaks volumes of the man himself. He spoke from his heart on accepting the award.
Ann Latha Parameswaran got the evening going with a keen invocation song. The President invited the Guests, Rotarians and spoke with pride about the nature of social projects done by RCME and how RCME was making a massive difference to the community around us. Rtn Praneshwari Chairperson gave the audience an overview of the historicity of this award and the personalities that had been recipients in the past of this prestigious award.
The citation for the doctor couple ie Dr Rajkumar & Dr Sridevi, written so beautifully by Rtn PP PE Ramkrishnan, was read out by Rtn. Dr M S Ravi and Dr Sunitha Ravi. Rtn VAR penned a few beautiful couplets in tamil in praise of the doctors work. The Introduction of the two doctors done by Rtn Raghuram CS and Rtn Radhi Malar and was equally unique as it was engaging.
In his felicitation address, Dr Aravindan expressed his happiness at Kauvery Hospital being the sponsor for Dr KVT Award and spoke at length about how impressed he was about the awardees.

The Chief Guest of the evening Dr P B Sivaraman, Chairman, Consultant Urologist, Head of the Dept of Urology, CURI Hospital spoke warmly about his association with Dr KVT at Madras Medical College. In his address peppered with wit, he recalled the days of how doctors and patients engaged and how the inspiring work of the awardees were infact yeoman service to mankind.

After the presentation of Momento to the Chief guest and a formal vote of thanks, the meeting was formally adjourned. That such a prestigious event was kept to time was entirely the work of the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the evening Ann Rekha Sudarsan, kudos to her short yet informative inputs that kept the evening moving at a smart clip.
Rotarians, Anns , Awardee and guests then mingled and had friendly banter over a sumptuous meal that awaited the audience.

A treat to the Soul and the body for those who attended the Dr KVT Award, 2022


Rtn Babu Krishnamoorthy

CSR Mindtree Visit

​17th October, 2022

​Our CSR partner Mindtree, represented by Mr. Praneeah Rao, visited four RCME projects.

First visit was Spastic society’s Padianallur, Avadi, school. The School was impacted by rain and flooding. Due to the age of the construction, it was severely affected. This was renovated using Mindtree’s contribution of 15 Lakhs. The implementation partner was RCME.

The Second visit was at Aravind Eye Hospital. Together with Aravind Eye Hospital and Mindtree, RCME performed cataract surgery on 5000 underprivileged people at a cost of 1 crore over the course of three months.

Healing Tiny Hearts is the third initiative, with a budget of 1.15 crores and a scope of 500 surgical procedures. Mindtree contributed forty lakhs for two hundred operations.
Under the project Healing Tiny Hearts , Apollo Children’s Hospital and the Rotary Club of Madras East, in collaboration with LTI Mindtree, announced the completion of 500 free heart surgeries and interventions for poor children. Ms. Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals, honoured the Rotary Club of Madras East and the LTI Mindtree team. She also announced the launch of the next 500 surgeries as part of this ongoing endeavour.



VEC Thoraipakkam Visit

October, 29, 2022

In the presence of Madam. Ishwarya who represented Omega Healthcare Services , Madam.Suryakala who represented Indian Terrain , Assistant Governor Rtn. Anuradha , 24 students from our VEC Thoraipakkam, including students from Tailoring and Embroidery, graduated and certificates were issued on 29/10/2022.

Students who graduated expressed their heartfelt gratitude to RCME and our CSR partners for the way the Project has changed their lives.

The Embroidery courses were Sponsored by Omega Healthcare Services and Tailoring courses by Indian Terrain and Omega

Rtn. Manoj Babu
Chairman – VEC Thoraipakkam
Rtn. Vinod Kumar Subbaiah
Director – Vocational Service

Science Film Festival 2022

​As part of the Youth Service, we engaged many schools in the Science Film Festival conducted by Goethe Institut, Rotary Club of Madras East and other Partners.

​26th October, 2022

​Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT Students participated in “Science For All” – A student workshop mentored by Yoshida Menon and Preveena Nandakumar. We are engaging 20+ Schools for the active participation in the Science for All Workshop. Apart from active engagement of 20+ schools, We also screen international Science Movies in 300+ Schools across Tamilnadu which is followed by DIY Science Activities.

Rtn. Sai Sivakumar
Director – Youth Service

Young Achievers Award

​Made in India and making India proud!
The Young Achievers Award 2022-23, hosted by RCME
23rd November, 2022

​What does table tennis and cycling have in common? The answer ofcourse is child prodigies, Rian Kumar and Hansini Mathan who have given in their blood sweat and tears towards building their passion. The Young Achievers Award, 2022 hosted by the Rotary Club of Madras East was a humble celebration of the two child prodigies and there was no dearth of raised eyebrows and abundant appreciation throughout the event in celebration of these children.
Rian Kumar
Rian Kumar, a 7 year old cyclist, wakes up at 3:30 am on the days on which he has marathons and latest by 5:30 on the days he doesn’t. As if this weren’t enough, he also attends school. Rian Kumar started cycling at the tender age of 6, when in 2021, with the schools shutting down, his mother commander Gauri Mishra started taking him on cycling rides along with her. Pleasantly surprised with his natural flair for cycling, the mother son duo started going on longer rides, building up to thrice a week ride from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. His mother Gauri says that it started off wanting to explore the city and sample new restaurants. Voila! soon enough, they were going on cycling trails with cycling enthusiasts and professionals across the city.

Within a short span of 6 months he had completed a 108 km ride in 5 hours and it was then that his mother called up the world book of records and realized that no other kid has achieved such a feat, that too on an ordinary bicycle! Soon, Rian beat his own record by completing a 150 km ride in 7 hours all the way to Puducherry and back, through Kalpakkam. Naturally deserving of the child prodigy tag, cycling is not his only talent.

Having hosted him at the RCME, on the evening of 23.11.2022, I think all of us would agree that Rian is a sociable and confident 7 year old. This is clear from Rian’s parting note to us- “If you work hard and practise, you can achieve anything in the world,”. Trembling to ask, whether greater heights are possible, we anyway did and learnt that his ambition is to complete the Tour de France!

Hansini Mathan

As graceful as a swan, this little girl has achieved no little feat. Highly talented yet humble, Hansini a table tennis champion is already eyeing the Olympics and a win for India. Apart from her talent, what sets Hansini apart from the rest is her idea of community and country. During her speech, Hansini, never once said that the sport was being played for her personal gain. She was sure to reiterate that she was playing table tennis out of personal passion but for the victory of her country. She wanted her country to win in the Olympics and she was sure to be grateful to not just her family but also the divine power who has given her the strength to achieve this feat. Let me now list her never ending feats. Hansini started off playing table tennis as an accident- while accompanying her brother who was attending table tennis class. Immediately recognizing a god given skill in her- the coach, convinced her parents to let her learn.

In the blink of an eye, this table tennis prodigy, the 10-yr-old Hansini Mathan Rajan clinched the bronze medal in her maiden appearance at the International Table Tennis Federation junior circuit event. At 11,  Hansini has bagged 28 medals for Tamil Nadu at the national level. But that is not enough for her, as the driven paddler, has further set her sights on winning an Olympic medal. 

While the details of her feat are readily available with a quick google search, I am not here to list out her never ending achievements, I do want to add in a quick line about this child superstar- Be it her heartful smile or her pure intention to work hard, Hansini is a star in all respects. We not only have to learn from her for her motivation and skill of the game, but her humility and trust in the goodness of the world. Her father, who accepted the award on her behalf showed us where her humility came from. He was sure to thank everybody. A brilliant girl in her own right, Hasini vowed the crowd with her simplicity.

The sponsor and host
This article would never be complete without mentioning those recognizing the talent. RCME as they do every year, set up a fair and efficient jury to choose our young achievers. Unanimously, the two awardees were zeroed in on and we couldn’t be happier. Rtn.Murugavel Selvan, the sponsor for the event, was quick to acknowledge the importance of the event and the prodigies and sponsor them. Equally, RCME was quick to recognize them and appreciate the talent.

The event
The event was grandiose and youthful. It was an evening filled with laughs and giggles and motivation. Trust me when I say, one of the most motivating speeches we have heard at RCME, is from Rian and Hansini. It certainly motivated us to pull up our socks and make resolutions. The citations were beautifully penned and the event saw wide participation from Rotarians and Anns and Annettes with Annettes, Nandita Kannan and Avinash Ramakumar Mc’ing the event.

The evening ended with some delectable food and the choicest of deserts and several resolute resolutions, which will have to be tested during the next award function. It was honour to honour Rian and Hansini and every single member in the audience went back vowing to be better motivated the next morning!

Rtn Ramya Subramaniam
Assistant Secretary


​The mega event of running a 3 days workshop for 478 children with about 70 teachers being present successfully concluded.

Leading from front is the “A” Team:
1) Venue coordination- Rtn Manoj Babu
2) Registration/ attendance and student recon – Ann Durga Narayanan
3) Speaker coordination and bringing TiE in as knowledge partner – PP Rtn Balaraman
4) Test coordination and student coordination inside Hall- Rtn Jay Jaidev and Rtn Poonam (Including printing of 5000 sets of question papers)
5) Food and beverages – Ann Sudha Raghuraman
6) Volunteer assignment and Management – Anna Haritha Nalluru
7) Media- Rtn Magesh Pattabi
8) Mentor – Rtn VAR
9) Co chairman – Rtn Divya Sid
10) Captain – Director- Youth services- Rtn Sai Siva Kumar

Right from registration and attendance everyday, of all the 70 schools and it’s 478 students, to seating them, running the sessions on a seamless schedule, conducting and correcting 478 test papers everyday for 3 days, providing and serving sumptuous lunch, snacks and beverages, keeping record of time during breaks of feeding 600 numbers, seeing them all off, keeping the venue including the bathrooms clean, neat and ensuring the speakers were felicitated with a souvenir, keeping all the paraphernalia ready for the resource persona to conduct the sessions – this endless list of activities minor and major, were and assisted by a super bunch of volunteers both Rotarians, Ann’s and Annettes.

We had about 50 Rotarians, Ann’s and Annettes who volunteered- all 3 days/ full day or part time together making this a huge success. I bow down to each of you for showing us what the true spirit of volunteering means

All this said- picture Abhi Baaki hai and we will reach out to all for support during finals too.

Rtn Radhika Sathyanarayana


Bilingual Bichos

The US will by 2030,( if we are to believe those accounts), become a majority Spanish speaking country. In linguistic terms perhaps the most interesting challenge is to sell a product in an increasingly multicultural society. Spanish is a problem in America not only because those who speak that language are scattered widely through the nation but also because, America uses different versions of that language.

In mainstream Spanish bichos means insects. But in Puerto Rico it means testicle. So, when a pesticide maker promised death to the bichos, people were at least amused if not outright terrified! When Perdue Chicken translated it’s slogan, “it takes a tough man to make tender chicken”, into Spanish it came out as slightly less macho: “it takes a sexually excited man to make a chicken sensual”.

Never mind. Sales soared.


PP Rtn. PE Ramakrishnan

Chanflix and Chill

​“Connect,” starring Nayantara, Satyaraj, Anupam Kher, Vinay, and others.

Nayantara is back with another horror film. Susan(Nayantara) loses her husband JosephyBinoy(Vinay) for covid. Her Teenage daughter Ammu while attempting to talk to her dad’s spirit, gets an unknown ghost in her body. How Nayantara, her father Arthur(Satyaraj), and Church Father(Anupam Kher) help the girl from the demon’s hold forms the rest of the Story.

“Horror” is a 90-minute film, too short for a feature film and too long for a short film. But the director, with the help of the Music director and cameraman, has induced the right amount of horror, ensures our heart rate increases, and makes us jump out of our seats every few minutes. The plot is set during Covid lockdown times and quarantine days, so all the characters interact with others over video calls throughout the movie.

While the director has succeeded in using the technology well to make us scream, he failed miserably in the core component required for a movie, “Story!”. This reminds us of Vadivelu’s famous dialogue, “En Kinatha Kanum,” The audience says, “Padathula Kadhaya Kaanum.” The wait till the 89th minute to know about the Story goes in vain. At the last minute, the movie ends on a flat note leaving us with a few critical questions: why did the ghost enter the girl’s body? Whose ghost is it? Why did I come to the theatre to watch this movie?

Visit the theatre to watch how the audience screams in a few horror scenes.

“Connect,”- a disconnected narrative.


Rtn. K Ramachandran