ONE is always responsible for how ONE acts, no matter how one feels!!
It is a moment of great pride for me to lead our Association of 1147 Inner Wheel Clubs and 34695 members. As the 40th President of this wonderful organisation, I shall carry the legacy of my predecessors with humility and do my best to take our Association a notch higher. I am thankful to Inner Wheel for giving me this UNIQUE opportunity to know and befriend like-minded women, who are UNITED through a common cause of Friendship & Service.
UNIQUE & UNITED, the IIW theme of this year suggests nothing but the universal fact. The very fact, that each one of us is born with our own set of “karmas”. We have our own peculiarities and special attributes and the same cannot be found in anyone else. We are different due to our place of birth, education, upbringing, surroundings, race, culture and nationality. That we are different – it is natural and most welcome! Imagine, if all the trees in a garden were similar how it would look? Or if there were no differentiation in colours how would we enjoy the rainbow? This difference is the charm of universe. Let us keep this difference intact and use it to our advantage. Let us complement another person with our uniqueness and together become a force to reckon with.
We have stepped into the last decade of the centenary this year and it is a major milestone for our organisation. As we observe this huge milestone in a befitting way, we need to take steps which shall reinforce the image of Inner Wheel and build it further. The planning for this has to begin today, the promises are to be made today, a step forward in the right direction needs to be taken today, UNITEDLY and purposefully to make a mark in the future.
We have been serving the society and the less privileged year after year across our country under various heads. But now a new approach is required to make a greater impact through our services. We have everything going for us. We have our objectives in place, our long-standing experience of service and a vast number of members at our disposal. The only thing that we need is the consolidation of our efforts and working in unison and in ONE direction.
I am sure each one of you will appreciate my views and participate in programmes which are the need of our country. Our needs are many but the most pressing ones, I think, are Sanitation and Literacy. Literacy, if taken care of can cure many diseases of our society. A passion filled and missionary approach is required to reach our destination of LITERATE India. We have joined hands with Rotary India Literacy Mission to send an equivalent number of girl children back to school as the number of members that there are in our Association.
A big challenge indeed but it is achievable!!
In the field of Sanitation, our country is severely lagging. Many clubs are already constructing toilets in and around villages, talukas and cities. This year, I urge each club to construct at least one toilet either solely or in association with other organisations. Let us take that first step in addressing this problem.
My dear friends, “Keep up the good work, work with enthusiasm, spread happiness, realise your potential, understand the reason of your membership of this wonderful organisation and make a difference!”
Once we are in it, we will better perform to our potential!
Yours in friendship Mamta Agarwal
About Mamta Agarwal
A firm believer in the twin mottos of Friendship and Service, Mamta Agarwal has always assumed responsibilities with commitment & ease. She tread the path of Inner Wheel 26 years ago as Charter President of Inner Wheel Club of Central Calcutta. Today, the club is 72-member strong and has a brilliant record of service to the community. After serving District 329 in various capacities, she finally led the district as Chairman in 1997-98.
As an Inner Wheel leader, her focus is always on building institutions rather than individuals, instilling values of teamwork and fair play. As district leader she inspired the clubs to serve unitedly by constructing an operation theatre in a cancer hospital.
She continued her passion for the movement and was elected Association Vice President for 2014-15, and subsequently Association President for 2015-16. It is the year during which the biggest national-level Inner Wheel event, the Triennial Conference, will be held in Kolkata. Mamta has previously attended 6 Triennial Conferences, 1 South Asia Rally and the 15th International Convention in Istanbul in 2012 and & 16th in Denmark in 2015.
In her club, IWCCC, as chairman of Apnalay – a home for senior citizens, she was instrumental in the conception of this flagship project, now near completion, EkPrayas – a scholarship program for underprivileged girl students and Temptations – one of the premium exhibitions in Kolkata which now has three editions annually.
Some of the milestones in her Inner Wheel journey are:
Organising a grand musical show – Abhijeet Nite, for charity and an Inter City Meet with Mrs Maneka Gandhi
Organising the Platinum Jubilee of Inner Wheel, the Golden Jubilee celebration of Inner Wheel in India with participation of members from all over the country and also compiled and published the widely acclaimed book of memoirs “My Golden Moments.”
Organising a first ever kite flying competition, “Kolkata Kite Karnival”
Hosting a “Tete a Tete” with Kamala Ramakrishnan, then IIW Vice President.
Convening “One Step Up” (Silver Jubilee celebration of her club) with a special performance by the inmates of West Bengal Correctional Homes. Mrs Abha Gupta, then IIW Vice President, was the Chief Guest and senior citizens of various homes were invited to the programme.
Hailing from a Jain family, she imbibed values of simplicity from her late parents, who believed in the mantra “Live and let live.” Born and brought up in Kolkata, she has additionally imbibed the best of Bengali traditions. She speaks Bengali fluently and enjoys Rabindra Sangeet.
She has been a teacher, a trained Bonsai curator and a financial consultant. Formally trained in classical music, singing, dancing, swimming and travelling are only some of her passions. She loves to pen her musings. She makes friends easily and nurtures them for life.
She is a proud mother of Aashika and Atishay, who are married to Sudhir and Nidhi respectively and a doting grandmother to Atharv, or “Goalie”, as she calls him.
Mamta is married to Rtn Ajay, a past president of Rotary Club of Central Calcutta and a partner in Dainik Vishwamitra - the family-owned Hindi newspaper. He has been her biggest strength and the most valued friend. To him, she attributes most of her achievements. Both of them are Major Donors. Mamta is proud to be part of the Agarwal family, known for its reformist attitude and proud nationalist traditions.