Rotasia is an Annual Conference held during the month February (typical always on February) This year it was from 21st to 24th. The conference has been held 29 times, and in 2019 it is held in the State of Goa, India under the purview of Hosting DRR Rtr. Nishita Pednekar, Rotasia Secretary PDRR Rtr. Rishikesh Jadhav and Rotasia Chairman PDRR Rtn. Sai G. Dhekne.
The conference usually involves Districts from all over the Asia Continent, but over the recent years have also included guests from other districts, and has become more Australasian than Asian. Rotasia was initially an initiative of one District (New Delhi) with the passion to integrate with other districts but with the formation of the MDIO Multi District Information Organization in 2009, they formally took over the responsibility of organizing Rotasia to ensure diplomatic voting and bidding process with verifiable consistency
Rotasia is platform active Rotaractors from all districts to interact and form new alliances, strengthen pre existing bonds and allow newer ideas, connections to be formed. The event also heavily focuses on fellowship and interactions
This year RID 3220 Sri Lanka and Maldives Delegation consisted of 32 Participants, of which 29 attended Rotasia, the Delegation consisted of 15 Clubs
- Australian College of Business Studies
- Centennial United*
- Cinnamon Gardens (In Absentia)
- Colombo Fort
- Colombo Midtown
- Colombo North*
- Colombo Uptown*
- Colombo West
- Hatton Kotagala
- Hatton Peace City
- National School of Business Management
- University Alumni
*Only one member was present who was also a member of the Rotaract District Steering Committee and was representative in both capacities. There were 10 District Members and the presence of the PDRR Mohamed Husni and PRDS Tilani Subasinghe.
The Rotasia Tour started on the 17th of February with the members assembling at the airport; engaged in the customary traditional pre or post Rotasia tour (where the delegation travels around India visiting points of interest). This year the points of interest were Bangalore, Mysore, Goa and Bangalore again.
The tour was organized by the District International Service Team. Rtr. IPP. Ahamed arranged for a bus tour of the all the places including heritage sites, religious monuments, colonial remnants, leisurely activities and places for shopping.
In total it was 35 Hours of Bus Travel and 2 Hours of Air Travel during the journey in it’s entirety. During the 4 Day conference we engaged in Business Sessions, Cultural Depictions of our Sri Lankan Heritage via Dancing and Musical Expressions.
We also participated in the breaking of a World Record for the Longest Human Phrase of Sentence organized by the Host District 3170 in conjunction with the Rotary 3170. The event was also participated by all the Rotaract Participants (1600) and School Children from surrounding areas of Goa. During the event no severe injuries were encountered, except of a heat stroke by one of the school children. The world record was invigilated by two witnesses from the local branch of the Genius World Records Committee.
We received certificates for both achieving the World Record and Participation Certificates for attending Rotasia.
During the Conference the delegation maintained perfect attendance, arrived to the designated venues at the earliest possible time (we were first to the venues all three days) we also maintained perfect decorum, conduct and diplomacy during event. The delegation was also very cooperative with the Host District Member in charge at the venue Rtr. Subuham.
Our performance was well received as we won the award for Most Disciplined District due to our punctuality and overall behavior during the event, Best Cooperative District due to our compliance with the Host Districts directives, diplomatic negotiations/interactions, Best Outstanding District based on how well we interacted and performed at the different sessions and Overall Championship at Rotasia. We received more awards than any other district.
32 Certificates of attendance
28 World Record Certificates
- Best Disciplined District
- Best Cooperative District
- Most Outstanding District
- Overall Championship at Rotasia
The objective of the event was to increase fellowship and cultural bonding, awareness and tolerance amongst the Australasian Rotaractors, it was also a platform for Rotaractors create more meaningful connections to pursuit better International Service Projects during the coming months
It was also a platform for establishing IDYEs, ICYEs and to promote RSLF to a niche crowd of interested DRRs and Rotaractors who share the same interests in sustainable leadership
The planning for the project started on August 15th when the first email for the registration for the Rotasia Conference was launched, the RMIS portal also contained a link that allowed Rotaractors to register members whom are interested to join the program
There were members who had registered for the Rotasia Goa 2019 from previous year’s Rotasia (called an early bird Registration). We initially got registrations from Jaffna and 3 from Colombo within the first two weeks. We continued to promote the Registration for Rotasia during the DCMs of August, September and ended up with over 32 Registrations.
On the 30th of August we created the first internal delegation WhatsApp Group
Figure 1: The Prime WhatsApp Group
This group would be used in the coming months to give important announcements including meeting dates, reminders to get Passports for those whom are traveling for the first time and also to apply for VISA as the dates came closer
The payments were made via installments for 1st slot with 90000 divided as 15000 x 3 and 25000 x 2 and a second slot with 100000 divided as 25000 x 4, both payments ended in December 2018
Rtr. Ahamed was instrumental in procuring the agenda and itinerary for the plan, initially we planned for a post Rotasia tour, which is to attend the conference directly and then participate in the sightseeing, however this was changed to a pre and post Rotasia tour, where the Rotaractors would engage in sight seeing both before and after the conference starting from the 17th February to the 27th February
Among the registered participants we had 17 first slot registered members and 5 second slot members, Rtr. Ahamed being a member of the Sri Lankan Airlines had a special concessionary rate for travel, we also had 7 early bird registrations, later on we had 3 more registrations but soon dropped out
During the coming months ADRR Rtr. Baasith worked closely with Rtr. Ahamed and Rtr. Miyuru to carefully establish an agenda for the entire journey. Among the planning process we distributed costing for each participant
Each person would get a T-Shirt and their rooms including a bread and breakfast for the entire stay.
During the months closing to Rotasia we also became very close with the hosting district official who were put in charge of handling our District including Rtr. Vishaka and Rtr. Nishitha (DRR)
Rtr. Vishaka was a wonderful person who help sort out all the registration and payment details ensuring a completely error free registration.
Rtr. Anjana from NSBM attempted to organize a Hindi Spoken English session for the Rotaractors with a special discount for the Rotasia Participants
We collected the additional details of the participants including photographs of the passports and NICs, which proved useful to speed up hotel check ins in India
The first Rotasia Delegation Briefing Meeting happened at CO CO Space on the 17th of January 2019 with the attendance of 14 of the 28 members whom were to attend, Rtr. Ahamed briefed about the plan for each day and also stressed the importance of decorum during the event especially throughout the Conference
Rtr. Ahamed specifically mention the non-consumption of illegal substances such as Alcohol and Smoking during the event
Some of the participants opted to apply for e-Visa and other opted to apply for direct visa via the Indian embassy, as the one of them had more requirements than the other most opted to with e-Visa however it was the costlier option
Towards the last few weeks we were asked by the Rotasia Host district to pick the interested areas of visit for the 3rd day of conference which involved hands on outbound activities
Figure 2: Interested areas where Rotaractors could go on the 3rd day of Rotasia (outbound)
As the days became near Rtr. Miyuru collected a list of all the confirmed VISAs, Rtr. Anjana had an issue where the visa printed was set to expire before the conference, this was clerical error the was rectified 4 days later due to a weekend and an adjoining lunar day
Figure 3: Rtr. Anjana’s Dilemma
We also had our second meeting about Rotasia on the 11th of February with a much higher participation, we ran through the briefing again with a more detailed discussion on the type of cultural dance routine that we were going to express to the participants as part of our cultural presentation
Figure 4: Hardly anyone listens they just aww at Ahamed’s dashing looks
Rtr. Naduni made a request to be pickup and share a cab ride to the airport, this inspired Rtr. Miyuru to create a plan of pickup via dividing everyone into groups based on close by locations and drop offs, they were added into whatsapp group and a route of travel to the BIA Departure Lounge was created
Figure 5: More groups for Rotasia, just what the world needed
Figure 6: Rotasia Pickup Routes for all three groups in a google map plan
Departure 16th Night
Rtr. Seshadri delivered the Rotasia T-Shirts to the CoCo space venue where Rtr. Miyuru collected the T-Shirts and the Tokens from his home and started Pick Me to collect the people in his group, starting with Naduni, Ahamed, Seshadri and Prasanne Tilani, Shehan and Salman which made was the last pickup before heading to the Highway the remaining people heading into the highway much later, but Group B (Rtr. Miyuru) was the first to arrived
The early-ractors who came first
The group entered the departure lounge and waited for some of the Rotaractors to convert their Sri Lankan rupees to indian rupees, while waiting group A who still in the baseline road enroute to the Airport. After the currency conversion we moved into the check in area of the Airport Departure where we were received by Rtr. Nirun who was part of our district, who worked in the Airport he directed and helped us throughout the check in process
Spot a Rotaractor in this group, where’s waldo?
Waiting awaiting check in the Final lot of Rotaractors arrived and we finally were able to move in the duty free as a group
The late-ractors who were the last to arrive
Finally after few bit of light shopping at the duty free we arrived to the departure gate, typically the plane docs to the building and you directly step into the plane, however this time we were escorted in a bus to the plane which was doc in the middle of the auxiliary runway
When your going to india in a Sri Lankan Air Lines Bus??
Rtr. Aruchini immediately posing to apply for Srilankan Airlines as cabin crew, leave no stone unturned they say
Look at that plane!
Happiness is getting all the seats nearby so that you can do crazy stuff and no judges they are just a dumb as you
Arrival to Bangalore Airport
We were met by our tour master, who showed us to our bus
On arrival we quickly made a check if all our members were intact and if everyone was accounted for along with their baggage and stuff. once ready we left the airport but of course Rtr. Miyuru was stopped by airport security and questioned as to why he had brought so many tokens to indian containing so many gems, but later he was released by the airport security with a hearty go bye.
Reasons why Miyuru goes to jail one day
The first group photo, we quickly realized that group photos might be to most tiresome to organize
After getting out of the airport we went into our bus which was a volvo superliner bus with reclining seats and a adjustable foot rest, it was the height of comfort
We loaded the bus with all the bags and Rtr. Miyuru distributed the Malaria pills to everyone, and he pulled out his glorious checklist and started ticking things off much to the dismay of everyone, who thought of him quite odd, but he paid no attention
Arrival to Mysore
The first ride was 3 hours long to the first hotel which was Hotel Sandesh Pride which was in Mysore, as soon as we arrived they scanned our passports and the hotel staff helped move all the bags into the rooms, when then rushed off to breakfast which was at the hotel and free
The first breakfast was at hotel sandesh and consisted of a buffet table with primary two styles, colonial western and traditional indian, food included idly, pani puri, dosai, vadai and other foods, where as the western food included full boiled eggs, corn flakes, bread jam butter collective, chicken ham, potatoes in various styles
There were also juices orange, watermelon, strawberry and lassies | coffee and tea styles were also available, the group spent quite a while having breakfast which was to be over at 10
The first day tours would begin at around 1 in the evening which gave plenty of time for the group to wash in the hot water showers and freshen up
In the evening we went off to Mysore palace
Day 02 in Mysore
A tooth side story
This was one does not involve the jets or sharks but did involve a ride to the Apollo White Dental Hospital, basically this all started with one of the delegate members called Nanduni who wanted to get her teeth realigned, she
Arrival to Goa