Pakistan (District 3270)
(Chartered June 12, 1996)
* The Club contributed US$ 1,800 last year towards The Rotary Foundation. * Two new Paul Harris Fellows (PHFs) were added last year. * The Club received many awards at the District Conference.
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News 2005
Staff Report

Computers, medical equipment and other supplies left Oneonta on Tuesday en route for Pakistan, where the goods are destined to help in the recovery from this yearís earthquake, a local Rotary director said.

About 15 people in Oneonta met early Tuesday morning, when the temperature was about minus-5 degrees, to load a 26-foot truck "to the gills" with donated items, said Charles Nicosia of the Oneonta Rotary Club, District 7170.

The project started several years ago, Nicosia said.

Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown donated about 70 computers, plus medical supplies including tables, an eye-examination machine, surgical supplies and other medical equipment, Nicosia said.

Forty computers from Bassett were delivered Tuesday by Cooperstown-area residents, led by Barbara Harmon, who drove vans to Oneonta, Nicosia said, and other Bassett contributions had been stored for several months at a former bunker, courtesy of the State University College at Oneonta.

The project was an off-shoot of an Oneonta Rotary Club mission to Ghana, when three Rotarians last year delivered 26,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. During that trip, Rotarians said that hospitals needed supplies, Nicosia said, and subsequently collection efforts started.

However, arrangements couldnít be made to send the more-recently donated materials to Ghana, he said, and plans then developed to send them to Pakistan.

Nicosia said the project also was supported by the Oneonta Job Corps Academy and Bill Renwick, vocational instruction manager at the center, and The Daily Star, which contributed pallets to ease in moving the equipment.

Otsego Automotive contributed toward rental of a truck to move the items, Nicosia said. About 10 Job Corps students, plus several other area residents, loaded the truck, which he drove to a warehouse in Argyle.

Nicosia said he didnít have a total value on the contributions and deferred to the donors.

The donated goods will be stored, pending shipment in a container, at the Adirondack Plastics & Recycling warehouse in Argyle, courtesy of company President and Rotarian John Aspland. Rotary District 7170 will provide $3,000 toward that shipping, an expense that will be met with help from other clubs, Nicosia said.

Nicosia said the donated goods will go to the Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison, District 3270, in Pakistan, which is a sister club to the Rotary Club of Glenville, District 7190.

The Lahore Garrison club will deliver books to the Kujer Village Library, which also provides services to nearby schools, according to the distribution manifest, and medical supplies will go to hospitals.

In a pilot project that supplied 10 computers in Kujer Village, Christians and Muslims, boys, girls, men and women of all castes used the computers, a Rotary report said, and the plan is to duplicate literacy opportunities by distributing the donated computers to more than 10 schools and about five villages. /news/stories/2005/12/14 /rotary7.html

The Daily Star, USA (The Newspaper for the Heartland of New York)
December 14, 2005


The Daily Din, Pakistan
October 21, 2005


LAHORE (PR) - Rotary International District 5390, Montana, USA recognized the services of Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed from Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison by awarding him a commemorative shield for being "The Outstanding International Host District's Grants Sub-Committee Chair for 2004-2005" at the Rotary International Centennial Convention held recently in Chicago, USA. The award was presented by Rotary international Past President Richard King in a ceremony attended by District Governor from Montana Carl Prinzing along with Past District Governor and The Rotary Foundation Chair Don Gatzke. Rotarian Shehzad was selected out of all the Districts Grants Sub-Committee Chairs from around the world with whom Rotary Montana District had planned Matching Grants this year. The Montana District participated in more than 60 Matching Grants this year. Dr. Don Gatzke appreciated the efforts of Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed and thanked him for doing such a wonderful job and for being an outstanding and committed Rotarian. Don appreciated his long association with District 5390, Montana, USA and hoped that this relationship would be further strengthened in the coming years. Rotary Montana District is supporting various Matching Grant projects in Pakistan which would provide safe drinking water to rural communities, medical equipment for a dialysis center, free cataract eye surgeries to the poor and basic necessities to some schools. The Rotary Foundation has provided financial support to over 150 community service projects totaling more than US$ 2 million in Pakistan and Afghanistan which are a part of Rotary International District 3270.

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The Nation, Pakistan
July 17, 2005

LAHORE (PR) - Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison organized a meeting in honour of Rotarian Lon Penna and his wife, Helen, for participating in five Matching Grants worth over US$ 67,000 for four government schools, two computer labs and an ambulance. Lon Pena, in his speech as the guest speaker, informed the audience that he is a Pakistani by heart and feels himself very close to the people of Pakistan. This was his third visit to Pakistan and during his earlier visits, he had developed long lasting friendships with some villagers and thus he took the task of raising funds for the benefit of the rural communities in Sheikhupura and Faisalabad. During their ten-day trip, the duo visited the adopted schools in Kujer (Sheikhupura) and Karianwala (Faisalabad) and some projects in Lahore. Lon and Helen announced a donation of US$ 500 for providing cooling facilities to the Kujer computer lab which has been donated through a Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation. Helen presented the donation to Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed, their local host and primary contact for the grants. The Rotary Club presented souvenirs to the honoured guests. Rotary Clubs of Lahore Midtown and Modeltown participated in this joint meeting. Rotary International is the largest and the oldest service organization with more than 1.22 million members worldwide with presence in 167 countries.

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The Nation, Pakistan
May 14, 2005

LAHORE (PR) - Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison delivered an ambulance to Kujer village in Sheikhupura through The Rotary Foundation Matching Grant programme. Rotary Club of Glenville and Rotary International Districts 7190 (USA) and 7000 (Puerto Rico) sponsored the grant. Rotarian Lon Penna from Rotary Glenville and his wife, Helen, participated in the ceremony. Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed, local coordinator of the Matching Grant, informed the villagers about their responsibility to use the ambulance for the specified purpose and that the villagers should take good care of it so that it lasts longer. The villagers thanked the Rotary Clubs for their generosity. Aslam Shahab, Iqbal Malik Bali and other notables of the village also attended the meeting.

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The Nation, Pakistan
May 1, 2005

Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison donated a Computer Lab consisting of ten Pentium IV computers, scanner and laser printer to Kujer village in Sheikhupura through The Rotary Foundation Matching Grant programme. According to a press release Saturday, Rotary Club of Glenville and Rotary International Districts 7190, 7620 and 7870 in the USA were the international sponsors. Rotarian Lawrence Penna from Rotary Club of Glenville and his wife, Helen, visited the computer lab. Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed, District Chairman of the Matching Grants, informed that Frank Quinn, a Rotary Volunteer, assisted in setting up the lab. He also informed other volunteers were helping in smooth functioning of the lab. The lab students are ranging from 4 to 50 years old, he informed.

The Rotary Foundation has provided more than 140 Matching Grants with funding around US$ 2 million to benefit the poor residents of Pakistan. Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison, in close association with Rotary Club of Glenville, is currently working on five Matching Grants in Punjab for providing basic necessities to schools in rural Sheikhupura and rural Faisalabad.

The News, Pakistan
May 1, 2005


Rotary Clubs in Lahore organized a very successful Rotary Centennial Polio Awareness Walk from AlHamra Hall to LDA Plaza, Egerton Road to commemorate the Rotary Centennial celebrations. District Governor Rauf Rohaila and Governor Nominees Ateeq Barry, Shakil Ansari and Aziz Memon led the Walk besides other notable Rotarians. The Walk had active participation from UNICEF, the Health department, PARADISE, Descon IT24 and from professional belonging to various walks of life. The participants showed their enthusiasm by holding banners and by wearing Rotary caps showing Rotary Centennial and Polio awareness messages. The speakers urged the participants and the masses to actively participate in the war against Polio so that Pakistan can be made Polio free. There are only six countries in the world left with Polio and unfortunately Pakistan is one of them. Children are our assets and future of our nation. It is our duty to keep them safe and healthy by providing the Polio vaccine drops to the children on the National Immunization Days (NIDs). Polio eradication dream can only be realized if we all work together and provide one hundred percent coverage of polio vaccine to all children under five years of age. Rotarian Shehzad Ahmed, organizer of the Walk informed that Rotary banners have been displayed on New Khan buses and four floats have specially been designed to create awareness about the various service projects being undertaken by Rotary.

The Nation, Pakistan
February 24, 2005

Even as we live under the shadow of constant disturbance across the border, eight people went ahead to change the bitter equation between India and Pakistan on Feb 6.

The five-day initiative, Pahel – Friendship Beyond Boundaries — was a venture of the Rotaract Club of Mumbai.

“It was conceived as an idea to look at Pakistan as a destination and a platform to meet our counterparts, live with them and to get a glimpse of their culture,” says Dindoshi resident Siddharth Chatterjee, who was part of this group.

The eight delegates crossed the Wagah border on foot and entered Lahore at 12 noon on Feb 6. Twenty-six-year-old Chatterjee recounts their daily experience.

Feb 4
We all felt like celebrities as we were boarded the Golden Temple Mail from Mumbai Central station at 9 pm. Apart from our family and friends, the deputy mayor, Miss India Sayali Bhagat and lyricist Nida Fazli came to the station to bid us bon voyage.

What was uppermost on our minds was what kind of a welcome we would receive in Pakistan. To be very frank, although we were going on a peace trip, we were skeptical if we would be welcomed there.
In the train, we prepared a 20 feet long banner filled with messages from India. The passengers in the train enthusiastically wrote messages on the banner. We reached Amritsar on Feb 6 at 6.30 am.

Feb 6
We reached Wagah border at around 7 am and crossed the border on foot. It was an exhilarating experience because only a few get the opportunity to cross the border on foot.

As we crossed the Swarna Jayanti gate, we could see many people standing on the other side of the border to welcome us. All our apprehensions melted away at that moment.

Surprisingly, we didn’t have any hassles during the immigration check. I had goosebumps when I saw people standing with garlands. I suddenly realised the enormity of the role I was playing — I had the opportunity to convey a peace message to Pakistan. As we shook hands with the Pakistanis, balloons and white doves were released in the air.

We stayed at a fellow Rotarian’s house and they were incredibly hospitable.

Fortunately for us, the Basant festival was on at the time we went to Lahore. There were colourful kites everywhere.

At the racecourse, an exhibition-cum-mela was on and we decided to go there. At a Kabul stall, this guy had some 16th century guns on display and no one was allowed to touch them. When he saw us with our jackets, which read Pahel-India, he invited us inside and allowed us to hold the guns.

We left for home at 11.30 pm where our hosts had gone out of their way to prepare a fantastic dinner for us. The Pakistanis are incomparable as hosts.

Feb 7
We visited the Lahore fort, which is one of the most prominent historic monuments there. We also visted the Data Darbar, which is the biggest mosque in Pakistan. We prayed there and no one even noticed that we weren’t from Pakistan.

Feb 8
The next day we visited two municipal schools that had been adopted by the Rotary Club. We had taken chocolates and snacks for the children, who seemed overjoyed to meet us and asked us questions about their favourite idols like Saurav Ganguly and Aishwarya Rai.

The Rotaract Club had organised a function to felicitate us in the evening at the Rotary Club of Shirki. We spent four hours there and briefed everyone about the purpose of our visit.

After that we went shopping on the streets of Lahore. At one shop we were bargaining for some shoes when the shopkeeper noticed our jackets and called for snacks and cold drinks for us and he also gave us the shoes at the price we wanted. We were so embarrassed to have haggled in the first place.

Feb 9
We shopped through the morning and then attended a function organised at the Lahore Garrison Rotary Club. We made a presentation about Indian culture and gave away mementos. We also attended a fashion show and to our surprise we were given a standing ovation at the show.

Feb 10
On our final day, we spent the morning with our host who had taken a day off from work. By noon we reached the Wagah border and by 12.30 pm we entered India.

We stayed at Wagah till flag down in the evening. It was a momentous occasion as we bade farewell to Pakistan, promising ourselves to return soon.

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Mid Day, India
February 23, 2005


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