District Governor - Rtn. Manjoo Phadke
Editor - Rtn. Madhur Dolare

Fostering Peace and Empowerment: Rotary's Winter Festival for Kashmiri Girls Back

Rotary Club of Pune Kothrud, under the leadership of Rtn. Anupama Kshirsagar, chairperson of the “Rotary Winter Festival,” embarked on a significant initiative focusing on the Rotary Peace and Conflict Movement. February, being the theme month, provided the perfect backdrop for this endeavor. The club collaborated with one of the leading NGOs in Jammu & Kashmir, the “Borderless World Foundation” (BWF), to conduct this festival.

BWF, founded in 2002 by our Rotractor Adhik Kadam and Bharati Mamani in Pune, has a mission to provide a “Human Touch” to the people of border areas who have lost their loved ones in the violence of Jammu & Kashmir. In alignment with their mission, our club joined hands with them to create a peaceful environment and spread love among the girls. BWF has established a hostel in Kupwada, J&K, exclusively for 70 girls who are studying in nearby schools.

To further the Rotary theme of “Peace & Conflict,” we organized a “Rotary Winter Festival” for 45 days from January 4th to February 28th, 2024. The aim was to enhance the knowledge and develop the personality of these girls through Soft Skills. We conducted almost daily online interactive video classes with eminent experts like Rtn. Makarand Tilloo, Mr. Ankur Umdekar, PP. Rtn. Kalyani Gokhale, Ms. Aishwarya Nalawade, PP Rtn. Pramod Deshmukh, Mr. Sudhir Gade, Mr. Abhijit Jejurikar, Ms. Anandi & Ms. Dipti Bhende, Mr. Prashant Dongare, Rtn. Urmila Haldankar, and Rtn. Dr. Madhuri Ghate. The classes covered various subjects like Laughter Yoga, Igniting & Empowering Young Minds, Public Speaking, a Dance Workshop - “Dilse Nacho,” Attitude, Universal Brotherhood & Swami Vivekananda, Rhythm Revival, Imagination, Creativity & Language Skills, Women Empowerment, Self-Awareness, and Cyber Suraksha.

The girls benefited immensely from these sessions. This initiative was made possible with the support and guidance of the Borderless World Foundation, which graciously gave us the opportunity to conduct the “Rotary Peace & Conflict” program for Kashmiri Girl Students.