Lions Clubs International has been in existence since the last 99 years, Lions across the world have tirelessly worked towards the betterment of conditions of those who are less fortunate. They have worked in the areas of sight, environment, hunger and youth development, to name a few.
The seeds of service for betterment of the communities were sown in India in 1956. Since then, Lions of India have been unstoppable in their mission of practicing services to the needy. India is the second largest and fastest growing community of Lions Clubs volunteers in the world, with over 6400 clubs, and 2,40,000 volunteer members.
To celebrate the achievement of serving people for the last 10 decades worldwide, Lions Clubs International organized a unique event called “Racing Hooves” to spread awareness and support humanitarian causes through voluntarism, partnership and sponsorships.
The hard work and efforts put in by Lion members is clearly demonstrated in the statistics stated below:
Lions Race Day was held on 27th March, 2016 at Mahalaxmi Race Course where each race was dedicated to a special cause. Each of these causes is and will be supported by Lions Clubs International, through various service projects and grants.
The associated sponsors were Gowardhan AyurFarma, Gowardhan Foundation, Manapurram Finance and Nalli Chinnasami Chetty.
The following are the races and the causes associated:
Each child has the right to education and nutrition, unfortunately in India a large section of our children are victims of hunger and no education. Understanding the severity and difficulties children in India are facing, the Gowardhan Group decided to assist Lions Clubs International in eradicating malnutrition in children and by providing basic educational needs by setting up Anganwadis in rural areas.
Concentrating on the welfare of children, the Manappurram Finance group aims to provide children with recreational and welfare facilities in form of children’s playground project.
Nalli Chinnasami Chetty Group believes in welfare of the environment. As citizens of the 21st century we are victims of pollution, deforestation, draught and other environmental effects. Nalli Sarees pledges to do their bit by protecting the environment in association with Lions Clubs International.
Lions Race Day saw wholehearted participation by Lion Dignitaries, Lion members and general audience at large. Lion Dignitaries from across India, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan participated to support the associated causes. In attendance were Second International Vice President Lion Naresh Aggarwal, Past International Presidents and Past International Directors from ISAAME region – Dr. Ashok Mehta, Mahendra Amarasurya, Nilofer Bakhtiar, Alexis Vincent Gomes and Sheikh Kabir Hossain and others. The event was supported by International Directors and Past International Directors namely R Murugan, N.S Sankar, G.S Hora, Sanjay Khetan, Vinod Khanna, Sangeeta Jatia, A.P. Singh, Narendra Bhandari and Premchand Bafna amongst others.
Lions Race Day witnessed tremendous support from Lion and Leo members from District 323 A1, A2 and A3 who came in large numbers to support this unique and fun filled event.
Lions Clubs presented a unique mix of charity and entertainment. There were two live bands that mesmerized the audience with their soulful rendition of old hindi and english songs to which many Lion dignitaries and members joined in.
The atmosphere at the races was energetic and electrifying. There was sheer excitement in the audience as the horses ran towards the finish line accomplishing the goal of creating awareness about the causes associated with each race. Lion dignitaries and Lion members were ecstatic and were left spellbound when they witnessed the branding. Logos of Lions Clubs International were seen across the race course. It was indeed a great opportunity to showcase the strength of Lionism.
In addition, there was a live broadcast of the races at all racing centers in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mysore and Chennai. The live broadcasts of the races were also available via the official RWITC website which has a worldwide accessibility.
To further enhance the humanitarian services conducted by Lions Clubs International, stalls for Lions Clubs Service Projects were set up to educate the audience about the need and importance of these causes. The service projects displayed Jaipur Foot, Diabetes Awareness and Mutthi Anaaj Daan. Each of these projects attracted crowds in large numbers that resulted in donations and awareness about these causes. Each of these service projects showcased how they, with their services have been beneficial to the community.
The Mutthi Anaaj Daan Project or the M.A.D project headed by Lion Rupa Manek from Lions Club of Sion is unique. The Club on every Saturday donates one fist of food grains to those in need. Lion Rupa Manek stated that Racing Hooves was the ideal platform for promoting social causes as it attracted audience who has the power to donate.
A representative from Lions Clubs of Mumbai Mahanagar Lion Suresh Bafna spoke in detail about distribution of Jaipur foot, a permanent project of the club. Lion Suresh Bafna stated that every year they distribute around 300 – 400 Jaipur Foots free of cost to those in dire need. He further added that events like these help benefit small projects.
A diabetes awareness stall was setup where free Ayurveda bottles for controlling diabetes were distributed. Lion Dinesh Jain stated that these camps are free of cost and thus attracts a large number of people. He further added that a lot of those who are diagnosed with diabetes at the camps were unaware of the symptoms. As part of their services, they offer free checkups and further guide the patients to Government centers were they can avail free treatment and medication.
A special stall for Lions Clubs International membership was also arranged at the race course.
Lions Race Day was indeed a successful occasion as it accomplished the goal of celebrating 100 years of service and in the process created awareness by promoting causes that in today’s time and age need immediate attention. Join us in making a difference and creating a bigger impact through our combined efforts!