Rotary Club of Yala initiated a trend of holding weekly meeting this year in our traditional heritage sites combining with cleaning the temple and using the public space for the meetings. The Pandemic and the zoom meetings have, although been a blessing to continue regular meetings virtually, it gave away the sense of being together with the club members and the participation went declining. In order to revive participation with multiple objective, Rotary Yala held the weekly meeting at Pimbahal sattal in the middle of the pond. Preceeding the meeting the members assembled at the Chandeswori temple together with the Chandeswori Misa Pucha (Chandeswori Women’s Group) and Yala Sampada Group (Patan Heritage Group) who had been involved in the restoration of Pimbahal area. The temples are important sites where the local communities pay a visit in the morning and sing bhajan as a way of purifying mind, put lights and give offering to birds and animals. These places, despite richness in heritage do not have a regular cleaning system and remains dirty and stained with oil, vermillion powder and rice, flowers. If cleaned properly, these places can be great cultural heritage parks. We thought of getting together and raise funds to buy cleaning gears, materials and start the mission of cleaning the temple. The members are invited to bring a dish to share with all the members as a outdoor picnic after the cleaning.
So some 50-55 members, rotaracts, Interacts, Anns and local women groups assembled and joined together with the cleaning inside out of Chabdeswori temple. So the dirty temple are turned clean and gave an example of how rotary members do the community service in publicly important spaces.
The potluck event after the cleaning became a great reward to enjoy samaybaji prepared by number of contributors. A great event by itself.
The regular weekly meeting assembled at the Pimbahal sattal in the middle of the pond, a wonderful space where rotarians and public can participate by sitting around the sattal and the pond. Shailendra Shrestha, the local resident and resource person from Taja Phaa was invited as a guest speaker to talk about the historical and cultural importance of the temple and the Pimbahal area and the role it plays in the lifestyle and economic fabric of the local community. The talk on the Temple and the area enlightened the participants on the heritage importance of the temple and Pimbahal.
For Rotary, it is important to engage and make public aware of what it does in the local communities. So cleaning very important public space with the involvement of both the rotarians, Anns, Rotaracts, Interacts with the local community groups developed a bond of rotary with the local community. Rotarey was able to bring much needed cleaning gears and materials, and food voluntarily contributed to share and enjoy some refreshing moments. So it played an important role in the public image of Rotary.
This way we have physical meeting, a clean temple, sharing indigenous food (Samaye baji), and public event to draw attention of non-rotarians, made all of us proud. Rotary Yala would like to promote other clubs also to initiate the program and share the joys of a new initiative. We have uncountable temples, all of which desperately need attention in cleaning and reviving as public space. These spaces will be alternative to public parks that our communities lack but fortunately we have rich cultural spaces. For Rotaries this becomes a window to create meeting space, and win public heart. The photos speak thousand words on the enjoyable moments of all rotarians and non-rotarian members. Rotary Club of Yala acknowledges Twinkle Nyachhyon, Public Image Director for introducing a new concept of bringing Rotary’s social service activities of utility to public and creating space for regular meetings and engaging communities alongside ROTARIANS.