Posted by John Farrow on Jul 16, 2019
Surprise speaker intro person Greta introduced our guests and guest speakers Deepa and Ram from Chennai, India.  First up on the agenda was the official twinning of CK Rotary with Deepa and Ram's club, an idea put forward while the Friendship Exchange Team was in India.  President Ana reminded us of Past-President Rick's close to all his emails: "if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together".  We want to go far with our mighty efforts, so the official twinning of our clubs make perfect sense - the clubs want to promote cooperation and understanding and carry out projects in their respective communities.  We share similar interests, challenges, and history.  We speak a common language from the heart, and we are going to work together on a project.

Ram presented a club banner to help cement our relationship.  Certificates were signed as well, saying how we are joining in a spirit of cooperation to foster international understanding and goodwill through service.  This reflects the year theme of Rotary Connects The World.  Ram then spoke about his club; how they have celebrated their 25th anniversary, how they are in the top ten clubs in their District for their achievements, winning 13 district awards, how they focus on working for the underprivileged, how they work to provide babies with needed heart surgeries, how they resurrected a school after a monsoon.  They have decided to do more internationally, and want to work with partners.
The particular project seeks to provide a simple solution to screening for breast cancer, which makes up one third of the detected cancers in India.  India also has a low rate of treatment success after detection (50%), compared to Canada (above 90%).  Ram's club is lucky in that they have several club members with experience in the medical industry.  One member has identified a U.S. technology partner that has a non-invasive, non-intrusive detection method for breast cancer that can help overcome the stigma for Indian women who are uncomfortable being examined if they do not have access to a female doctor.  Although there is a lot of education around self-examination, those who practice this are afraid to come forward.  In this case a small cell phone-like device can be passed across the body and anomalies in breast tissue density are identified, with results given in 10 minutes.  Early trial results are encouraging enough to get the club involved.  The investment per device would be about $9,000, and to cover the proposed examination of 10,000 underprivileged women 6 to 7 devices would be required.   Ram has given details to Ana and John Gale.  The project could be extended to indigenous communities in Canada.
We then connected to Ram's club via zoom and heard fro their members about their commitment to the project.  Ram introduced his club members and President Ana thanked the club for its interest in our Pathways project and how we look forward to working on their project.  Ram's club returned the good wishes and the hopes of an ongoing cooperative relationship.  Annie-Grace filled us in on more details, and Ram proposed that this could become a much larger project.  Hopefully we can move forward with the project as soon as possible to conclude it this Rotary year.
John Farrow thanked our guests, prefacing his thanks by tying this proposed project and others to club support for the Rotary Foundation.  John also told us about the Johns Hopkins study that values the volunteer hours that Rotarians put in worldwide at $850 million per year!  The traditional loaf of bread and some gifts of indigenous art were also presented to Ram and Deepa.
What an amazing meeting celebrating how Rotary Connects the World!