District 3190 GSE Team Farewell Rally

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange is a scheme which enables teams of young people from one country to experience the culture and different ways of life of another country. Typically teams of 5 from another country, headed by an experienced Rotarian, spend four weeks touring a Rotary District in UK, living with Rotarians’ families for one week before moving on to another part of the District. Later, a reciprocal Tour from UK to the other country will take place.

Each day, events and visits are organised for the Team, enabling them to experience local businesses and ways of life, together with more relaxed times visiting places of interest and leisure. Each Team member also has opportunities of experiencing work in his or her own chosen profession, as part of the Vocational activities arranged.

Throughout October a Team from District 3190, Bangalore, India has been touring our own District taking in  168 different locations, including Ironbridge Museums, Lichfield Cathedral, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, the Black Country Museum, RAF Cosford, several Mayors’ Parlours for ‘welcome’ receptions, Molineux Stadium, Keele University and a Pub Quiz at The Crooked House, Himley to name but a few.

Evenings were spent either with their ‘host’ families or visiting local Rotary Clubs, giving presentations covering their own local area in India (Bangalore) and each individual’s work. The Team also gave a major presentation at the Rotary District’s Annual Conference in Torquay.

For their Vocational days, Anuradha Hebbar (a Tax Advisor and Advocate) spent time with different local Chartered Accountants’ practices around the region,

Archana Sahay, who heads up the Corporate Social Responsibility function for a major IT multi-national, had a day with the CEO at a Social Housing group’s HQ, a day with the Chief Executive of “Little Hearts Matter” and time at Capgemini UK plc.

Pradyumna Radhakrishnan, who works in IT Programme Management, had a day with a Marketing Company, another with Stafford Chamber of Commerce and a day with Alpha Design Marketing Consultancy.

Suresh Sthanikam, an HR Consultant, had a day with Keele University’s Human Resource Department, another with Stafford Borough Council and time at other HR companies.

The Team was lead by Rotarian Prakash Nagesh, a Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Bangalore Peenya.

At tonight’s “Farewell Rally”, which the Tettenhall Club had the pleasure of hosting, the Bangalore Team gave glowing accounts of the tremendous hospitality and kindness shown to them by everyone connected with their Tour, including, most of all, the various families who had welcomed them into their own homes and “treated them just like one of the family”.

The team were particularly enthusiastic over their Vocational Days, saying how much they had learned and how much valuable experience had been gained. With their wider knowledge, they are relishing the chance of putting new ideas into practice when they return home to India.

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