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“Your club has saved 500 lives”

Guest speaker Roger Neuberg with President Jason Chauhan surrounded by Novus members and guests including Mai Tsumura and her mother Yuka on the right

Guest speaker Roger Neuberg with President Jason Chauhan surrounded by Novus members and guests including Mai Tsumura and her mother Yuka on the right

Novus members and guests were treated to a most moving talk by Roger Neuberg, a member of Oadby Rotary.

Among the guests were Mai Tsumura and her mother Yuka, from Japan. Mai arrived two days before the meeting She is a doctoral student from Kobe College, Japan, sponsored by Nishinomiya-Ebisu Rotary Club to study at the University of Leicester from this September for a year.

She wrote to Novus a month ago: “As I am eager to be engaged in some Rotary acts in Leicester, I would appreciate it if I would be allowed to attend your regular meeting at the beginning of October and get to know about the activities you are leading. Would you think there is a possibility for me to do so?

Actually, I will be studying the British Literature at University of Leicester, to be more precise, John Ruskin’s idea on Charity and his charitable activities and service. Therefore, I am very much interested in your activities and attitudes towards them.

Also, I think I would be able to perform as a bridge between your club and the clubs in Japan, especially my sponsor club, which is young, but highly motivated, contributing to the enhancement of the students through sports and the preservation of natural environment.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit your club.
(I went to the Cathedral last summer, so I might have met one of you. I saw on your website that one of you is on duty as a guide there!) Thank you in advance.”

Mai (pronounced My) also wrote that she wanted to help Novus members marshal at the Rainbows Bubble Rush event in Abbey Park on September 22.

Moira Bartlett, from the Rotary Club of Leicester, who has helped many overseas students settle in the city for studies at both city universities and at Loughborough University, provided bedding, pots, pans and other housewares to help Mai settle in her student lodgings. The next day Mai and her mother explored Leicester: “We love it here,” they agreed, after visiting the city centre.

Moira and Ranjit Singh Mann, husband of Novus member Jasbir were in the audience of 13 when Roger Neuberg spoke about the Rotary Jaipur Limb project. He explained that in Mumbai alone, there are 250,000 amputees. The Rotary Jaipur Limb exists to give amputees independence, mobility normality and dignity. “If you are limbless, you are invisible,” said Roger.

He explained that there had been week-long limb camps in four Kerala towns and handed round artificial limbs, which can be created within hours of a patient being measured. Within a day or two clients walk or even run out of the camp with their lives changed.

Roger quoted a woman who said: “We thought Rotary Clubs were for rich people. Now we know they are for service. We will remember them and pray for them every time we visit the temple.”

The new project which Roger is promoting as the District 1070 Jaipur Limb champion is to spread the scheme to Africa. The St Francis Hospital in Buluba, Uganda, had been a base for artificial limb clinics, but the specialist had ceased to operate and the numbers of limbs fitted had dwindled from 150-200 cases a year to only two or three a month.

Roger is now aiming for the 90 clubs in the east Midlands to raise £16,250. With grants from The Rotary Foundation, that could be increased to £45,000 which will be enough to provide 500 limbs. In India, a limb will cost £40. In Africa it will cost £90 because of the need to train technicians, to import materials, to provide accommodation and transport for clients.

Novus, he said, is already the major donor for the Uganda project.

Some years ago Roger spearheaded a campaign for District 1070 to raise enough money to provide 32 e-Ranger motorcylce ambulances for Mbale,a city region in eastern Uganda.

He updated members by saying that those 32 motorbike ambulance had been deployed in 24,560 emergencies.

The unit bought by Leicester Novus Rotary had attended 1,076 emergencies, of which 527 had been for maternity emergencies. Roger, a gynaecologist/obstetrician, said that half of those would have saved lives.
“Think about that,” said Roger. “If a Rotary Club had saved one life, think how impressive that would be. Leicester Novus has saved 500 lives. Your club has done something wonderful.”

Novus member Sarita Shah proposed a vote of thanks to Roger.

Mai and Yuka also thanked him and said that there were learning that Rotary is indeed a special organisation and thanked Moira and Novus members for making them so welcome.

It was clear that members enjoyed their company and are looking forward to seeing a lot of Mai during the next year and making Yuka know that their daughter will be well looked after by Novus Rotary during the next year.

To learn more about Jaipur Limb, Roger recommends watching this video with comedian Paul Merton