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Impact of Rotarians felt all across the globe

Rotarians Dr. Krishan Sachdeva and Janice Coupland were given a hearty welcome during a visit to India last October.

This is the story of a Rotary humanitarian project in India. It is also the story of Rotarians who are “People of Action,” who get things done, and who believe that you can make a    difference.

Dr. Krishan Sachdeva was born in the Amritsar–Lahore Panjab area in what was then Hindustan (before it became India).  He studied hard, and was accepted to medical school.

In 1965, during the war between Pakistan and India, Kris was an intern and looked after injured soldiers and POWs. This gave him experience in many medical procedures. He became an emergency physician in the UK and did surgery of all kinds, working all over England: Swansea, Kent, Norfolk, Dartford, Rugby, and Coventry.

In 1971, he wrote his final exam and became a Fellow of the College of Surgeons (FRCS).

Dr. Sachdeva accepted a position in Canada for what was to be a few years, intending on returning to England, but he never went back.

Four years later, he received his specialty in urology FRCS and also a fellowship in transplant surgery. He came to Oshawa in 1980 and set up his practice at the Oshawa General Hospital with two other urologists.

In 1985, he was invited to join the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood by Dr. Rod Ross. Kris liked that Rotary believes that we are a world community and encourages clubs to take on International Service projects.

In 1997, Kris sponsored a project (through Rotary) to provide desks, laptops and science lab equipment to a school in India. He worked on the project with two former students of the school.

Twenty years later in 2017, one of the Rotarians from India who Kris knew from the previous project contacted him regarding a new project to provide toilets, audio visual equipment, desks, education on sanitary practices, and a bus for a school in the Vandse village of Byndoor.

Kris gained the support of the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood and the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, and with Global Grant funds from Rotary International, the project was     initiated in 2018.

In October 2018, Kris and his partner Janice Coupland, who is also a Rotarian, went to India for a family wedding in Amritsar and as a side trip before the wedding they flew to Manglore and met up with members of the Rotary Clubs of Kundapur and Ganguly.

Rotarians gave Janice and Kris a hearty welcome, meeting them at the airport, and hosting a special dinner where they were greeted by a huge banner with their names on it. The next day four local members took Janice and Kris to the school in Byndoor. The children, parents, and teachers gathered to greet them. They were presented with ceremonial garlands and scarves. They felt honoured and overwhelmed by the incredible appreciation of the students and the school for the improvements that Rotary was sponsoring.