Posted by Susan Kowalski on Jan 06, 2020
The Canton Rotary Club started the New Year off with a report on a polio survivor from India who we were able to help start his own business.  This was a joint project of several Rotary Clubs in District 6400: Windsor Roseland, Adrian Morning, Plymouth, Livonia, and Canton.  Asar is shown above driving his rickshaw with his first passenger.
Asar Basha is a polio survivor in India.  He has a family and has been working at a hotel desk in India.  A Windsor Roseland Rotarian, Aruna Koushik, was staying at the hotel where he worked while working on a bore hole well water project which the five clubs mentioned above were supporting.  (This bore hole water well project currently is supplying 5,000 people with water.)  While there she discovered that Asar was a polio survivor, but that he would be forced to retire soon (India has a rather young forced retirement age) and had no pension and no way of supporting his family.  He had been looking into motorized rickshaws but they were way too expensive for him to afford.  So, Aruna had a brilliant thought.  There was a small amount of money left from the bore hole well project (under $1,000 total) - could the clubs pool this money and buy Asar a motorized rickshaw?  After communicating with the 5 sponsoring clubs, Aruna had permission to use the leftover money for Asar's rickshaw.  But how would she get the remaining money needed for the rickshaw?  Not one to be stopped by the little problem of money, Aruna persuaded several private donors and a local company to contribute, and she had the money.  Aruna went to India (totally at her own cost) in December where she purchased the rickshaw and presented it to Asar.  This will enable him now to support his family.  Aruna has also made arrangements with a local doctor to provide walking calipers (leg braces) for Asar.  Thanks for all of your hard work Aruna.  We are looking forward to working with Aruna as our 6400 District Governor in 2021/2022.