Why we embarked on preventive cervical vaccination for teenagers –Kamlesh Jain, president, Rotary Club, Lagos Island   

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Why we embarked on preventive cervical vaccination for teenagers –Kamlesh Jain, president, Rotary Club, Lagos Island   

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Why we embarked on preventive cervical vaccination for teenagers –Kamlesh Jain, president, Rotary Club, Lagos Island    by : 3:41 am On October 10, 2021

By Christy Anyanwu

She has a heart of gold and simply referred to as Change Maker. President Rotarian Kamlesh Jain is the CEO, Excelminds Corporate Services, Excelminds Jobs, Lagos. With leadership  trainings  and orientations in India, Gulf, Europe and Lagos, she aims at facilitating  people in realizing  their true potential in personal lives, relationship and career.

Recently, another feather was added to her cap as the first female president of Rotary Club of Lagos Island. At a colourful investiture ceremony in which top-notch leaders from the corporate world, and philanthropists participated, Rtn Kamlesh Jain spoke with Sunday Sun about her projects, perception about Nigeria, unfolding a lot about the girl child.

How do you feel being the first female president of this club?

First and foremost, I am both humbled and privileged to have this opportunity bestowed on me to serve as the 6th president of the Rotary Club of Lagos Island. It would be an honour to take on such a robust responsibility to serve one of the most respected Rotary Clubs of District 9110. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for placing their trust and confidence in me as leader of this Rotary year.

When did you joined Rotary and why Rotary?

I joined this club in 2016. That was five years ago. I’m a professional trainer. I do corporate trainings. I empower youths for the job and I also do recruitments. I noticed there are lots of unemployment in Nigeria and people need that. By so doing I started giving them trainings and helping them get jobs. My husband started the Rotary club and he is a Chartered Secretary. When he started the club, I was not willing to go because I knew they are more into charity and I was already into that, I’m already doing vocational training and helping people to get job. 

Did you come straight from India to Nigeria?

I have been staying in Gulf countries more than 20 years. I stayed in Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrin, after staying in these countries; Africa is another place to explore. We have heard so many bad things about Africa, but when I came here I found it totally different. Media is something that gave a bad picture of Africa. I always tell people that Nigeria is such a lovely place, lovely people, a lot of business potentials. The country is very safe, I go around even in the night and I’m not bothered. You see good and bad things happen everywhere and in every country, but you can’t rate the people or country just by one incident. You need to really come, see for yourself that is what I tell people about Nigeria.

What do you love about Nigeria?

Nigerians value the knowledge, value the wisdom, when you give them something they truly appreciate it and they give you so much back. Living here in these past five years is so amazing. So much love, appreciation and they value you that have something they can learn. They are open to learning. They are so flexible. They are so grateful. The gratitude is so much in Nigeria. That is why I love Nigeria.

As the president, what are your projects and visions during your tenure?

Projects like free cataract surgeries.  We need at least  N15 million to manage the 15,000 surgeries we are planning to do. We are also having cervical cancer screening. We are targeting 1,000 girls to take care of the screening of cervical cancer and it’s vaccination, we need like $35 million to make this happen.  I’m already, prepared and completely enthusiastic about it. We intend to raise such money from different corporate companies who have CSR activities; under these CSR activities they help us manage these projects. We would go to these companies to seek their support.  For cervical cancer programme we are also seeking support from Rotary International. We have already applied for the global grand from Rotary International. We have projects coming on from 11-22 October, 2021 in Kano and Lagos. Our eye surgery project service chair, Rtn Hiro just disclosed the free commencement of this year’s free cataract surgery camp is targeted at 800 beneficiaries. These days we noticed that cataracts that used to be problem for elderly people, but surprisingly small children these days are now becoming victims. I was amazed when one of us, Rtn Manu Lalwani , chair project mission for vision was talking about these eyes defects. Polio awareness camp and contribution is also key for me.


Tell us more about the cervical vaccination and why this passion for the girl child and women, is it because you are a woman?

Vaccination is every three months. Each girl gets three dosage of vaccination every three months. We do screening for young girls of 13 to 19 years old; it’s a very bad thing happening to these small girls. Out of a thousand screening we may get almost 20-30 girls testing positive to cervical cancer. What we do is to give them preventive vaccination.  Nigerian girls are going through so much on that, we need to focus on that.  Another thing is that we are distributing  sanitary napkins to 10 schools  three months ago and we give these napkins to the senior students because of the unhygienic condition the girls were not able to manage the hygiene of their body.  We also adopted girl’s school by donating books to the school library. We give them good books to read, it is all to empower the girl. If you empower the girl, you empower the whole country. Women are change-makers as daughters, as sisters, as wives and as mothers and grandmothers and it happens effortlessly. Rotary provides ordinary women the opportunity to do extraordinary things.  Working together with like-minded women and men they expand and build on existing strengths and become leaders in action. The work that Rotary women throughout the world do publicly and behind the scenes is amazing. Women are both the “movers and shakers” in our clubs, but also very well represented in leadership positions within clubs, Districts and beyond throughout Nigeria. I am proud to mention that we have 40 per cent  women membership in our club and our BOD.

As a leader what does service means to you?

 Service to me is making the person next to you happy. My immediate environment, I start with them.  If I can make just one person working with me happy I’m satisfied.  I start with them. Then people who are helping me in the compound, electrician, cooks, everyone working in my compound, I allow them to have lunch with me. This gives me happiness. Make someone close to you happy. Don’t go far and other places to make someone happy.  Start within your immediate environment. Your driver, your cooks, before you go out to the community.  Normally give our boys quarters to the staff and their children are there. I don’t have to go far and they love me for it. (Pointing at a teenage black girl) She’s my staff; she looked after me like no one else. She’s like daughter to me.  

What lessons has life taught you?

Kindness and humility are stronger than power and pride. Having new experiences, cherishing relationships and living a healthy life is worth more than wealth and fame.

They call you Change Maker President, why?

I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept, that is a quote by Angela Davis. And I will do so through the lens of my personal leadership journey, applying the passion I have for change and the ways I know my club can achieve it through collective leadership and collaboration. I look forward to continued growth as a leader! And would look forward to seeking support from my able DG, AG, BOD, our advisor, members and our kind sponsors.

Your simplicity is greatly admired; does that have anything to do with growing up?

My mother is like me. Growing up when I cooked food, the first thing she does was to dish the food to whosoever entered the door. You can be a cleaner, watchman, just anybody that comes to my house the first thing is that you have to eat. She said if they are happy we are happy. She left me almost eight years back and I really miss her. Had she seen me like this today of my investiture, she would be happy. One sentence she told me in Hindu when she was leaving is interpreted thus: “you can achieve anything in your life if you wish to. If you are feeling defeated from the heart you are already defeated, but if you are a winner inside you will win”.

You have a supporting husband, how did you meet him?

We met in India courted for three years and its 33 years we are married now. We have two boys. One is in Spain. He’s working with Amazon, the other one is in New Zealand, he’s a software engineer, and another one is a biotechnologist in India. They are all doing very well.  I also got a daughter in-law who is more like a daughter to me. I wish to have a granddaughter like my daughter-in-law. She’s a lovely girl. 

The post Why we embarked on preventive cervical vaccination for teenagers –Kamlesh Jain, president, Rotary Club, Lagos Island    appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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