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Date: 31st January 2018
Category: Leader Speak  

As the District Director, what was your vision for District 98? In the last six months, have you seen it accomplished?

My vision was to expand the reach of Toastmasters and to see the District become the President's Distinguished District this year too.

Over the last two years, since the District was formed, we have had enquires from some Tier-2 cities. Our efforts are now bearing fruit. We have chartered a club in Aurangabad (a new city on our District map) and additional clubs in Goa, Visakhapatnam and Indore.

In the last six months, we have added nearly 28 clubs. We also have many more clubs in the pipeline which are in various stages of chartering.

The District has complied with the initial mandatory requirements to be considered for the President's Distinguished status. In the next four months, we must aim to have most, if not all club officers trained, maximum renewals are done, clubs visited and reports filed on time, clubs achieving Distinguished status and much more. I am sure our dedicated team of leaders will accomplish this.

"Caring and Sharing" has been your motto. How do you think the clubs across the District can incorporate it for effective growth in leadership?

The Toastmasters' promise which is administered to members when they are inducted says—"I promiseto treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy."

From the time I became a member and understood the program, I have been meeting guests at club meetings and making them comfortable, explaining the program to them, and informing them that they need to join the program out of their own free will. Once they join, apart from the financial investment, they will need to commit time and effort—time to attend meetings, write speeches, and effort to practice the speech and ensure it is delivered well. I have offered to mentor their speeches, guided them on performing roles, and provided feedback. My ulterior motive is to see that the member improves. I have witnessed quite a few success stories, which gives me satisfaction.

You have been in Toastmasters for a decade now and seen the District grow and evolve. In this regard, what are your long-term plans for the District?

As District Director, I can plan only for my tenure which is of one year. A decade ago, I became a charter member of the third club to be chartered in Mumbai. I helped to spread the Toastmasters program and saw the birth of many corporate and some community clubs. We were part of District 82 and then began the amoeba split. In India, we now have four districts!

Each of the four districts is doing well and always vying to be World No.1. We are making all efforts to create awareness about Toastmasters and promote the benefits of the program. I would love to see our members as speech mentors to speakers at TED and other such platforms, judges at college events, and Toastmasters being associated with these events.

- Edited by Taaha, compiled by Fatima

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