When we reached Munnar, Kerala in May 2013 to be part of South Asia Rotary Cricket Tournament organised by Rotary International, little we did realise that we would hit two birds in one shot for IFCR.
Not only did we have a successful launch of the hosts RI 3201,Cochin as an additional chapter of IFCR India during the course of the event in the presence of RI officials of South Asia, but we also sowed the seeds of IFCR into another cricket crazy country from the South Asia region, Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, which was one of the invitees for the tournament, was led by their ever energetic District Governor Dr. Ishtiaque Zaman and they were greatly inspired by the fantastic show (as organisers) put up by the dedicated Rotarians of Cochin and enthralled at being Cricket Loving Rotarians.
When, during the launch function of IFCR 3201, Kittu, in his articulate way, narrated the essence and joy of IFCR it only needed few rounds of further talks by us with DG Ishtiaque and his team to evince their keen interest in IFCR.
The enthusiastic DG Ishtiaque straightaway started the planning of launch of IFCR 3280, Bangladesh and he was keen that it must occur before his term ends on 30th June. Rest is history !!!
When, on the invitation of RI 3280, KIttu,Vipul and I landed at Dhaka on 13th Jun 2013, it was the District Awards Day function on that evening. DG Ishtiaque, despite his busy schedule, welcomed us at the function, with his 1000 watt smile and and ensured that his hospitable team of Rotarians would make us feel completely at home straightaway.
The next day, Friday June 14, 2013, was a red letter day in the annals of IFCR 3280, Bangladesh – their induction into the best recreational fellowship of Rotary, the International Fellowship Cricket Loving Rotarians (IFCR).
We were invited for a Friday morning breakfast meeting of RC Uttara at the cosy Uttara Club in Dhaka (where we were lodged) and we could feel the buzz of the IFCR launch throughout the meeting.
Incidentally, it should be mentioned here that this was of the last meetings which the local Rotarians are attending as part of district 3280, since Bangladesh will be split into two districts, 3281 and 3282, effective from July 1, 2013.
The launching program in the evening (when DG Dr.Isthiaque was installed as IFCR Chair, Bangladesh along with two co-ordinators Rtn.Tipo for district 3281 and Rtn.Ali Choudhary for district 3282) was a gala affair with a fair sprinkling of Rotary families and lady Rotarians making it a colourful fellowship.
The charter certificates and pins were presented to IFCR Bangladesh chair Dr.Ishtiaque and his team of office bearers and later pleasantaries were exchanged between IFCR India and IFCR Bangladesh officials.
A lively local band kept the gathering in a spirited and swinging mood and it was a fitting finale while ushering in another group of warm and passionate cricket loving Rotarians in to IFCR World.
DG Dr.Ishtiaque and his team of enthusiastic Rotarians which included Rtn.Salauddin Ahmed (President of Uttara Club which won quite a few district awards) Rtn.Tipo, Rtn.Ali Choudhary, Rtn.Shoaib, Rtn. Khondokar Shahidul Hasan, Rtn.Khairul Alam and several others, have left no stone unturned to make the IFCR Bangladesh launch a truly memorable one and we left Dhaka making another 50 odd dear friends in IFCR and bringing them that much closer to the rest of the fraternity in the IFCR world.