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Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia Honored for Exemplary Service, Donates Ugx38m to Rotary Activities

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By Gad Masereka

Vision Group’s CEO and Managing Director, Don Wanyama, and prominent Kampala business figure, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, have been honored among 40 distinguished individuals recognized by Rotary District 9214 for their outstanding contributions as advocates for humanity.

The awards were presented by Brenda Cressey, Vice President of The Rotary Foundation Trustee, representing Rotary International President Gordon R. McInally, during a breakfast gathering at the Speke Resort Convention Centre in Munyonyo, Kampala, on April 26, 2024. Lorraine Tukahirwa, Vision Group’s head of marketing, accepted the award on behalf of Wanyama. The breakfast event preceded the Rotary assembly and conference.

However, Sudhir surprised the guests when after receiving his award offered a contribution of $10,000 (approx.38m) towards the district activities, in addition to making discounts to the conference and guests staying at his hotel.

The district governor, Francesco Ssemwanga in his addresses commended Sudhir, saying his ‘heart is larger than the entire building here’.

“Some of you have ever come close to Dr. Sudhir, a man with a large heart. He gave us good offers and discounts and he has played a pivotal role in having this conference organized here,” he said. According to Ssemwanga, the Rotary governors had ‘to say thank you for the causes of humanity’.

He said Rotarians are volunteers but do their work with most of the corporate organizations and companies. “The purpose of the breakfast meeting is to say thank you (CEOs) and appreciate you and bring you closer to Rotary so that you come to know what we are doing because we need these synergies and partnerships if we are to make things better than we found them,” he told the guests.

Sudhir surprised the guests when after receiving his award offered a contribution of $10,000 (approx.38m) towards the district activities, in addition to making discounts to the conference and guests staying at his hotel. “We also anticipate more conversations on how we shall carry on the partnerships so that we can serve humanity,” he added. Sudhir said, “I truly thank all of you (Rotarians) from the bottom of my heart for this recognition, and of course I do things not for recognition, but I do them because I want to do things,” he said.

“We always have a close relationship with Rotarians, and we always believe in what Rotary does for humanity, and to me this is my biggest inspiration,” he said, adding that the award was a big thing to his career. He explained that because of the cultural divide where he grew up in Kasese, Western Uganda, ever since his childhood, they were brought up to make sure that they look after the underprivileged as one of the prime responsibilities of a human being.

“And Rotary fits in well in this description, and I also look forward to Rotary when I do eye camps and other deeds that we normally do upcountry, and support Rotary,” said. He added, “Rotary is doing a lot for humanity and has a lot of projects for the community, the best we can do is to support them in their programs, I have always worked with them.” Katongole, who introduced Sudhir as their main highlight, said that the entrepreneur is ‘one of the best sons of Africa and of this country’. “He is an honorary Rotarian in two clubs in Uganda and one of the greatest entrepreneurs this country has produced, who started his journey from Kasese, went into exile and returned to Uganda and started a journey of entrepreneurship in a small way but with dreams, which he has achieved over the years,” he explained. According to Katongole, Sudhir holds and runs several enterprises, but the most amazing attribute about him was that he puts people before profit.

“He puts the ability to help people discover their potential before profits, he is considered a billionaire by all standards but when you meet him, you take him for an ordinary person.” He added, “He has participated in every area of focus by supporting this country to move forward, he pays school fees for thousands of Ugandans and creates them opportunities, just like I was picked by Rotarians, which has taught me to help others,” he said. Among other things, Katongole who described Sudhir as a great man said that Rotary had given him focus because he had contributed to provision of water throughout this country, building of hospitals, buying ambulances, caring for mothers and children, and protecting the environment by planting trees across the country. “He is a great man, but above all, we have seen his humbleness, and his businesses through his foundation have crossed this country and touched almost every single Ugandan.” He added, “And whatever he does, he does so with drive, determination, dedication and with a lot of discipline.” He commended Sudhir for having accomplished the construction of the Speke Resort Convention Centre in a record time when Uganda was given a chance to host hundreds of heads of states and other delegates

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