June 22, 2007

Community Newsletters: The Probus Club example

A variety of newsletters are received at our offices.
And I never fail to give them some attention. For, quite often, between paras and beneath columns are delightful nuggets of information to consume.
'Probuzz . . .' is a monthly newsletter of the Probus Club of Chennai. This club is an association of retired government officers, businesspeople and professionals.
Their haunt is the Russian Cultural Centre, a campus in the shadow of Chola Sheraton hotel.
Dr. Balambal, a resident of K. K. Nagar, a professor of history, is Probus Club's president currently.
She is also an enthusiastic promoter of traditional Indian games and is often travelling to some corner of the country or the world to talk on 'pallan kuzhi' and 'daya-kattam'.
Earlier this year, we invited her to organise a traditional game corner for the annual Mylapore Festival and ever since, she has been a well wisher.
I guess she also makes sure that we receive a copy of 'Probuzz . . .'
The ten-page newsletter runs like a well-prepared government document with sections, sub- sections and carefully marked sub-headings.
Reading it may not be easy on the eye but there is an amazing amount of information in this monthly.
Besides the minutes of Probus meetings, birthdays and wedding anniversaries and events lined up for the month and reportage on those that went by, this compact newsletter discusses issues like health insurance, pension for seniors and the pluses and minuses of reverse mortgage schemes.
The editorial team also snipes news reports which touch on issues that affect senior citizens and posts them in the newsletter.
One 'Probuzz . . .' issue highlighted a government order of the state of Maharashtra which directed all state-run hospitals in city corporations and municipalities to provide free investigations and treatment to all persons who are 60+.
One of the nice acts of the Probus Club is to visit its sick members. Even these visits are recorded in the newsletter.
I am sure the editorial team does not publish this for the sake of publicity.
Rather, this tidbit could enthuse others to volunteer.
In this day of electronic communication, these little, printed newsletters connect warmly.
If you are part of a community, and still have not got a newsletter going, time to design one.
If you need a few tips, the 'Probuzz . . .' editor, S. Ranganatha Rao should be of help.
Call him on 2499 5290.

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