Antaram Gawande, Rotary Club District Governor of District 6690, visited the Barnesville Rotary Club on August 25.

Ram is a member of the Athens Rotary Club. He has served the club as president and member of numerous committees at the club and district level.

He has been Chair of the Avoidable Blindness Initiative since 2001 and has been awarded Rotary Foundation District Service Awards in 1995-1999 and 2055-2006.

Ram was born in rural India and attended medical school in the central Indian city of Nagpur. He did his internship and surgical residency in Brooklyn , NY and finished his Urology residency training at the New Jersey College of Medicine.

Since 1973, he has been a private practicing urologist in Athens. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is certified both in general surgery and urology and is an active member of several medical societies.

Ram and his wife Sushila were guests of the Barnesville Rotary Club and were given a tour of the village. Sushila is a pediatrician. They have two adult children and three grandchildren. Their son Atul is an Endocrine surgeon and writer and their daughter, Sumeeta,, a lawyer in Newark, N.J.

In their spare time, the family enjoys tennis. They feel blessed to be able to connect their birthplace, India to their adopted land of America.

Governor Gawande told Barnesville Rotary Club members about the 2010 district conference in Athens, May 13-16. The theme for the district is "Education for Peace."

Gawande said education is the biggest gift. He told Rotary Club members about projects in India involving water quality and eye surgery.

Gawande said he was recently able to pass on a $90,000 donation from Rotary International to purchase textbooks for students in grades first through ninth in Athens.

"Rotary has touched by life in many ways and we are blessed to be Rotarians," Ram said. "Rotary is part of the circle of life and I want to enlarge that circle."

He said Rotary was about doing projects and connecting people.

Following his presentation, the Barnesville club donated $50 to the Rotary Polio Plus initiative in Ram's name.

Cathryn Stanley/Barnesville Enterprise

Antaram Gawande, Rotary Club District Governor of District 6690, visited the Barnesville Rotary Club on August 25. Pictured (l-r) Barnesville Rotary Club President Randy Lucas, Ram, Sushila and Assistant Governor Vickie Bland.