Newly appointed Interact President Pavit Ramtahar's embraces diversity

St Stithians Boys College Interact president Pavit Ramtahar and immediate past president Tristan Van Rensburg. Supplied

St Stithians Boys College Interact president Pavit Ramtahar and immediate past president Tristan Van Rensburg. Supplied

Published Jul 4, 2024


At the heart of an inspiring evening at St Stithian Boys College, the newly appointed President of the Interact Committee, Pavit Ramtahar, delivered a powerful and heartfelt speech that resonated deeply with the audience. His address was marked by gratitude, humility, and a solid commitment to service.

"I wept because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet,“ Ramtahar began, quoting an ancient Persian proverb to underscore the importance of gratitude and perspective.

He encouraged everyone to take a moment to appreciate their blessings and recognise the hardships others might be enduring.

Ramtahar expressed his honour in serving alongside his vice presidents, executives, and committee members, emphasising the privilege of giving back to the community.

"Good evening, one and all. My name is Pavit Ramtahar, and I am deeply humbled to be the newly appointed President of Interact. It’s such a blessing to be here tonight with all of you," he said.

He acknowledged the exceptional leadership of the Interact liaison at the school, the former President of Interact, Tristan van Rensburg, and the outgoing committee members.

Ramtahar’s speech was filled with sincere appreciation for those who have paved the way for the new committee.

To express his gratitude, Ramtahar recited a touching poem titled Bangazi Ngawe, celebrating the enduring influence and guidance of loved ones and mentors. The poem highlighted his deep connections and gratitude for those who supported him.

The heartfelt recitation was met with admiration and applause, underscoring the emotional depth of Ramtahar's gratitude and the significance of his new role. Being of Indian origin, it was humbling for him to recite the poem in fluent Isizulu when he signified diversity, equity, and inclusivity, one of Rotary International’s proponents.

Ramtahar emphasised the committee's dedication to upholding the values and vision of the former Interact Committees. He vowed to continue their legacy by fostering a "Service over Self" culture inspired by Maya Angelou's teachings.

"We all should know that Diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour," Ramtahar quoted Angelou, reinforcing the importance of diversity and inclusion.

In his closing remarks, Ramtahar called on the new committee members to engage with honour, pride, and integrity. He urged them to create a community where everyone feels valued and empowered.

"Within each single one of you lies the power and responsibility of making a positive impact in the world," he stated, emphasising the profound impact of their collective efforts.

Ramtahar also highlighted the unique attributes of the St. Stithian Boys College Interact Club. It is the largest Interact club in the district, with approximately 400 members and a strong committee of 33.

He acknowledged the club's sponsor, the Rotary Club of Johannesburg, the oldest Rotary club in Africa, now 103 years old.

What is Interact? Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young people aged 12 to 18. Interact clubs are self-governing and self-supporting and can be either school-based or community-based. Each club is sponsored by a Rotary club, which provides support and guidance. Interact's name is a combination of "international" and "action," reflecting the goal of the programme to make a difference in communities worldwide.

Ramtahar concluded with a guiding principle for the committee's work: "Do the Act, Be the Act, Interact."

His words were a powerful reminder of the committee's mission to serve with humanity and heart, striving to make the world a better place every day.

The evening ended with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment among the Interact Committee members, ready to embark on a journey of service and positive change under Ramtahar's inspiring leadership.

Pretoria News