District 41 Toastmasters

Grit and Determination

The Hindi Toastmasters Club of Delhi (HTC) was chartered on March 31, 2021, with TM Shrejita Tyagi as the first President of the club. The club meets online every Sunday from 3 to 5 pm and conducts meetings in Hindi. During the COVID period, the club flourished and maintained a healthy membership, attracting participants not just from India but also from across the globe. There has been active collaboration with clubs in Australia, Singapore, Oman, and Qatar.

The club has always stood out for having vibrant meetings covering interesting themes and a passionate set of members who love to promote the Hindi language. Post-COVID, the club witnessed a downward trend in membership strength as many members started moving to local clubs with in-person meetings. Membership reached its nadir in March 2023 when it dropped to 7. For the club and its members, these were extremely taxing times. As the Vice President – Education during that period, it was getting difficult to conduct meetings, and the survival of the club was being questioned.

It was then that a few members of the club resolved to focus completely on membership. With a singular focus on keeping our club alive and enhancing membership, we reached out to friends, acquaintances, past members, and guests individually.

The 100th milestone meeting was held during this period, and we made every effort to make the meeting memorable. We held a special meeting titled “Aarohan,” where members and guests were invited to share poems and stories. This event was a membership-building event. It was followed by a “Book Review” contest, which was very well received. We made sure that Toastmaster-branded trophies were delivered, which was a first for our club and was truly appreciated by the audience. These efforts yielded results, and we ended the term last year with a membership strength of 13.

It was indeed a remarkable effort, but we were still far from the basic minimum requirement. While we did have 9 DCP points, we were still not eligible for any awards.

On July 1, I took over as the President of HTC, and once again, the resolve was to increase membership. My core team consisting of Sarandha Bhardwaj (currently the President of the club), Kanchan Sharma (currently the VP-PR), and Jyoti Mishra (currently the VP-Education) worked relentlessly.

Despite the membership strength, our meetings have always been creative. We had our 125th milestone meeting, where the theme was “Lok Geetho ka Jharokha,” showcasing folk songs from different states. This was a remarkable meeting where TM Smriti Trivedi mesmerized the audience with her beautiful voice. This was another opportunity for us to showcase our club. The term also had a host of education sessions taken by a host of DTMs, and we managed to conduct a few joint meetings as well. We even reached out to Hindi education institutes and Hindi professors to create more awareness of our club.

These efforts have yielded results. We had to let go of a few members, but we also added a host of new members. As we speak today, our club has 16 members, which is the base requirement to be eligible for DCP awards. We have already achieved 6 DCP points as well. Today, we can boast of three DTMs (DTM Navin Parwal, DTM Arun Sharma, and DTM Nilu Sharma) who are our members and always there to guide and mentor us. Our membership is across geographies with members from Australia (TM Dinesh Desai), TM Arun Sharma & TM Vibha Bharti (Singapore), and members from all over the country.

This is our story of grit and determination. From having meetings with just five members, we have come a long way to having eager members willing to fill up roles and deliver speeches. It has been a massive team effort, and I would like to thank and congratulate all our members and well-wishers for the same. I would also like to acknowledge the unflinching support of our Area Director, TM Abdul Basit, who kept supporting us and encouraging us throughout this journey. The “Rising Star” Award has been a tremendous encouragement, and I would like to thank our Area Director and the District for this recognition.

I look forward to our club scaling greater heights, and I want to highlight our unique value proposition of conducting meetings in Hindi. I strongly urge you to come in as a Guest and experience the beauty of Toastmasters in our national language and continue the wonderful tradition of sharing and learning that is the hallmark of Toastmasters. Perhaps you might even become a member of HTC!

Parul Dubey
Hindi Toastmaster’s Club of Delhi