Shekhar Mehta visited the memorial accommodating over 250,000 victims of Genocide against Tutsi on 22nd June 2022.
He was accompanied by members of Rotary Club including the Governor of Rotary Club District 9150, Edgard Cyr Tougouma; Dr. Jean D’Amour Manirere, the Assistant District Governor in Rwanda; Jeannette Rugera, the Executive Secretary of District 9150 and the President of Rotary Club Kigali Virunga, Suman Alla.
After receiving explanations on history of Genocide against Tutsi, Shekhar Mehta said that he was moved by the extreme cruelty with which it was perpetrated.
“What I witnessed rose my emotions. I have been shocked and scared by dreadful circumstances under which victims were killed,” he said.
Despite the dark past of the country endured, Shekhar said that he was impressed by Rwandans’ reconciliation where perpetrators and survivors live in harmony.
He disclosed that the greatest lesson learnt at the memorial is about Rwandans’ reconciliation efforts where he saw a picture of a lady pointing to a man who killed her children but forgave the perpetrator after revealing whereabouts they were dumped.
Shekhar said that many people need to learn from Rwanda’s reconciliation and urged the world to visit Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn about what happened in Rwanda, to get inspiration to resist propagandists denying and trivializing the Genocide.
He also called on people to make an effort to live in harmony and stand against whatever tending to lead them into ethnic divisionism.
Shekhar Mehta is the President of Rotary International in 2021-2022.
He is also the chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.
Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster.
He pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.
A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India).
Mehta has received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards.
Rotary Club International was established 116 years ago. It is currently comprised of 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries.
The club has been in Rwanda for more than 20 years where it has established clubs that contributed to the country’s development in different areas.