I recently saw on the website of the Labour and Social Development Ministry that Bahrain has 629 professional and charitable societies, clubs and federations.
This is absurd, to say the least!
I had earlier written on the topic urging authorities to reframe the rules, change the system and the conditions for registration. I had also suggested Parliament take cognisance of this unrestricted increase and develop new legislation to limit their spread.
But this continues unabated. The so-called last straw was His Excellency the Minister of Labour and Social Development receiving founders of the first Arabic-only Rotary Club!
Many members of this club are my dear friends, but I fail to understand what they are going to achieve by speaking only in Arabic. Where was the need for an Arabic-only Rotary? There are already three other Rotary Clubs, the majority of whose members are Arabs and these have been serving Bahrain society for many years.
Though I am not a Rotarian, I have attended many of their meetings and therefore I fail to understand if this new entity will contribute to preserving the Arabic language. The motto of the Rotary Clubs is to build close relations and connections between members from various professions and contribute to local charities and the community, which the existing three clubs are already doing. Bahrain is a very small country and does not need any more such clubs.
We not only desperately need to regulate such associations and clubs but merge some of them to combine their energies, efforts and resources. We do not want Rotary Clubs in other languages just because the system allows it.
I am a staunch supporter of voluntary and charitable activities and value all those who work to serve our society. I have been involved with many of them in my long professional career and know for a fact many of these always have a scarcity of budget and depend entirely on the support of institutions, companies and banks, efforts which are not always successful. This is because companies and organisations also have limited budgets, which they are forced to distribute among the societies and clubs.
I hope that officials at the ministry will find appropriate solutions to advance institutional work and take steps to regulate such associations.