Rotary International plans to set up clubs on the mainland in the next few years with the help of its members in Hong Kong. The US-based volunteer service organisation has 34,000 clubs worldwide, including groups in Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia. It has many service projects on the mainland but has yet to establish clubs and recruit members there, its international president, Kalyan Banerjee, says. 'We would like to go through Hong Kong Rotary until the works are running independently in China,' Banerjee, who attended a regional conference of the group in Hong Kong yesterday, said. 'Hong Kong will have a huge part to play.' The organisation, made up mainly of businesspeople, hopes to launch projects such as clean-water schemes in the northwest and disease prevention programmes. In one of its efforts, which ran from 2001 to 2009, one million mainland children received vaccinations against hepatitis B. Rotary has also built thousands of schools there. Banerjee said the organisation usually established ties with the government when it launched clubs in a country. 'We approached the Chinese government. They say they're looking into it. Perhaps the time has not yet come,' he said. David Harilela, the Rotary International district governor for Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia, said the clubs on the mainland in the future would aim to have their own people run their projects. At present, the group could recruit only expatriates for its mainland projects because of government regulations. 'We hope to enable China to look after China,' Harilela said. When Rotary launched clubs on the mainland, he said that it would start in the bigger cities, where funding for projects would be readily available. The organisation ran volunteer projects of different kinds in different places, and Banerjee said the quality of the works depended on the honesty and integrity of its members. As president for 2011-12, Banerjee said he had been travelling broadly to motivate and inspire members. 'I see something that needs to be done and get people to do it,' he said. His main focus is on eradicating polio, a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease caused by a virus. It now exists only in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Banerjee is confident that it can be eradicated. 'We don't want to divert our focus from polio. We want to get it done,' he said.