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A star-studded launch for "Joy Of Giving" campaign

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June 04, 2009
Express News Service

Mumbai: We all need to learn the joy of giving," said Sachin Tendulkar at a press conference oragnised by the Give India Foundation. "My children have already learnt it, and everyone needs to," he continued, before recounting instances of his family's philanthropy. He also recounted how he learnt this joy, when he came to know that a wheelchair-bound Chennai boy's dream was to hold Tendulkar's bat. He recounted the joy he felt after seeing the boy standing up with the bat's help, and even hitting a cricket ball with it. He then stepped down from the podium to widespread applause.

The conference, held at the MIG Cricket Club in Bandra (East), was organised by the Give India Foundation to spread awareness on the 'Joy of Giving Week,' a high-profile advertising event that will be held between September 27 and October 3. According to Amit Chandra, a noted investment banker, the event "will be unprecedented in the history of Indian advertising," with around Rs 50 crore being spent to ensure maximum visibility for the campaign. He also mentioned the generosity of Hemendra Kothari, who had not only donated Rs 1 crore for launching the campaign, but had also pledged to match all donations to this campaign with a donation towards the protection of Indian wildlife. Actor-turned-filmmaker Nandita Das, who also participated in the event, said that her Masters degree in Social Service had exposed her to the harsh reality of the life of the poor and this inspired her to work for their upliftment.

The organisers said that by not holding the conference at an expensive location, the campaign has already saved Rs 70,700. According to them, this amount will be donated to Maroa Seva Sangh to help it feed 14,000 children. Immediately after this announcement, Ujjwal Thakkar doubled the amount with a donation of his own, forcing the announcement that in spirit, at least, the Joy of Giving Week has already begun.

Everyone was invited to help feed underprivileged children, and the audience was reminded that come September, the nation would experience a barrage of advertisements featuring celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Nandita Das, telling us how they have experienced the joy of giving, and how we too can experience it.

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