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Goodwill festival Joy of Giving is now Daan Utsav


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September 14, 2014
Times of India
Mithila Phadke


Goodwill festival Joy of Giving is now Daan Utsav

toi-goodwill-festival-joy-of-giving-is-now-daan-utsav-euro-kidsIt had been a morning like any other on a Bangalore road earlier this year, with tech workers rushing to offices, past a familiar waterpipe right over a drain. The garbage pile there continued to pose a nuisance for the pedestrians.

Within minutes, the day took an unexpected turn.

Around 30 employees from a technology service centre nearby walked to the spot, clad in white T-shirts, brooms in hand.

They built a 30ft-long wall along the open drain, removed posters from the pipe and painted it.

After the “spot-fix” was done, they headed back to work.

The idea of spot-fixing has a simple aim: rally public support to bring about change.

Taking inspiration from groups like The Ugly Indian, residents across the country have been volunteering to clean up their neighbourhoods. In the coming days, the campaign is expected to go further. It’s one of the goodwill initiatives that citizens will partake in, with the Joy of Giving Week kicking off from October 2 to 8.
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The contributions range from individual acts of kindness to larger philanthropic efforts, and people might contribute a rupee, a few hours, or lakhs worth of clothes and toys. The idea remains the same: the pure joy of giving.

Since its launch in 2009, each edition of the festival has had citizens find newer ways to make a difference.

This year, the innovation has begun with the name itself.

Joy of Giving is now called Daan Utsav. As it continues to gather increasing support in villages too, the new name is one that can be understood across the country. off from October 2 to 8.

The contributions range from individual acts of kindness to larger philanthropic efforts, and people might contribute a rupee, a few hours, or lakhs worth of clothes and toys. The idea remain and toys. The idea remains the same: the pure joy of giving.Since its launch in 2009, each edition of the festival has had citizens find newer ways to make a difference.

This year, the innovation has begun with the name itself.Joy of Giving is now called Daan Utsav . As it continues to gather increasing support in villages too, the new name is one that can be understood across the country . Activities include making and distributing sandwiches.

People can form groups, and each one gets one ingredient.

The group then distributes the food to the less privileged— from the homeless to kids in an orphanage. “The idea is also to interact with the person, have a conversation,” says Rahul Nainwal who organised the Seva Sandwich activity with the iVolunteer NGO team. During Daan Utsav, they hope to reach over a 100 locations, and distribute close to 300 sandwiches. The Seva Sandwich idea, says Nainwal, can be replicated in several cities.

The NGO Goonj is planning a special collection, encouraging people to donate toys and books. The sixth edition of GiveIndia’s India Giving Challenge is also underway and until October 30, will have companies raising funds for the NGOs they support.

Corporates nominate NGOs and create a fund-raising page on the GiveIndia website for each. The GiveIndia team supports participants with to reach over a 100 lo cations, and dis tribute close to 300 sandwiches. The Seva Sandwich idea, says Nain wal, can be replicated in several cities.

NGO Goonj is plan The NGO Goonj is planning a special collection, encouraging people to donate toys and books. The sixth edition of GiveIndia's India Giving Challenge is also underway and until October 30, will have companies raising funds for the NGOs they support.

Corporates nominate NGOs and create a fund-raising page on the GiveIndia website for each. The GiveIndia team supports participants with mailers and posters and publishes a daily dashboard of fund raising progress. There are also on-ground awareness plans, which include helping to execute donation drives or volunteering.

Last year, over 20 lakh people from more than 80 cities and 30 villages had participated. An orphanage in Eriyoor village, Tamil Nadu, had set up a ‘Wish Tree’, with the village folk pitching in to fulfil the kids’ wishes. In Hyderabad, a plush hotel group put up similar trees in the lobby of its 15 buildings, and donated the funds to a residency for children with leprosy-affected family members.

Elsewhere in the country, storytelling sessions were organised to cheer up hospital patients, school children and collegians rallied to raise funds for humanitarian causes, and collection drives brought rations and clothing to the needy.

Each Daan Utsav edition has bettered the last, so expectations are high for 2014.

“Through the acts of giving, you also learn about the other person,” says Nainwal. “You find that they too have a story to share, just like you and me.”