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Experience the ‘joy of giving’ with ‘Daan Utsav’ 2018

By Anuj Cariappa

Bengaluru, Oct 1: Our modern day lives can be extremely hectic but we also read so many inspirational stories of people, taking that moment from their day and time to do an extra bit, not for themselves, but for others. Ushering in the spirit and joy of giving, the 10th edition of the 'Daan Utsav' will take place from October 2 to 8.

Experience the ‘joy of giving’ with ‘Daan Utsav’ 2018

This festival, previously known as the Joy of Giving Week will focus on activities that will bring together people from all walks of life to help them give back to society. It also provides you with the opportunity to contribute time, money, materials or skills to benefit an individual, organization or cause that means something to you.

Launched in 2009, the event is held annually from Gandhi Jayanthi day and is marked by a week of activities aimed at bringing together people from all walks of life to give back to the deserving in their own way.

The festival has become the biggest platform for philanthropy across India with many NGOs, corporates, schools, colleges, communities and celebrities associating with it to make it a bigger success.

Actors Amitabh Bachchan and Alia Bhatt, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Olympic medallist Mary Kom and Wipro's chief Azim Premji will sign a common pledge, according to a media statement. Joining them will be singer Lata Mangeshkar, Narayana Health's Dr Devi Shetty, billionaire businesswoman Anu Aga, India's first woman sarpanch Chhavi Rajawat, and noted jurist Justice Srikrishna.

People pledge to offer time, skills and money for social good during the Daan Utsav. The 2017 edition saw more than 6 million people from over 200 towns, cities and villages across the country celebrating the festival.

Over the past 10 years, DaanUtsav has encouraged and inspired millions across the country.

What started out as a simple idea, is now a mass movement of giving involving corporates, schools, colleges, not-for-profits, governments and communities.

In recognition and appreciation of our voluntary participation, the global 'Giving Tuesday' initiative is now observed in India as well and falls on the Tuesday of the DaanUtsav week.

October 2nd also marks the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, who has inspired people world over to give back to society. There couldn't be a better time for us to do more.

You can experience the joy of sharing whatever you can and your contribution need not be monetary. It could be spending time with the elderly, giving books, toys and other material to those who cannot afford them or volunteering at the local animal shelter - there's so much you can do!

Take inspiration from the rickshaw drivers in Badamba, Odisha, who ferried elders from their village to the local medical camp at no cost, the vegetable vendors in Chennai who donated bags of vegetables to local NGOs or the young, visually impaired boy from Mumbai who volunteered his skill to paint the Mumbai Central station. These are just a few among thousands of stories. Each one of us is capable of this and more.

Ideas and inspiring acts of generosity are there in abundance, and you can find several, genuine organisations that help those in need and who would welcome your support. Several organisations, websites and platforms allow you to search for opportunities to donate, volunteer or give in kind. You can choose the one that touches your heart, or give directly to someone you already know. The choice and action remains yours. Do it selflessly. Do it happily.

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