Kolkata gears up for 'festival of giving'
Inspiring millions across the country to do something for the underprivileged, 'Daan Utsav' is back again with its 10th edition. The 'festival of giving' will be celebrated in Kolkata from until October 8. The festival is all about celebrating the ability to do something for others. Besides, it is also about recognising that there is a great joy to be found in giving of oneself, bringing a smile on the face of another, or helping someone overcome a difficult situation, even if only momentarily.
The events during the 'Joy of Giving Week' will include 'The Back to School' initiative under which 1,500 children living in slums will be provided with school bags, exercise books, pens, and crayons. Students of Anando – a school for poor children – will collect old clothes and distribute these among the destitute on Sealdah station platforms. More than 1,200 poor children, including 100 with special needs from 22 NGOs, will be taken to Nicco Park for free rides and lunch.
Clothes, blankets, hygiene kits, and toys have been collected for the 'Bengal Network for People Living With AIDS', which will be distributed among AIDS infected people. Usthi Uttar Bishnupur Bharat Tirtha will encourage first-generation school-going children to buy food for patients at the local hospital. They will also clean three of their villages, aided by their elders.
Priyamvada Birla Aravind eye hospital will organise an eye camp at Liluah where patients suffering from cataract will be offered treatment at a nominal cost. Nearly 700 children will visit the MP Birla planetarium for a show and fun and games thereafter.
Various prominent schools in Kolkata will celebrate Daan Utsav by collecting provisions for local NGO's, visiting old-age homes and cleaning their surroundings. Corporates have made pledges to adopt an old-age home, a school in rural Bengal and the Sunderbans. Many individuals are doing their own acts of giving across the city.
Daan Utsav Samman, a unique initiative by Birla Corporation Limited, recognizes significant 'Giving' initiatives organized by schools, housing societies, and organizations in and around Kolkata, in the areas of Health & Hygiene, Education, Environment and Social Development. More than 35 schools and 90 housing societies took part in last year's celebration of Daan Utsav. A distinguished panel of judges selected eight schools and six housing societies for the award.