Kolkata celebrates the 'joy of giving'

The 11th Daan Utsav will be celebrated in Kolkata, with a bouquet of 'Giving' events, from October 2 – 8, 2019.

The Joy of Giving week will start from October 2, with a unique event, The Plog Run. The run is an event where joggers pick up waste plastic along the route of their run. More than 100 runners will jog 3 kms and collect plastic waste. It will be started from Casuarina Avenue, towards Chowringhee Road and enter Queens Way to end at Casuarina Avenue.

Later, 1,350 children from Kolkata and its suburbs will visit Nicco Park for the Fun Day. Fifty differently abled children will be the special guests for the day. Most of the children, who have never visited Kolkata, will be from NGOs operating in the suburbs of Kolkata. They will enjoy various rides at the Park and have a fun-filled time with food and entertainment at the Park. All the children have made a pledge to collect plastic from around the area they live and bring it to Nicco Park to be disposed of by Garbage Free India (GFI).

On day 2, Priyamvada Birla Aravind Eye Hospital will organise a free eye camp at Bansberia – where they will conduct a Clinic. One hundred patients will have free cataract surgery at the hospital in Kolkata.

On the following day, 600 children will visit the MP Birla Planetarium for a tryst with the stars show, fun and games.

On October 4, in the event, 'Bagful of Smiles', more than 400 handbags will be distributed among women, who, perhaps, cannot afford to buy one. The bags will be filled with hygiene and beauty products to make their Puja a beautiful occasion.

Afterwards, a collection drive for the Bengal Network of People Living with AIDS will be done. Donors will be asked to contribute a fistful of rice/dal. The aim this year will be to collect and distribute at least 10,000 kgs of rice and dal to people living with AIDS. New garments are also being collected for distribution among them for Pujas.

On October 5, rice, dal, provisions, clothes and hygiene products will be distributed among children and young adults of the Sree Guaranga Gaudiya Mission Sevasram.

Among many events, one unique event will be organised during the week at schools and building complexes, in association with Garbage Free India, aimed at sensitising people against plastic carry bags. The event is expected to reach out to at least 3,000 people.

The students of Anando have planned out a week-long celebration of Daan Utsav. The children will sensitise their families and neighbours about the harmful effect of the use of plastic by distributing cloth bags to replace plastic bags.

Various recognised schools will be a part of the 'joy of giving' by collecting and distributing clothes, planting trees and conducting cleanliness drives around their schools. Nearly 25 NGOs from the suburbs of Kolkata have also pledged to celebrate the festival of giving in their own ways. They will be organising visits to hospitals to spend time with the elderly patients, planting trees around their institution, among many other things.

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