Monday, September 26, 2016

Festival of Giving

Since 2009, the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ is celebrated across India for seven days starting 2 October – the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The initiative is also called ‘Daan Utsav’. The celebration, inherent in a festival happens here as many organisations involve, across the country, in contributing time, skills and resources.

Two years ago, fourteen trainers took part in two free full-day learning events in Goa. Many organisations, institutions and corporates funded the cost of the events. However, we found that most of the ones who attended were ones who could afford to pay for the learning. So, last year, we chose to directly approach the ones who needed the programs but would not afford them. Somu Rao and yours truly conducted training for four sets of such truly needy students.

This year, we widened the circle to reach out to slum children, rural schools and others who are have little opportunity. As of now, we are six trainers who have confirmed plans over all seven days for at least ten events supported by over nine organisations like the Trainers’ Association, Goa Science Forum, Harshada Art Gallery, Rotary, Giants Club, Samraat Club and others.

It is pertinent that Somu, Harshada, yours truly and many others are doing many acts of giving, right through the year. There are many who ‘give’ their time, skills and resources without any expectation. But, often it is an individual initiative. When we collaborate, it is a greater impact… and that is the purpose of the ‘festival of giving’.

We must widen the circle to include more persons. There are many who ‘want to give’ but do not know ‘how and where’. There are many who do not know that the greatest gift is the gift of time. When many get together to give, we create a new festival that all can celebrate, cutting across barriers. And our world needs to celebrate such festivals of giving that spread joy and dignity to all human beings.

Don’t restrict to yourself, widen the team
The ‘Festival of Giving’ is a worthy dream

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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