Pune: ‘DaanUtsav’ earlier known as Joy of Giving Week will be celebrated throughout the country from coming Friday, 2nd October to Thursday, 8th October. Started in 2009, this is the 6th year of this festival which is purely a volunteer driven activity countrywide. This 7-day festival is a national campaign inviting people from all states, cities, regions, class, community, religion and age to come together and give back to society in whatever way they choose to. This information was shared by Chandrashekhar Khapre – a Pune based volunteer and co-ordinator of DaanUtsav during a Press Conference held at Hotel JW Marriott, Pune.
Shamita Sengupta – a Pune based DaanUtsav volunteer and CSR professional, Hotel JW Marriott’s Abhijit Chitnis – Market Director of Sales & Marketing, Pune, M N Sanyal, Convener, CII Affirmative Action & CSR Panel & Senior Manager – Outreach Programme, Thermax Ltd, Ms Leena Deshpande, Co-Convener, CII Affirmative Action & CSR Panel & Associate Vice President – HR & Head – CSR, Bharat Forge Ltd, Dilmeher Bhola – Director of Centre of Youth Development and Activities (CYDA), Rajiv Malla – Director, Phoenix Market City Pune, Shabnam Poonawalla – Pune’s University Women’s Association (UWA) President were also present on this occasion.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Chandrasekhar Khapre, volunteer, DaanUtsav (Pune), said, “Daan Utsav earlier called as Joy of Giving Week is a national movement started in the year 2009, that hopes to engage every Indian in ‘acts of giving’ – money, time, skills, resources or love. The goal is to engage citizens of the country and instil values of caring, civic and social responsibility.”
Hotel J W Marriott’s Abhijit Chitnis – Market Director of Sales & Marketing, Pune said “It is a matter of great honour for JW Marriott Pune, to be associated with DaanUtsav 2015. Marriott as a brand believes in ‘spirit to serve’, and DaanUtsav presents us with a perfect opportunity to reach out and provide support to those in need. Our aim is to make a difference to the lives of people in society and we will try out best to help them through our various initiatives. Like every year, we will do our bit through various activities like putting up a Wish Tree in Hotel’s lobby to encourage our patrons to pledge cash contributions religiously for the needy people of the society. This will also give sense of participation to our patrons for the noble initiative. Various handmade products made by the children of ‘Sparsh Balgram’, an adopted NGO of the hotel will be displayed for the sale in the Hotel. An unique activity of ‘special dish of the day’ will be undertaken in all the restaurants of the Hotel and the funds will be collected from both these initiatives which will be donated to Marriott Home in Chennai which houses almost 400 +children suffering from leprosy. In addition, to raise the funds for social cause, the hotel will collaborate with some corporate houses in the city and sell through them a specially made ‘smiley cup cakes’ by the hotel.
Confederation of Indian Industry of Pune will be participating in this year’s DaanUtsav by collecting clothes, food grains, other necessary items and then give it to different NGOs of their choice in the city. M N Sanyal, Convener, CII Affirmative Action & CSR Panel & Senior Manager – Outreach Programme, Thermax Limited informed, “Daan Utsav is a platform to sensitise the privileged about their responsibility towards society and especially the poor. At CII we try to help Corporates to discover the Joy of Giving, through personal time, money, material or just love and affection.”
42 Churches in Pune will come together to participate in this festival. They will print ‘Thank You’ cards with the help of children from their Sunday Schools which be distributed to society helpers who serve us throughout the year like Police, Postmen, Farmers, Army Persons, Vegetable Sellers and many more. School children from various schools are going to visit Sreevatsa Orphanage Sassoon Hospital to do Diya Painting and writing greeting cards. A Stray Dog March on 4th Oct MG Road post 5 pm with some fancy props and balloons spreading few messages of love and care amongst the public. These and many more events shall take place during this week, mentioned Shrishti Somani a Pune based Volunteer.
Shabnam Poonawalla – Pune’s University Women’s Association (UWA) President said, “We are proud to be a part of the DaanUtsav. We have planned a blood donation camp at our working women’s hostel hall on 2nd October from 9.00am till 5.00pm with an aim to bring together our neighbourhood and celebrate the joy of giving. This will be donated to Sassoon Hospital’s Thalassemia patients.“
Dilmeher Bhola, Director of CYDA said “CYDA has always participated in Daan Utsav since 2009. CYDA has also been closely associated with the issues of homeless since 2004 and this year in partnership with 3 other NGOs-IDEA Foundation, Nirman and SMEF is organising a fund raiser-Under the Stars-a mass sleep out in the open for Pune citizens to experience the uncertainty and insecurity of the homeless for 1 night.
Mr. Rajiv Malla, Director, Phoenix Market City, Pune said “Phoenix market city as the most preferred shopping lifestyle and entertainment destination for Punekar has always been associated with various social causes and initiatives. Doing charity is something we all want to do but at times find it difficult to find the right channel. Through initiatives like DaanUtsav we want to help the needy and deserving people along with letting Puneties feel the joy of sharing. We have been part of this initiative since last four years.”
Shamita Sengupta – a Pune based Daan Utsav Volunteer and a professional CSR is associated with DaanUtsav for the past 3 years. while speaking on this occasion she informed, “Pune has responded warmly to DaanUtsav, both as an industry and as individuals. Last year companies collectively donated food grains to meet the needs of all the shelter homes in the city. This year we are trying to make it even bigger with more public events like blood donation camps. Our focus has been to include ‘giving’ acts by children & underprivileged sections as well. To this end, children at NGO – run orphanages will spend time with children in govt run shelters; in another event school children will visit an orphanage to do shram daan towards Diwali festivities.”
The last edition of this festival saw over four million people participating across the country. A host of 1000+ events reached out to over 90 towns and cities and was able to raise in excess of 30 crore in cash and kind for various NGO’s that were a part of the campaign last year.
All those interested to be a part of an existing event or create a new event for the campaign can do so by registering their idea on the official website www.daanutsav.org.
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