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Updated: June 20, 2010 20:36 IST

The art of giving

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Shriya Saran. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
The Hindu
Shriya Saran. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Actor Shriya Saran on the Joy of Giving Week and why it's important for you to be the change

Shriya Saran is all out to touch the lives of those around her. With the Joy of Giving Week coming up, the actor is using her star power to turn the spotlight on charity.

“The Joy of Giving Week (September 27 to October 3) is about engaging people in various acts of giving. You can give money, time, resource or skill. It's about doing good to others in your own small way. If you can't give money, you can spend time with the elderly at a home or read a poem to children in an orphanage. You can collect stuff for donation or pool resources and organise small fund-raisers,” says Shriya, who is involved with many social campaigns and causes.

“It can be any act of kindness. It's about you being the change. Last year, the Joy of Giving Week campaign raised crores of money through several events. Spread over 40 cities, it brought about change in the lives of lakhs of people.”

This year, the actor has already chalked out her plan. She hopes to help her friends and fans reach out and support the education of 200 children through Isha Foundation. “It will cost Rs. 10, 000 to educate a child for a year at the Isha ashram. The school is run so well. The donor gets to see the child's report card.”

As someone used to “sharing time and resources with the underprivileged since childhood,” Shriya says celebrities can show the way by being the change themselves.

“Whether it is sensitising people to social issues, campaigning for causes or being part of fund-raisers, celebrities can go a long way in reaching out to people. My family has always encouraged me to think of the needy. I remember my many visits to the school for the visually-impaired and reading books to them as a child. I see the Joy of Giving Week as yet another opportunity to give back to society.”

On a cautious note, the actor adds, “But when you give make sure your channel is genuine and what you give reaches the needy. After all, we work so hard for every penny.”

(If you want to join hands with Shriya and help bring a smile on the faces of children, you can contact Isha Foundation,15, Govindasamy Naidu Layout, Singanallur, Coimbatore - 641 005, Phone: 91-422-2515345. All those who donate through Shriya Saran's JGW 2010 campaign will get an autographed photo of the actor!)


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