CHENNAI: “I haven’t been able to sleep for some time now, troubled by the thought that I’m getting more than what deserve. I started out acting to help my family, but I am doing well now,” said actor Suriya. He thinks he needs to give, share what he has with people who do not have even the barest minimum. Here is his chance to do that. And if you feel like he does, it is your chance too. Sandwiched between Dasara (or Navarathri) and Deepavali is the new season of giving. The period between September 27 and October 3 this year will be the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ and aim at doing just that – urging people to give.
Conceptualised by the GiveIndia, that connects individual donors to over 200 NGOs, the ‘Joy of Giving’ week will hope to get people from all walks of life to engage in acts of giving – money, time, skills or kindness.
“We realised that an election is the only thing that brings Indians together. So, we wondered, what if every single Indian could come together for a week to give,” said Venkat Krishnan N. of GiveIndia.
From millionaires writing out cheques to a slum dweller sharing his meagre meal, the week will demonstrate the power of what people can do together as a nation. Events will be held across the country and the amount mobilised will reach the identified NGOs.
Ideally, every individual, college, housing society or group is welcome to participate by giving, providing solutions to problems within their own realm.
Pratap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals, said the hospital would propagate awareness of organ donation all through the week. The hospital had completed 3,000 free surgeries for children under the Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) programme. He also committed to provide vitamin tablets for children whose breakfast is being sponsored by M. Mahadevan, director of Oriental Cuisines, and his chain of restaurants.
Battle of buffets
Mr. Mahadevan said a “battle of buffets” would be held on September 30 as part of the week and proceeds from the day would go towards funding projects of 100 NGOs in Tamil Nadu. From star hotels to fast food outlets, a number of units have promised to participate in the campaign, he added.
The Banyan will put on auction a canvas started by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and completed by painter M.F. Husain at a high net-worth dinner, said its founder-trustee Vandana Gopikumar. Since the event coincides with the Mental Health Week, T-shirts will be sold carrying information on mental health issues.
Stars Suriya and Shriya Saran, both of whom have already demonstrated their willingness to give by being brand ambassadors for causes and organisations, promised to go that extra mile to give – their time, effort and money – specially during that week.
Shriya, who has already helped Apollo Hospitals with the SACH campaign, and is the brand ambassador for Vision India, said, “Let’s not leave this for a week; let’s expand it.”