Saturday, October 8, 2011

Year 3, Day 7, Oct. 8th

Marriot Chennai, organised a fun evening for senior citizens from Sevalaya as a part of JGW. The seniors are seen above , a little astounded at their luck !!

On this the last day of the JGW 2011, we would like to thank all those who organised giving events, coordinated with others to organise events. We would like to thank all  who chose to share and give. We are confident that the scale of participation and resource mobilisation would be the highest ever and we will in the days to come, begin to measure the success of the event.

All who participated in the JGW, have done so without any overt compulsion, and that to us makes the JGW a successful festival. We will be posting a few updates before we sign off to be back next year. A few images of Day 4 from Chennai's JGW are posted. The one occasion of the year when Chennai's autodrivers win hearts is during the Annadaanam they organise as their contribution to the JGW. They have been doing this since 2009 when the festival began. Marriot Chennai, organised a fun evening for senior citizens from Sevalaya.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Year 3, Day 6, Oct. 7th

The Joy of Giving Week has been lucky to have good support from the media. Be it print or electronic, the media has been very enthusiastic in supporting the cause. Here is a link where we are featured on the front page.  To be featured on the front pages is flattering as also humbling. This year there is  a new initiative that we hope will take off and that is donating one's property to be used for the welfare of others. The media has focussed on this initiative and above is an article on that called 'My House is your House'. The above appeared in The Times of India.

This write-up in The Hindu sums up the events slated to be held in Chennai during JGW 2011. We at the JGW team are grateful to the media for partnering with us to take the message of spreading joy through giving, to as many as possible. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Year 3, Day 5, Oct. 6th

This blog has explored various aspects of giving, but one area it has not touched on is how do we learn to give . Is it instinct, are we taught or do we unconsciously imbibe it from the environment ? I personally believe it is all the three. We do have a basic instinct to share and give and we are made aware of this when as children we are asked to share and then of course we follow the example of others around us.

My first  impression of seeing someone give wholeheartedly goes back to when I was four years old. My brother, then six, and I attended the same school and would eat our lunch together, that was packed in a two container lunchbox, the bigger container  for him and the smaller for me. One afternoon, I dropped my entire lunch on the school ground. My brother without hesitating, gave me the contents of his lunchbox and am ashamed to say that I ate it all without even offering him a little. His friends however were more generous than his sibling and saw to it that he did not go hungry. To this day, it remains my earliest and most vivid memory of childhood and my first lesson in giving.

Today is Vijaya Dasami , Dassera, the day considered to be very auspicious. New initiatives are begun today. In South India, schools remain open today for a few hours for students to study. Many take their first step towards learning today, whether school, or music or anything else they fancy. We wish that they progress and achieve success in all the new initiatives and that it brings them joy. Simultaneously, one hopes that all those children entering school for the first time with fear, apprehension, wonder, excitement, bewilderment, imbibe some necessary lessons in sharing and giving. As adults, it is our responsibility to lead by example. So let us contribute to a cause or to many and give collectively and experience joy, the Joy of Giving.

We end with an update from AArti, a committed volunteer, on events scheduled across Chennai today. She writes :

  1. Kalvi Daanam - today is Vijaydasami - a day that marks the start of learning. 8-10 writers/journalists will be spending time with underprivileged children, giving them a start to learning, across 4-5 institutions in the city
  2. Chennai is all set to get on the map for a very unique event :-). The longest ever eggless photo cake is being made and sold for charity at Express Avenue (this is one of the biggest malls in Chennai) , this evening between 5-6 PM. Every kg is being sold for rs 1500/- all proceeds will go to Mahesh Memorial Trust. The cake will be 100 meters long and will depict 75 years of Tamil cinema on the top (which will be made on edible paper). This is being done by French Loaf and Jayendra ( the person who made the lovely child with the lollipop JGW ad film) and who is a well know ad/film maker.
  3. Signature dish continues at the Marriott
  4. Inspector Rajalakshmi continues her training
  5. Radio Mirchi will be doing a special JGW feature this morning with messages and interviews on the Joy of Giving Week, with people across the board - who are participating in the Joy of Giving Week in various ways. Tune in at 8 AM.

Enjoy the week ahead :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Year 3, Day 4, Oct. 5th

On the fourth day of the JGW 2011, we copy below an appeal from Goonj, that is also spearheading the Vastra Samman campaign and has been doing so in the past also.  The people of Sikkim and Orissa need help and rather than just donate just about anything, as we did during the Tsunami, it would be helpful to go through the requirements before donating. Meanwhile, in other news the JGW is doing much better than the previous years and we hope more are helped this year. 

Mail from Goonj :

Some of the urgent requirements are-

Material- Tarpaulins, mosquito nets, Dry ration ( primarily-rice, pulses, biscuits ) blankets and woolens, clothes (especially sarees & bedsheets), cooking utensils, buckets, torch and batteries, umbrellas, basic medicines, crutches, candles and lanterns, feeding bottles, rope

Also- Old flex banners, mats, sponsorship for sanitary pads.

Transport- to the effected areas, packing material- primarily gunny bags.

Monetary contributions- for logistics and essential purchases. (All monetary contributions are tax exempted u/s 80G) please click- for the easiest option to transfer the money.

Join the campaign, do spread the word.. Use your face book, twitter, e-mail and websites to spread the message, volunteer- to organize camps, sort/ pack material and for the field.

Write back to or call 011-41401216 / 011-26972351. Please check for the list of dropping centers in a few cities.

We will be updating the status on and on face book regularly.

Let’s do our bit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Year 3, Day 3, October 4th

The Week or the Giving ?

The mid-phase of the third year of JGW and we need to answer a question that is often asked of this pan-India festival, Is the week more important than the giving ? We have encountered cynicism before in connection with the JGW and our thoughts have been articulated in this post Cynicism and the Joy of Giving Week. Considering the immense response the week has received this year, (we have already crossed the number of registered events as compared to last year ), the question is worth examining again.

The Joy of Giving Week has its genesis in the premise that most of us do possess an inherent need to reach out and to share. However, caught up in the day to day routine life, we often forget or have no time to reach out to help. Rushed as we are, we often keep putting off all that we would like to do : clean the closet to give away what we no longer use, postpone the trip to the neighbouring  NGO that runs a centre  teaching underprivileged children where we would like to get involved, do not make time to help the sweeper or the maid or the watchman with their bank accounts or their child's education or accompany them to the doctor, forget to sign the cheque for a charitable hospital . All this because we procrastinate, or are not confident or simply do not know where to begin.

The JGW  addressess issues like these. By participating in the various events organised in various parts of the country during JGW, we are being given an opportunity to fulfill our inner longings. We are being exposed to avenues of participation that we did not know existed. We are made aware of the organisations that need help. We get an idea about the inequities that exist. Most important, we become aware of the immense power each one of us has, to change the world by contributing. Perhaps the joy we receive by participating may spur us on to contribute throughout the year, our time, skills, resources. If that happens, we are happy to have made a positive contribution to your lives by encouraging you to participate in JGW.

But if you find yourselves unable to continue to give of your time, skills or resources throughout the year, then by participating during the JGW, you are still making a positive contribution. The JGW is then a sort of interlude before you go back to your hectic life. The JGW is a holiday by participating in which you could find yourself relaxed, happier and joyous. We still have four days to go. Come forward to participate in the JGW and give ,  for we need to remember that the edifice we seek to build needs pebbles as much as it does rocks.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Year 3, Day 2, Oct. 3rd

The second day of JGW and .......
  1.  group of 15 children with Downs Syndrome will be serving food to beggars outside the Balaji temple in T Nagar. 
  2. 2 medical camps have been planned - one in Vysarpadi and one in Pallavaram (both suburbs of Chennai)- at least 150 people will benefit and 3- 4 doctors have volunteered
  3. Police kicks off its week long training for women on domestic abuse and recourse to action. Inspector Rajalakshmi will be handling this. A group of 30 -50 slum women will know at the end of her session today as  to what to do when faced with the challenge
  4. Cleaning of govt. hospital kicks off in Thiruvanamalai - 10-15 volunteers + govt. staff will be working together on this.

The second day of JGW and the Blind Peoples Association has begun to conduct cataract surgeries free of cost in the slums of Ahemdabad. This initiative will run for a week.

The second day of JGW and a number of events have already been held and many more are slated to be held. The Akanksha Carnival is on in Mumbai, a literacy campaign has kicked off, there are awareness programmes for domestic violence, health, the environment. A lot of enquiries about the Vastrasamman campaign of Goonj.

If you have not already contributed to the week, it is not too late to do so. The JGW runs till 8th October. So come forward to spread joy by giving, the Joy of Giving,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Year 3, Day 1, Oct. 2nd

On the first day of JGW 2011, copying below mails from 2 core volunteers of JGW since  inception. They write about the first day of the Joy of Giving Week.

Really excited about the Joy of Giving Week in Chennai- kicking off this morning at Central station with the first event of JGW - Aram seiyu Virumbu (desire to do the 'right' thing), a 7 day festival organised by CIOSA. Today's theme is Yadum oore, Yaavarum Kelir ( roughly translated- everyone is my friend/relative, every place is like my own). A group of 30 volunteers will be putting up an information booth at the station providing people from outside who arrive today in the city with info on Chennai, transport, facilities around etc. We will also be tying a friendship band as a welcome gesture. Hope to reach out to 1000's of people by this evening who will never want to get back from Chennai :-)

Those in Chennai- do drop by, if you can :-). We will be there in the space between platform 5 and 6 from 9 30 AM .


 and the next mail from Venkat.

Here's wishing everyone a Very Joyful Week of Giving :-)!

A bunch of cyclists doing between 10-142km launched the Week exactly at midnight, using "human energy" to light lamps around Gandhiji's statue in Hyderabad (142nd birthday explains the 142km). By the time you see this mail, more than 10 "giving events" would have already happened across India. Design For Change launches a book with Amar Chitra Katha today, featuring stories of school children who in the last 3 years of participating in JGW, have shown "I can!". A walk, bike rally and a 'blind photography exhibition' in Mumbai. We have almost 100 events scheduled for the day across India today, 400 over the Week already (v/s 280 last year). 

With such a great beginning, the JGW can only get better as the week goes by