Celebrate the spirit of Mahatma; Celebrate the Joy of Giving

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi in prayer. Pic courtesy: Newsweek / Oldindianphotos.in

On the eve of the Joy of Giving Week, don’t be surprised if you find a few hundred people sleeping outdoors in Whitefield. Under the Stars, an event on the October 1, is happening for the first time. It involves the participants spending the entire night outdoors from 7 pm up until 6am the next day. Activities include live music acts and food stalls to keep you entertained through the night.

“There are two motives behind hosting this event,” says Ankit Shah, the organiser of Under the Stars. “The first is to raise awareness of the situation of the homeless and destitute people and to show solidarity in our fight for the cause. The second is raising funds. A registration ticket costs Rs 1500 as an individual and Rs 1000 per head if in groups of three or more.”

Initially planned for Bangalore alone, the event has now spread across more than twenty cities in India.

Joy of Giving Week, formerly India Giving Week, is a nationwide charity event that occurs annually in October, in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. The week entirely focuses on numerous events and charitable drives, to raise money for various causes. So open your wallets and get ready to have fun while knowing that you are making the life of someone else a little bit better. With the first ever edition of this festival starting out in 2009, the number of people who find themselves immersed in the spirit of the week has multiplied.

One of the highly anticipated events is Food for Change. By donating Rs 5000 to a charity of your choice you can find yourself treated to an evening of fine dining and entertainment that includes performance by Divine Raaga, a popular rock band from Bangalore, and the Abhinava Dance Company started a decade ago by the well known dance couple – Nirupama and Rajendra.

Last year, when this event was held for the first time, they had raised around Rs. 43.4 lakh for 31 organisations and 650 people had attended the event. Meera Dave, the organiser, said that she expects this year’s event to be a bit low key. When asked how she felt about the week, she said: “The Joy of Giving week needs a lot more people to be actively involved in it, especially considering the size of our nation.”

A human chain formed by children from various socioeconomic backgrounds in central Bangalore on October 2 is one you can look out for. A day at Fun World for the visually impaired organised by Giftabled, a store that designs gifts and cards for those without sight is another event to attend. This provides you with an option of donating money or even your time to volunteer.

There are also events that allow you to learn something in return for the money you donate. Step Up for a Cause is one such event where for Rs 300 per participant an instructor is sent to various complexes around the city for a two hour dance workshop and the money goes to deprived children.

You could also attend the leadership workshop to be held by Dr Kenneth Blanchard, a famous management expert and bestselling author from the United Statesat Vivanta by Taj on the 3rd. All proceeds from the workshop goes to U&I.

Even if you cannot afford to donate any money or possessions, you can always donate blood. There will be a Blood Donation Camp set up by ICAT Design and Media College from 2pm – 6pm on October 3, on Hosur Road. This doesn’t take up too much of your time and can help save someone’s life. Donating blood is an extremely important thing to do, especially if you have one of the rare blood groups.

For more information on donating blood please read: Blood Donation – A Quick Guide

The DayanandaCollege of Engineering has organised a variety of events that span the duration of the week. These events include a 5-km marathon on October 4 to raise money for children suffering from eye cancer, a street play on 7th to raise awareness of female infanticide, and on October 8 a F.R.I.E.N.D.S of ISE event to help children gain life skills.

If you are keen on learning more about some of the NGOs involved in the Joy of Giving Week, attend the event at St Joseph’s Indian High School on October 5. Generocity will feature stalls set up by NGOs to help better display and explain their causes. These stalls will also feature various products for sale. Alongside this, there will be entertainment provided in the form of food and games and performances by Aurko and Lagori, two popular local bands.

There are a lot more events and drives listed out on the events page on the main Joy of Giving website – Joyofgivingweek.org. If you are not in Bangalore during the duration of the week, you can find events happening across the country.

So get into the spirit of the week and donate your time, money and possessions, if you can, to help those who are less fortunate. Every little deed helps.

October 1

1. Collection Camp – Collection of old clothes, toys and books for children at the APSA
ConferenceCall Services India Pvt Ltd, RMZ Building, Kodi Halli, Old Airport Road.
Runs until October 10th

2. Wish Tree with Wish Fruits – Wish lists of children from the APSA Dream School, Namma Mane and National Association for Blinds. ConferenceCall Services India Pvt Ltd, 1st Floor, RMZ Titanium, Kodi Halli, Old Airport Road. Until October 10th. Ph: 080-30582519

3. Wish Tree by Project Lotus – A wish tree for the housekeeping, maintenance and security staffs at the Broadcom. RMZ Ecospace, Campus 1A, Bellandur. Until October 4.

4.  Free Bonehealth (Osteoporosis) Checkup – For women above the age of 45 and men above the age of 55.
Osteoporosis Foundation India, Bangalore South

5.   Under The Stars – Spend a night under the stars to raise money and awareness of the conditions the homeless face. 7pm – 6am. October 2. Ascendas Cricket Ground, ITPB, Whitefield. Ph: 9886240474

6. Parivartan – An initiative by the ISE department of the Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering.

  • Food Street: A lunch break dedicated to make ISE dept Happy by selling delicious homemade food. Money raised goes to Charity.
  • Green Day: We, at Parivartan, hope to go green everywhere. A innovative venture to replace bouquet with saplings.
  • Miles for smiles: A team of 40 members riding to an orphanage and spending time with the kids there.
  • Shramadhan: Team Parivartan will clean up the entire college premises.
  • Run for a cause: A 5k marathon organised by the ISE department and the student portal of our college to raise funds for kids suffering from eye cancer.
  • An Inter departmental dance competition to raise funds for the underprivileged, and utilizing the funds to buy them new clothes
  • Visiting Baale Mane and conducting interactive workshops to the girls living there (paper bags, baking etc).
  • Streetplay: Bringing awareness about female foeticide.
  • Under the stars: Distribution of blankets to the homeless and needy   
  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S of ISE: Bringing kids to ISE department and hosting events and giving them life skills training, followed by lunch. Then they will be taken to Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park, for an evening of fun and drawing

Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Kumaraswamy Layout

October 2
1.Reflecting our thanks to Home Guards – Donating reflective jackets to the home guards. Donations over Rs 500. Basavangudi, Bangalore South. Ph: 9481488020

2.Sahayog Gif Education – Donating towards the education of children of the underprivileged working class.
Runs until October 8th. Ph: 8123025568

3.Shadow a CEO – Students from ISB, IIM-A,B,C and XLRI get to bid for a chance to shadow some of India’s leading CEOs. The winning bid amount is donated to a charity of the CEO’s choice.
Runs until October 8

4.Shop for a cause – Dignity Foundation – The store that sells products from NGOs is holding a Dignity Bazaar. 20% of funds raised will go to the Dignity Foundation. Shop for a Cause (near RV Dental College Signal, 924, 22nd Main, JP Nagar, 2nd Phase
Runs until October 8th. Ph:  26584924

5.My Right to Basic Hygiene – Donate or volunteer and help paint or install basic infrastructure in five schools across Bangalore. Til October 8. Ph: 9481488020

6.Step Up for a Cause – Spend Rs 300 and experience a two hour dance workshop. The money raised goes towards schools for underprivileged children
Runs until October 8th. Ph: 9742699516

7.Human Chain – Children from various socio-economic backgrounds come together to form a human chain to display unity. 7am – 9am. Close to MG Road. Ph: 9343360010

October 3
1.Dil se 100 – A drawing competition will be held by the Aishwarya Trust for the children of the Government Higher Primary School. There will also be the launch of the Dil se 100 program where donors pledge Rs 100 every month to the Trust. This is to raise awareness on Congenital Heart Defects in children. 9am – 11am

2. APSA NGO students have an Interface Program in ConferenceCall Services – Students will be introduced to the corporate world and will be guided on exams and professional training. 10am – 7pm. ConferenceCall Serives India Pvt Ltd, RMZ Building

3.Blood Donation Camp – Organised by the ICAT Media and Design College. 2pm – 6pm. 424, Hosur Road, Bommanahalli Next to Oxford College. Ph: 41107755

4.Leadership with Ken Blanchard – Leadership workshop held by Dr Ken Blanchard. Money goes to U&I
10am – 3pm. Vivanta by Taj, MG Road

October 4
1.Take Care – Residents of Sterling Terraces sponsor a breakfast and gifts for the maids, security guards, drivers, vendors, electricians etc… who serve them. 8am – 12pm. Sterling Terraces, 100ft Ring Road

October 5
1.Gift a visually impaired with a fun-filled day at Fun World – Donate Rs 400 or volunteer your time at the event organised by Giftabled. Jayamahal Road, Off Palace Grounds Inner Rd, Opposite TV Tower, J.C Nagar. Ph: 9980350180

2.Generocity – NGO Carnival where 35-40 NGOs set up stalls to display their causes and products. This event will feature the bands Aurko and Lagori as well as food stalls and games. St Joseph’s Indian High School Grounds, Vittal Malya Road. Ph: 40906345

3.Give Provisions – Residents of Sterling Terraces sponsor provisions for a residential school.
Sterling Terraces, 100ft Ring Road

4.Splash of Joy – LAMS NGO has organised a swimming event. The entry fee is Rs 50. Purchase Joy of Giving merchandise at this event. 11am – 12pm. PM Swimming Centre, Jayanagar 3rd Block, Near Cosmopolitan Club. Ph: 9945445924; 9449831377

5. Samarthanam Trust for Disabled – A classical event by disabled children and a dinner for donors who donate Rs 5000. 6pm – 8pm. Number 39, 15th Cross, 16th Main, 4th Sector, HSR Layout. Ph: 9449864786; 9945278763

6. Food for Change – An evening of entertainment and gourmet food for donors who donate Rs 5000 to an NGO of their choice. Organised by Bangalore Cares. 7pm – 10pm. SAP Labs India Pvt. ltd., #138, EPIP Zone, Whitefield.  Ph: 2222 2571

October 6
1. Renaissance Exotica – The girls of Baale Mane, a home that provides abandoned girls with a new life, will be performing skits and dances and be provided with dinner. The residents will also be collecting books, clothes and toys to donate to the girls. 4.30pm – 8pm. Jakkur Plantation. Ph: 9964279864

October 7
1.Joy Ride – LAMS NGO has organised a trip for the school children from Patel School in BTM layout to visit the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment to see helicopter fighter jets and transport carriers. 9am – 2pm, Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, Wind Tunnel Road. Ph: 9845310852

October 8
1.Awareness camp for NAB NGO – National Association for the Blind will be organising a camp at ConferenceCall Services to on the challenges, life-style and training for the blind.
ConferenceCall Services India Pvt Ltd, 1st Floor, RMZ Titanium, Kodihalli, HAL Road.

2.English for Everyone – Helping teach janitors, drivers, security guards and domestic helpers learn basic English phrases to increase their job prospects. 9am – 4pm on October 8, 79, 100ft Ring Road, Banashankari 3rd Stage. Ph: 41204790

3.Gift a Smile – Pick a wish of an orphan from the wish box and fulfil it. 10am – 6pm on October 8, Coffee Day Corporate Office, Coffee Day Square, Vittal Malya Road. Ph: 40012345

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About Swetha Padmanabhan 0 Articles
Swetha Padmanabhan is trainee journalist, interning with Citizen Matters.

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