Photographs Courtesy: Daan Utsav
Photographs Courtesy: Daan Utsav

Celebrating the joy of giving

Launched in 2009, the Joy of Giving Week (now called Daan Utsav) has not only helped the cause of philanthropy, but has also offered a platform for people to unleash their creativity

Engaging CEOs Differently

(From L-R) Kumar Mangalam Birla, Aditya Birla Group; Ajay Piraml, Piramal Group and Sunil Kant Munjal, Hero MotoCorp
(From L-R) Kumar Mangalam Birla, Aditya Birla Group; Ajay Piraml, Piramal Group and Sunil Kant Munjal, Hero MotoCorp

The Indian School of Business-anchored Shadow a CEO continues to draw big names like all-time favourite Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group; Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group, and others who give students a ring-side view of what a day in the life of a CEO looks like.

(from L-R) Renuka Ramnath, Multiples and Shikha Sharma, Axis Bank
(from L-R) Renuka Ramnath, Multiples and Shikha Sharma, Axis Bank

This year, Technopark Trivandrum will see Pay and Throw, as employees get to take aim and throw soaked sponge balls at their CEOs to vent themselves, while raising money for a cause at the same time.

Taking philanthropic ideas to scale

Launched in the Joy of Giving Week 2009 and reaching 100,000-plus students in more than 1,000 schools all over India, the Design for Change (DfC) contest now runs in over 30 countries. Students conceptualize and pilot “social change solutions" and share their learnings. DfC is now manifested as a curriculum, an ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ comic, a Pearson textbook and one of the highest rated education TED talks.

GiveIndia’s India Giving Challenge in 2009 was the country’s first online challenge. It raised over 90 lakh in a month, reaching out to more donors than the organization engaged online through the rest of the year. The event raises almost 5 crore per year now, and remains by far the largest philanthropy event in the country.

Philanthropy innovation

WishTree—a simple idea that anyone could replicate, it saw more than 2,000 trees spawn all over the country, in different shapes and sizes, raising as little as a few hundred rupees in villages to a few lakh from large companies. This one idea alone raised over 2 crore across the country in the Joy of Giving Week 2013.

Sewa sandwich
Sewa sandwich
Kaam Chalu, Mooh Bandh
Kaam Chalu, Mooh Bandh

A bunch of new ideas are being actively used this year in Daan Utsav (2014). Two innovations that were not original Daan Utsav ideas, but are being actively encouraged are:

n Spotfix inspired by The Ugly Indians—an anonymous citizen-led initiative that comes together using the slogan “Kaam Chalu, Mooh Bandh" to clean up spots. All it takes is a group of 10-12 responsible citizens who care enough.

Rice Bucket Challenge
Rice Bucket Challenge

Stakeholder engagement activities

Celebrity experiences on auction

n Actor Amitabh Bachchan went down memory lane, sharing experiences from his career in the industry, his father’s poetry and anecdotes that can’t be shared in the public domain.

n Actor Salman Khan auctioned a two-hour gym session.

The poor give back too

Daan Utsav has demonstrated that giving is, in the end, all about how big your heart is and not about how deep your pocket is. Several thousands of the less fortunate—auto-rickshaw drivers, guards, maids and others give back through the festival of giving as well.

n A self-help group of 8,000 women, on hearing about Daan Utsav, decided not to be beneficiaries, but givers instead. These women, engaged as maids, sweepers and daily wagers, donated 15,000kg of sugar, pulses and oil in October 2010, when food inflation was at its peak in the country.

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