Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Joy of Giving Week, a "festival of giving" is being organized across India from October 2nd to 8th, commencing on Gandhi Jayanti. The Campaign endeavours to inspire Indians across every state, city, region, class, religion and age to give back to society. It not only aims at encouraging people to give but also celebrates the notion of giving and the joy derived from it. The Week is not organized by a specific NGO or organisation; it is wholly driven by a large group of volunteers from all over the country.

Mr. V. R. Ferose, Managing Director at SAP Labs India, Mr. AM Muralidharan, President Volvo Construction Equipment & Chairperson CII CSR Panel, Mr. Ramesh Balasundaram, Director CEFI, Mr. Rohan Bopanna, International Tennis Player, Ms. Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson Arghyam and Pratham Books, Mr. Vijaya Baskaran, Executive Chef and F & B Manager at the Le Meridien Bangalore - together formally unveiled the logo.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Rajan Narayanan, volunteer, Joy of Giving Week (Bangalore), said, “Joy of Giving Week is a national movement started in the year 2009, that hopes to engage every Indian in ‘acts of giving’ – money, time, skills, resources or love. The goal is to engage citizens of the country and instil values of caring, civic and social responsibility. The week aspires to become a ‘festival’ of Giving that unifies India across its classes, castes, languages, socio economic strata and the urban/rural divide. Bengaluru with its metropolitan culture has a responsibility to give back more and this is what the Joy of Giving Week 2012 will aim to achieve.”

He added, “This year we have already conducted an NGO workshop to assess the needs of various NGOs’ in the city and are looking forward to aligning their needs with various sponsors. Platform events such as Food for Change, 'shoot for a cause', an initiative by Ivolunteer where volunteers will do a shoot for NGOs that do not have the means to do it themselves... have been planned.” He also elaborated on how corporates, 5 star hotels, apartment complexes, local businesses, government institutions (BESCOM) and individuals have extended their support towards the cause this year.

From CEOs like Narayana Murthy, Kumar Birla and Adi Godrej to humble auto drivers, housemaids and peons, from celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan to school children from more than 1000 rural government schools, the spirit of the Week drew together people from all strata of society. The idea is to ensure that the mind of each and every Indian is imbibed with the belief that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Over 1.5 million Indians participated in the Week last year and this year the hope is to exceed that number.

“We are proud to participate in the Joy of Giving Week, which coincides with SAP’s month of service. At SAP, we are currently driving over 50 projects across the country and over 60 percent of our employees volunteer their time towards causes that make a difference in their communities” said Mr. V. R. Ferose, Managing Director at SAP Labs India. “We are also very pleased that Charitra, SAP’s on-demand network for social causes will be used as a tool during the Joy of Giving Week”

“As a fair representative of India's corporate sector, CII is strongly committed to enabling member companies and other organisations integrate CSR into their corporate philosophy. Joy of Giving week is one such initiative that the CII CSR panel plans to propagate, we are sure this activity will really energize the CSR program of a company in an exponential way.” Said Mr. AM Muralidharan, Chairperson CII CSR Panel.

“This October coinciding with the Joy of Giving Week 2012, the children attending the Museum School at Bangalore will witness their first Annual Day Celebrations and with support from the team at JGW they are gearing up for a weeklong celebration of learning, entertainment and exchange programs.” Said Mr. Ramesh Balasundaram, Director CEFI (Child Empowerment Foundation India).

While unveiling the logo, youth icon and Brand Ambassador of GoSports Foundation Rohan Bopanna said “The Joy of Giving Week is a splendid concept and I am glad I am a participant this year. I have numerous acts of giving planned for this week and I would encourage you to do so as well.” Commenting on the number of confirmed participants for the week, he continued “it is heart warming to see the city, step up, stand up and celebrate as a community with many acts of giving”.

Ms. Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson Arghyam and Pratham Books said, “The Joy of Giving week is an excellent initiative that reaffirms that we all have to work together to build the kind of society we desire to live in. It is about everyone doing what they can to help others. It builds on India's long standing tradition of sharing and caring. The Joy of Giving week, in its fourth year, is poised to grow even bigger as more people reach into their pockets and their hearts. At Pratham Books, we look forward to being a part of the week.”

Chef Vijaya Baskaran also added his sentiments, “I am happy to be celebrating the Joy of Giving Week this year by participating in the Food for Change program at Bangalore where the top hotels of Bangalore will showcase their culinary talent to raise funds for over 30 NGOs. Several Hotels in India are participating in the Joy of Giving Week this year with innovative and creative giving events which is very encouraging and heartening to see.”` 

Joy of Giving volunteers also invited the public to spread the message of giving and register their acts of giving on the website, so that it is all counted and registered.

Snapshot of JGW 2011

• More than 1 million people participated

• Over 70 cities

• Rs 30 crore generated in donations of cash and materials

• Around 700 events registered (from small individual events to those involving more than 100,000 people)

• Millions of volunteer hours

• One cause – Spreading the message of Joy and Giving

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