KOLKATA: Come Gandhi Jayanti and the whole city will erupt in joy for a week, setting the stage Daan Utsav, the pre-Puja festivities that have been happening for eight years across the country.
This year, at least 3.5 lakh people in the city will be participating in Daan Utsav. They will donate freely for the poor.In this unique initiative, no one donates money. They donate in kind, which could be in the form of food, clothes, blankets or anything else.
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Daan Utsav, as an idea, originated in Chennai and has gradually spread across the country. It is a one-week long celebration starting October 2. This time, it coincided with the pujas. A large number of city schools and educational institutions, malls, IT companies and corporate houses ha ve already pledged their sup port for the cause. Take the case of Cognizant Technolol gies Solution (CTS), which is organizing massive blood doe nation camps through the wee ek. Then there is Nicco Park, which has pledged to enterta in at least 600 underprivileh ged children on October 3.
‘Daan’ is also the theme of some community pujas, ike the one at FD Block, Salt Lake.
The organisers have tied up with MP Birla Eye Foundation and will be helping the poor with free cataract urgeries and specta cles. Prominent schools like Modern High, Heritage, Garden High, Don Bosco and Bhowanipore Educational Society have collected clothes, mosquito nets, slippers and sarees for the poor. Kids will be made to distribute the l clothes to feel the “joy of giving”, which is the tagline of the campaign. Daan Utsav volunteers are all successful professionals who are visiting schools, offices, malls and other public spaces to spread awareness so that more people come forward to donate. This year, an award has been insti tuted to felicitate efforts of apartment complexes in the sphere of giving to community, health, education and environment. There are six main awards that will be given du ring the Daan Utsav Week for outstanding contribution.
News Source: TOI