Daan Utsav 2020, NGOs in India and You
Giving back to the society has been encouraged time and again. People have joined hands with each other and with various NGOs to bring about a change in communities and the nation as a whole. To make bigger impacts, many individuals and several NGOs in India came together and decided to launch ‘India Giving Week’ in 2009. By 2013, this festival grew manifold and it was necessary to give it a name that was easily understood by everyone. Hence, in 2014, the Joy of Giving Week was renamed as Daan Utsav.
2020 is the 12th year of Daan Utsav and it is celebrated all over India between 2nd October and 8th October. Through online donations and support from various corporate partners, organisations have been able to help the poor and marginalised sections of the society with clothes, education, healthcare, meals, etc. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO in India that works towards its core cause of providing mid-day meals to children in 12 States and 2 Union territories of India.
Apart from serving free school meals to children, the Foundation provides food aid to disaster-struck victims. Amidst the ongoing crisis of COVID-19, the Foundation is serving freshly cooked meals and distributing grocery kits to the poor and marginalised sections of the society. As of 8th September, a cumulative of 8.2-crore meals have been served to daily-wage workers, labourers, needy people at old age homes and night shelters.
From the COVID-19 beneficiaries
14-year-old Shaheen avails hot and nutritious khichdi, prepared in a safe and hygienic manner by the Akshaya Patra Foundation. She says, “My father does not have a job after the lockdown was announced. It is very difficult for him to feed four of us at home. We do not have the money to buy oil, gas or dry groceries. These meals have eased all our worries, especially of my father.”
Anandi lives alone in Mumbai after losing her husband. During the pandemic, she was not able to work as a domestic help. With no savings and money lenders constantly pressurising her to pay back the loan amount, she found it difficult to handle the situation. She says, “My situation was worsening by the day. I had given up hope that things will get better. Just then, I received the grocery kit from Akshaya Patra. I am happy that I can save some money to pay back the loan amount.”
To continue its service towards children, Akshaya Patra has started serving Happiness Kits to its mid-day meal beneficiaries. Presently, the Happiness Kits Programme is being carried out in Bengaluru, Jigani, Hyderabad, Thane, Silvassa, Jaipur, Vadodara, Lucknow, Vrindavan and Guwahati. To support all its beneficiaries in other locations, the programme is being carried out in a phase-wise manner.
What the parents of mid-day meal beneficiaries say
Jila is a resident of Bengaluru whose salary was cut by 50% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With three children, a son and two daughters to feed at home, he and his wife found it difficult to make ends meet. He says, “We were worried about running out of food. This Happiness Kit has truly made us happy. Now we don’t have to be scared that our children will go hungry and they also get stationery and books to learn, which they missed.”
This Daan Utsav 2020, provide support to the needy people in the form of cooked meals, grocery kits and happiness kits. Help the people from low-income sections of the society cope with the pandemic.
Ensure well-being of those in need. This Daan Utsav, support Akshaya Patra’s food relief efforts.