The Chennai Gives campaign is back, so it is time for you to start packing up things you want to donate. You have time till September 4.
In its second edition, Chennai Gives is an initiative from Round Table India and Ladies Circle India. Conceptualized by Madras Round Table1, it is being supported by Uber. The spirit of the event is to encourage and foster a community of givers amongst individuals and corporate houses.
Akshay Dugar from Round Table India says Chennai Gives was initially started as a small venture.
“The art of giving and the power of oneness come together in the form of Chennai Gives. If each privileged citizen came forward to donate to a needy person, that act is nothing short of a life changing experience for both,” he says.
“Imagine the impact we are going to create with 32 chapters working hand in hand with our partners for the event, the magnitude of such an experience is unbelievable,” Akshay adds.
Donors can choose to donate new or nearly new items that include books, clothes, games and sporting equipment, household items, stationery and other items that will improve the lives of the less fortunate.
Uber is also pitching in with the logistics. If you wish to donate, pack up the items that you want to give away and on September 4, open the Uber app and book your pick up. Uber will come to your home and pick up the package for free. There is also a city wide campaign encouraging organisations to come together and donate for the cause as part of their CSR portfolio, which will happen on September 2.
"The movement is essentially a social leveler of sorts that brought together people from all walks of life to donate to a common cause. We were supported last year by celebrities like Suriya, Arvind Swamy, Trisha, Jyothika, Dulquer and Jayam Ravi, and even large corporate houses supported the drive. Generosity was abundant even among the people of Chennai who got together to make sizable donation," says Rahul Narayanaswamy, Chairman, Madras Round Table 1.
"It seemed like a good catalyst for people to share their generosity," says actor Arvind Swamy, one of the brand ambassadors of the campaign. "Obviously when we started off, we didn’t think it would be such a big success, and and in over 20 days, people donated lakhs of items. 35 organisations were benefitted. We learnt that people just wait for a good opportunity to participate and share," he says.
Referring to his show "Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi", he says, “We tend to meet different contestants from various backgrounds. The more you see people coming from various communities, the more they want to share. A lot of them want to participate and hopefully win for a cause that is not just personal, they want to share it.”
“We are more privileged than 99% of the people in the world. Giving needs to be incorporated in life. When we were interacting with schools, we found that 7th to 8th grade girls had dropped out because there were no toilet facilities. At that age, people drop out of school for something we take for granted. We built toilet facilities for hundred schools," he says.
Why give? “We have a lot of things lying around the house we don’t have use for, but Chennai Gives helps in sorting it out and taking it to the right people,” he says.
People can also spread the word to support Chennai Gives by posting pictures of donations and nominating friends to do the same on social media.
This year, the campaign hopes to reach people in 100 institutions and schools across the city would benefit from these donations. The campaign aims to impact 1,00,000 lives, and every donation, however big or small, counts.