The past year and a half in the pandemic were extremely challenging for all of us, a bit more for the less fortunate. Young children lost crucial years of their school lives. Many daily wage earners lost their jobs and innumerable women were subject to domestic violence. Witnessing so many deaths all around and coping with it from the confines of our homes took a huge toll on our mental health.
Daan Utsav previously known as the Joy of Giving Week is a weeklong festival, from 2nd October to 8th October, during which people from all over the country, come together and perform acts of kindness by giving their time, material or money to those who are less fortunate than us. It is celebrated every year to spread happiness, kindness and give people hope and faith. At a time when the world is in dire need of hope, faith and joy, Treasures of Innocence is happy to participate in Daan Utsav. We work with children and their mothers across various slum areas in Kolkata, and rural areas in West Bengal.
Letters and gifts
After being stuck in quarantine for so long, all our children are yearning for an interaction and celebration with their peers. So this year they will be writing letters to their friends along with their drawings in them. This will give them a chance to express everything they feel after finally meeting their friends in person.
Our mothers are the heroes our lives. It was disheartening to see the rapid increase in the cases of domestic violence in quarantine. During the pandemic, many fathers who were daily wage earners lost their jobs. Mothers single handedly became primary earners, home school teachers and everyday nurturers overnight. Most children and many young adults can’t think of getting through their days without their mothers. Yet, seldom do we express our gratitude to our mothers for everything they do for us every day. Hence, this year our children will be making gifts for their mothers from their savings (Treasures of Innocence previously taught the children to develop a habit to save).They will be decorating them in their own creative ways and attaching a heartfelt note of gratitude to the gift. This beautiful act of compassion is bound to put huge smiles on the faces of their mothers.
Spreading awareness regarding cleanliness
A plethora of diseases are caused due to unhygienic environments and irresponsible waste disposal. At a time like this, we feel a cleaner and healthier environment is extremely significant. In houses where earning their daily bread is unsure and difficult, people treat sanitation and hygiene as luxuries. Hence, we want to spread awareness about the importance and methods of handling waste responsibly. Educate the children about the importance of keeping their neighbourhood and society clean. The children will then take a pledge to keep their houses, streets and city clean. We will be distributing soaps, masks and dust bins among the houses in the slums.
Our event will begin at 10 AM on 2nd October. We will celebrate Daan Utsav in six slums – Briji 1, Briji 2, Khudhiram, Ganjipukur and Sreerampur on the first day, in Kakdwipon the following day and in Shibtala and Mahamayapur on 5th October.We will begin with an opening song by the children, followed by speeches from our mentors. On that inspirational note, we will proceed with exchanging the letters written by the children. The children will then gift the token of gratitude to their mothers. We will be distributing food packets, sweets and candies. We will conclude with a fun game and a group song.All the children will be participating in joyful activities. We hope to fill the hearts of all our children, their mothers and our volunteers with kindness, compassion, gratitude and joy. Join us in our endeavours. When more people join in to give back to society, the country as a whole benefits from the positivity.