How do you celebrate the birth anniversary of a leader who helped get India its independence? By paying it forward, of course! This is exactly what the people of our country did this October 2nd in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
For starters, Gandhi Jayanti marked the beginning of the annual festival Daan Utsav, a week-long celebration of the spirit of giving. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, the festival is all about the happy-cheery feeling of giving, gratitude and feeling oh-so-good all around. There’s nothing that feels better than coming together to help do good and spread happiness! The success of Daan Utsav has shown without a shadow of doubt that there are thousands out there who want to help make our world a better place.
Team Ketto saw some awesome campaigns kicking off on Gandhi Jayanti in celebration of Daan Utsav. One of these is CORP (Community Outreach Programme)’s Food Box for Granny campaign. It runs till the end of October and is aiming to provide a whole lot of Tender Loving Care to 120 elderly women, along with yummy, hot meals.
Another feel-good event that kicked-off on October 2nd and is sure to make you feel warm and fuzzy is the Swachh Bharat programme. This is a nationwide initiative to clean up the streets of India, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM inaugurated the cleanliness drive at Rajghat, New Delhi, by sweeping up a street himself. He then ‘challenged’ a bunch of personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Ambani to join the movement and take it forward.
Similar to the ice-bucket challenge in some ways, this challenge involves one major difference – the ice-bucket challenge became more of an exhibitionist indulgence where the actual cause of raising awareness for a disease was often diluted. The Swachh Bharat challenge, on the other hand, is doing just what it should and is spreading awareness and cleaning up our streets!
For instance, Sachin Tendulkar replaced his cricket bat with a broom and marched to the street opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot in Mumbai with a team of his friends, to begin sweeping up the trash strewn about. He took a video of his effort and posted it on his Facebook account. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote about it:
“The footpath on the road opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot was not being used by pedestrians as it was dumped with litter and garbage and covered with wild growth. In fact, the footpath was being misused as a place to answer nature’s call!!”
“With a team of friends who volunteered with me, we started early in the morning to ensure minimal disruption to public and motorists.”
The PM also challenged several others to spread the ‘Swachh Bharat Hi Sach Bharat Hai’ word. Actor-activist Aamir Khan hopes to be part of this movement too. With such socially-conscious do-gooders lending a hand, the Swachh Bharat movement is sure to gather speed and clear up our littered streets!
It’s heartwarming that Gandhi Jayanti has become a reason to usher in new initiatives to change our world for the better. Happy birthday to our nation’s forefather. And a Ketto salute too!