All posts tagged: art of giving

#KaashKey – Celeberating UTKAL Diwas

#KaashKey – Celeberating UTKAL Diwas

Utkal Mani Gopabandhu Dash is known for his contribution to this Nation and State in need of a revolution. His revolution was propelled by awareness and hence the birth of the newspaper- “The Samaja” took place.
Taking into account of his lifetime credo of “Pen is mightier than Sword”, the AOG community had innovated its way into the minds and soul of deprived children, yet again!

This Utkal Diwas, let’s find what we have fought to come from and what we are fighting to achieve.
The voice of children will become the voice of AOG.

The team aimed to gather children from the underprivileged communities and encourage them to write their dreams down. Writing down what they want to be or simply their wants will help the AOG team to put forth a display of hopes in most appropriate way to the channels where we shall fuel dreams to fulfill them.

This initiative by the AOG community for #UtkalDiwas was #KashKey. Kash symbolizing desire and key stands to unlock their happiness. Volunteers from all across KIIT and KISS and other parts of Bhubaneswar shall gather for the event, get the wishes and try to fulfill it by making it reach the concerned levels.

The children participated with full enthusiasm and took mugshots with their wishes. These wishes might be trivial to many of us, but when fulfilled, are closer to life to many of them. With all humility, Art of Giving Community shall try to fulfil the dreams it has fuelled in their dazzling eyes today.

You may join our mission, see their wishes and become a #Key to their#Kaash and try to suffice just one wish of any child out there. Anything at all helps.

#KaashKey – Celeberating UTKAL Diwas
Pyaar Bhara Pack – International Happiness day

Pyaar Bhara Pack – International Happiness day

20th March 20, 2018: From one episode to another, since May 2013, Art of giving has been constantly spreading happiness amongst the underprivileged. For a country that is about to top the World’s largest Population, it is in desperate need of a start that will survive. Art Of Giving undoubtedly has proved its ability of survival and rise amongst a larger audience to serve this nation, selflessly and wholeheartedly.
Introducing the new #PyaarBharaPack gives the needy ones an experience to “taste happiness”. The initiative involves feeding a wholesome nutritious meal to 200 underprivileged kids served by the restaurant from and around Patia and other parts of Bhubaneswar. Kids from deprived bustees of the town are invited to Sandy’s Tower which happens to be the venue for the initiative. Menu spreading from across biryani to dishes of chicken to chinese and desserts were served to the kids.
To make the process pragmatic the kids were handed over fake currency which they traded over food, giving them the experience of visiting a restaurant, ordering and getting a sumptuous meal.The hustle in the hall, the bliss in the eyes of the kids and hope in their hearts deserves a commitment of encouragement for the underprivileged to have the abilities and sources to rise.
This one-day initiative helps the underprivileged ones have a meal of emotion. Food becomes driving force and Taste- the ambition and fulfillment of paying their own meals inflict empathy. Empathy can drive the indigent to rise and serve. It aims at empowering the poor making them an effective agent of change. The greatest example of this would be Prof. Achyuta Samantha who serves a picture of ambition in everyone’s mind despite being deprived of it since his childhood days. AOG, through small acts of giving, spreads the philosophy of love, care, compassion, wisdom, knowledge, skills, and talent.
Prof Samanta, Founder of Art of Giving Philosophy and the main motivating force behind the event is also the inspiration behind this mission. “One need not be very rich to give something back to the society, rather one must be poor to know the luxury of giving”. said Prof. Samanta.
For the giver, it is a form of self-delight whilst for the inheritor, it is a matter of experience. The idea was to motivate the givers, inheritors and the witnesses that there is a future to be promised because we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

 

Pyaar Bhara Pack – International Happiness day
Akshara Santa

Akshara Santa

(The saint of letters)

Like the name suggests, “Santa” was actually a boon that children wished for, just this time, SANTA is for real. And this time his gifts are more than candies and cakes, this time a common man rises from illiteracy to the stardom of knowledge.

Meet Harekala Hajabba a man from Mangalore, Karnataka and an orange vendor, who had the courage to spend to spend years of savings to start a school in the region he came from so that the children there could get educated.

The unselfish man kept saving money for 15 long years from his every day earning to support the cause. Walking down a trip of 25 km daily from his native village to Mangaluru city to sell oranges and eventually starting the school with mere 28 students and a strong desire to educate every child in the village, Hajaba began the school at a Madrasa- an educational premise most often in premises of a Mosque.

Today, the school, which has grown with government hold up and donations from private folks are known as Hajabba School. He is affectionately known as ‘ Akshara Santa’.

Akshara Santa
Shamsher Khan

Shamsher Khan

In 1956, Khan had become a national hero for finishing in the 5th place in the Melbourne Summer Olympics. The thing is no-one remembers who stands second so why heed someone who stood 5th. But the fact remains in the number of hour of pain, sacrifices and fighting up the screwed political hierarchy.

Before that, he had also set national records in all four swimming strokes as well as in water polo and diving, making him the only Indian to do so. In a country like India and at this 21st century,  where sports isn’t ever on the list of favorable career as of now, Shamsher khan dared to go on to the Olympics fighting the system and people.

Though no one remembers the person who came second, we should acknowledge this extraordinary man who could dive in( literally) to work against a sports disregarding country.

Shamsher Khan passed away from heart failure on 15 October 2017. Take a moment to be proud of an Indian who was a proud yet unsung Indian hero.

Shamsher Khan
 Dr Ritu Biyani

 Dr Ritu Biyani

HIGHWAY INFINITE BEYOND CANCER

Dr Ritu Biyani, Founder director, Highway Infinite (Breast Cancer Survivor)

HEROES have a journey and hers’ is one! 48-year-old Ritu Biyani Joseph is a breast cancer survivor. Well, she is more than a survivor. She is an art of heroism that every struggler should look up to.

“I took photographs of myself bald. How many people get to do that other than models? I never wore a wig or tied a scarf. I flaunted my new look.” She explained in an interview.

Ritu Biyani was the first women from her conservative Marwari community to join the Indian army, the first woman paratrooper from the Dental Corps. The taboo of breast cancer is so much to do with the looks of women, both physically and emotionally and here. She not only defeated breast cancer but also the taboo attached to women on basis of looks, characters and professor.

Heroic is what a person does to a point when no one acts. In an inspiring journey in 2006 Ritu and her then 14-year-old daughter, Tista, drove through 30,220 km in 177 days across the four tips of India and some of the highest motor-able roads in the world to conduct over 140 breast, cervix and oral cancer awareness workshops. The mother-daughter duo innovatively used basic ICT tools such as PPT presentations, LCD projectors, community mikes and SMS to convey their message, keeping the narrative visual and interesting. The mother-daughter duo introduced technology to people even before they thought they needed it.

After working for a prolonged period “Highway Infinite” (Breast Cancer Survivor) thirty-three projects from across India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were recognized for their contribution. Irrespective of being recognized Ritu and her daughter were more of a change-maker than a marketer. Hers is a journey to cherish beyond looks, stereotypes & eventually cancer.

 

 Dr Ritu Biyani
ANITA NARRE

ANITA NARRE

BE BRAVE
BE GIVING
BE HERO! 

“A UN study found that more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet”
This article is about a woman who left her in-laws’ house because it had no toilet. Residents of the village of Zitudhana (Madhya Pradesh) defecated in the open. It was a custom of the whole village. And who would dare change decades of orthodoxy?
ANITA NARRE.
Anita Narre left the household of Shivram, a labourer, after her marriage because the house had no toilet. She returned only once he had built one with help from district officials.
Anita’s unusual determination led to a great change in sanitation in the region because other women followed her lead and demanded toilets in their homes, doing what years of government campaigns could not do, setting an example.
Anita place, not very different from her in-laws was 15km away, but her father’s house had a toilet. Her father stood by his daughter when she returned home two days after her wedding. ‘My daughter was not doing anything wrong,’ he said. He was not afraid of people’s disapproval, he said because he was aware of the government scheme to build toilets and was confident that his son-in-law would meet the request.
Shivram appealed to the Gram Panchayat for financial help and eventually after a lot of protest from orthodox appeals he built a toilet for her wife. She dramatically brought the issue of sanitation to everyone’s attention for the first time. Since then, she has become an ambassador for sanitation campaigns at the district level.
A Bollywood film called toilet-Ek Prem Katha was loosely based on Anita Narre and her husband shivram, staring bhumi pednekar and Akshay Kumar.

ANITA NARRE
HARVESTING PEACE AND BLESSEDNESS

HARVESTING PEACE AND BLESSEDNESS

Art of Giving essentially propounds the idea that in order to have a bountiful harvest of peace and prosperity one has to sow peace and prosperity just in the same way as a farmer does to grow crops. A farmer scatters all his seeds upon the land and then leaves it to the elements. If he did the contrary, that is, hoarded his seed, he would lose both the seed and his produce, for his seed would perish. One may argue seeds do perish when sown. Yes, they do but in such perishing, they bring forth a great abundance.

The Young Achyuta Samanta sowed the seeds of love and care as a child despite having been pushed to the mire of abject poverty due to the untimely demise of his father. Throughout his childhood, starting from the age of 5, he lent his hand to support his grieving mother and helped her raise succor for all the siblings. He offered the comfort of his lap for his younger sister to sleep. He even shared his hard-earned wage with the hungry village urchins. He has sown love all his life and begotten love from one and all.

Achyuta Samanta’s life illustrates that in life, we get by giving; we grow rich by broadcasting our good seeds. The man who says he is in possession of knowledge yet he cannot share because the world is incapable of receiving it or for some other reason, then he either does not possess such knowledge, or, if he does, he will soon be deprived of it, if he is not already deprived. To hoard is to lose; to exclusively retain is to be dispossessed.

Achyuta Samanta was bestowed with good education by God’s Grace and his hard labor. He could have used his education for earning enough and prospering in life like any ordinary person. This would have amounted to hoarding. However, he thought differently. He used his education and the values he learned from the experiences in his life and plunged to share the wisdom of knowledge for helping the growth and prosperity of the society in which he lives.

Even the man who would like to increase his material wealth must be willing to part with (invest) what little capital he has, and then wait for the increase. So long as he retains his hold on his precious money, he will not only remain poor, but also will be growing poorer every day.  He will, after all, lose the things he loves, and will lose it without increase. But if he wisely lets it go; if, like the farmer, he scatters his seeds of gold, then he can faithfully wait for, and reasonably expect the increase. That is what has happened in the life of Achyuta Samanta.

He had a vision to serve the society and work towards relieving people from the pangs of poverty. So he began investing even every penny of his meager earning as soon as he started his professional career. He invested all that he had harvested from his enterprises for the human community to receive larger and larger harvests year after year. His mission in life to bring smiles on peoples’ faces, be them rich or poor and creating an equitable society paves the way for peace and prosperity the entire humanity. His life is true personification of the art of giving.

HARVESTING PEACE AND BLESSEDNESS
GENUINE COMPLIMENTS

GENUINE COMPLIMENTS

Abraham Lincoln had once stated that “Everybody likes a compliment.” And how true was he! We all just love being told we are the best! Moreover even though we always ‘pay’ compliments we never exhaust a single dime yet make the other person happy!

Masters of the art (yes, paying compliments is an art form!) equivocally opine that with the onset of civilized human society paying compliments has become a norm. History is full of stories about kings who hired professionals whose only job was to compose pieces filled with praises of their kings. Of course, needless to say, words of praise are the constant companions of the men of power, men of position and celebrities.

There is a marked difference between flattery and compliment, the former is not genuine and has a personal interest vested in it while the later is a genuine expression of admiration. Though the first one is more commonplace it is the second one that actually dwells in our hearts. Giving compliments always makes the receiver feel happy, grateful, optimistic and valued. But apart from the receiver, even the person who showers compliments nurtures a lot of positive attitudes.

Offering compliments indeed boost one’s self-esteem. It takes genuine understanding to note something positive in someone else and at the same time showing confidence to walk up to the person and appreciate them. And by doing something good as this, even our mind receives a genial feeling. And when the mind is at peace one tends to display a happier temperament and disposition. In fact, genuine positive remarks about others also speak volumes about our own personality and that carves a niche for us in the society.

Leo Buscaglia had once said that “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” And this, more or less, sums up the secret of a happy life, and being kindness always have the potentiality to turn things positive.

 

 

GENUINE COMPLIMENTS
OFFERINGS OF SUMMER: WATER AND THE “ART OF GIVING”

OFFERINGS OF SUMMER: WATER AND THE “ART OF GIVING”

The Sun is always very harsh in the summer months in the Indian subcontinent. The part of the earth coming in the tropical region with all its diverse life forms including human beings is parched in the summer months. The water bodies dry bringing untold miseries to the thirsty mouths. But life does not come to an end. People still continue with their daily chores, birds still fly and the flora and the fauna discharge their respective duties despite the thirst and the sweat.

Indian folklore is full of stories about samaritans and good souls who always were concerned about the well-being of their fellow human beings. No sooner summer sets in they come forward to serve the heat-ravaged pedestrians and travellers with water and thinned rice gruel. In India, this practice continues to be followed. Moreover, in every Indian household, it is customary to offer a guest clean drinking water to a guest no sooner he arrives.

It is very difficult to pinpoint a specific period of time when this custom started in India. However, the fact remains that this tradition speaks how Indians practised the art of giving. A guest is treated as God’s incarnation and the host does his best to make the guest comfortable, sometimes even starving themselves. The host feels grateful to the guest for considering to visit them.

To this day, we see people opening temporary kiosks to serve safe drinking water and thin rice gruel drink for the thirsty and the poor, on the streets. As the temperatures in the summer months continue to be rising beyond the normal by several degrees, the government organizations have pitched in providing safe drinking water to travellers by putting up such kiosks on the streets. Indian households put large vases filled with water for the thirsty birds and street dogs during summer months and derive great bliss in doing so.

Thus, we find that it is in our culture to be practising the art of giving for community welfare and serving the humanity.

OFFERINGS OF SUMMER: WATER AND THE “ART OF GIVING”
STUDENTS TURNED INTO ECO-ACTIVISTS

STUDENTS TURNED INTO ECO-ACTIVISTS

The 1850 feet tall Mahaparbat Hills (located 50 Kms away from the city of Bhubaneswar in the state of Odisha in India), a detached segment of Eastern Ghats mountain range in India had been lying barren for several years due to unbridled deforestation. Due to the denudation of the hill slopes, numerous streamlets were formed which carried the eroded surface soil of the hill slopes and caused siltation in the flat valleys at the foot of the hill. The siltation affected agriculture in the valleys.

The hilly terrain, however, got a fresh lease of life when in 2007, an educated bachelor in his forties from the nearby Dhansar village, Mr Brajendra Pradhan, took a vow to revive forest growth on the hill slopes of Mahaparbat Hills. A post-graduate in economics and an environmentalist by choice, Brajendra, sought collective efforts from some dedicated youths to make it possible. The mission was not only daunting but also very demanding.

However, Brajendra’s spirits had already been ignited and he quickly organized a team of 20 enthusiastic college students of his village (most in their early twenties by then) and went ahead with his work. The team counselled the youth of the affected villages to lend their supporting hand for this noble cause. As usual, there were many skeptics who taunted the volunteers often. The scenics would hurl offensive remarks and find many faults with the volunteers.

The young activists started with planting environmentally conducive banyan saplings.  Later, they planted miscellaneous other saplings. Small check dams across the streamlets were built by the volunteers to arrest soil erosion using locally available stones. This helped them arrest rainwater for watering the young plants. They also planted enough bush and shrub saplings along the short-spaced contour lines and on the banks the streamlets.

The volunteers also regularly organized various literary competitions among students, seminars and street-plays on environment-related themes to generate awareness among the village folks. Slowly more and more villagers who sat on the fence till date began taking an interest in the work. Brajendra’s indomitable spirit, patience, hard work and strong leadership ultimately helped win the hearts of even the most impenetrable cynic in the village.

The persistent endeavour of Brajendra and his team made the hill slopes of Mahaparbat Hills change its colors in a matter of four years. There were smiles visible in every soul as they heaved a sigh of great relief. Once a barren landscape, the terrain around Mahaparbat hills, now has been covered with nearly 2000 well-grown banyan trees along with 3000 trees of other varieties and they are growing bigger and bigger.

Neither Brajendra nor his teammates were affluent people. But Brajendra’s knowledge and leadership helped in changing the condition of the Mahaparbat Hills. The work, done by Brajendra is an eloquent depiction of what differences the art of giving can do to the human society.

 

 

STUDENTS TURNED INTO ECO-ACTIVISTS