Residential complexes across India celebrate #DaanUtsav in a variety of interesting ways. It helps them bond together as a community, thus enhancing trust and the sense of safety and well being, while also strengthening their gratitude muscles and contributing money, material or time to a cause.
The video below shows how you too can celebrate #DaanUtsav in your apartment, society, RWA or ALM.
For any queries or more ideas on how to organise an event in an apartment, get in touch!
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Why should apartments and societies celebrate #DaanUtsav?
Celebrating #DaanUtsav in an apartment, society, RWA (Resident Welfare Association) or ALM (Advanced Locality Management) creates an interesting opportunity for residents to get to know each other well by working together on an event. This deepens relationships between residents, strengthens bonds, and builds a safer community for everyone. #DaanUtsav can also become a platform for every apartment, society, RWA, or ALM to show gratitude to the people who make their lives comfortable, safe and happy: maids, drivers, liftmen, security guards, etc. It can also be an opportunity for a community to get together and show that they care.
What kind of events work in apartments and housing societies?
Click here for a list of ideas for residential areas to celebrate #DaanUtsav.
How does one get more residents to help in organizing the event?
Most residential areas have a few “influential” and “popular” members—people that everyone looks up to, and who are often the glue binding people together. Tapping into them and sharing your ideas is a great way to find fellow champions. You can also talk to your immediate neighbours or your friends. Some large societies or associations have a “youth wing” or club and involving them could also be useful. If there’s a professional manager, s/he can also be roped in, especially to help with follow-up, logistics, and coordination. In some large societies, RWAs and ALMs, there are WhatsApp groups of members as well as other online communication platforms that can be used to reach out and recruit volunteers.
Who can one approach for permissions to do this in their society/apartment?
It is best to approach the office bearers of the society or association, such as the President, Chairperson, Secretary, or Treasurer for the necessary permissions.
How can one pitch the concept of DaanUtsav to the residents/members?
Before approaching the office bearers, it is always good to have a small group of fellow volunteers in place and a clear idea of the kind of event(s) you plan to organize. Once you have this, seek a meeting with the office bearers as a group. It is easier to get permissions and approvals if there is significant support from a diverse group of members.
What are some of the objections/questions raised?
Societies & RWAs will typically have concerns around the following:
How do you address them?
Being prepared for the questions and objections helps address them. The easiest way to address any concerns is to demonstrate interest from a majority of residents to participate in your event. If most people want to take part, it is likely to be automatically supported by the office bearers. You can demonstrate this through a signature campaign, or WhatsApp messages or emails from members supporting the event idea.
How can one get participation of residents in their event?
How can one follow up with participants and keep them updated?
It’s pretty much like any other project. Once a plan is ready, the tasks must be divided among core team members, with reasonable deadlines. Once the tasks are divided, it might be a matter of communication: WhatsApp, calls, messages, or simply knocking on people’s doors,
Also, creating a mode of communication for the core members (WhatsApp might work best) with regular updates like “Hey, today A got the local store to donate a crockery set. What’s cooking at your end?” will inspire other members too.
How much time does it take to plan an event?
Something as simple as a Raffle or Tambola can be organized within a week.
All you need to do is identify a few people who are able to donate items that can be used as gifts. Most of us have extra items lying around at home: a spare crockery set somebody gifted us, a watch, or a new pair of woollens. WhatsApp details of the event, and all is set.
For more complex events, more planning is required. Say you want to organize a dinner for all the maids and other help across all apartments. You will need to fix a date, communicate it to everybody, make sure everybody is free, give yourself enough time to collect money from all the houses, and get permissions from the society, etc. Events like these might take as much as a month or two months to put together.
Any other tips have for people planning events in apartments, societies, RWAs or ALMs?
These little events are fabulous opportunities to bring people together and create a real community, in an increasingly isolated world. So, try and involve as many residents as possible.
Another point to remember is to try to ensure that everyone is on board, especially people who are known to raise objections. Speaking with some of these habitual naysayers early on in the process, and if possible, including them in the core team will do wonders.
Here is a YouTube playlist which you can use to get more ideas and examples for organising your #DaanUtsav activity.
Click onicon to browse the playlist.
On the Streets (Aa Gaye Raste Pe)
Apartment residents set up a “street food festival” and sell food made in their homes. All proceeds from the sale of food are given to charity.
Neighbour Hood (Ados-Pados)
Residents host an evening for a neighbour in their society, in which they do a small show about themselves and serve dinner. The visitors pay for the experience. The arrangement is reversed within the week. All money raised goes to charity.
Do Rights By Them
Residents organise a camp for all domestic help and support them in getting various govt documentation (PAN, Aadhar, caste or birth or residency certificates, etc.) and benefit from Govt schemes.
Did You Know? (Jaano Ya Na Jaano)
A quiz for residents where questions are about the personal lives of the support staff of the apartment- the security guards’ families and places of origin, the gardener’s childhood dreams, the sweeper’s height, weight, etc. Residents pay to participate, proceeds used to give gifts to the staff and some residents provide excess gifts from their homes as prizes for the winners.
Apartments use #DaanUtsav as a platform to launch environment friendly initiatives like Garbage segregation & composting, energy audits & conservation, water harvesting structures and water conservation methods.
Gandhi for Gram
Identify a village nearby and get students/employees/members to visit and volunteer there for a day, to promote greater understanding of the challenges of rural life in modern times.
Gandhi 150 festival
Organise a festival in your school, college, office, club, group, association or apartment to celebrate Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The festival can include debates, essay contests, Khadi shows, films and other activities that represent Gandhi’s values. Audience/ participants donate to take part and the proceeds go to Gandhian charities.
Organise a march/walk involving your students/employees/members and also other organisations near your institution, raising awareness about causes and inviting the public to contribute in cash and kind.
Carry out tree plantation campaigns in nearby school/college campuses and grounds, parks, office campuses or in nearby plantation areas identified by environmental NGOs. Plantation can also be done in nearby rural areas.
Get participants to go on a run and collect all the plastic they encounter on the run, from the streets. The collected plastic is given to a recycler.
Seva Mela- Fun for a Cause
In a school, college, corporate, club or large apartment complex, NGOs put up stalls with food and games, and all proceeds go to charity.
Jail & Bail
Leaders (CXOs, Principals, Directors, Trustees, Office bearers) are “jailed for doing good” and others have to “bail them out” by donating to a charity of their choice.
Charity Raffle / Housie
A raffle, housie or “tambola” where members donate items as prizes (spare new phones, crockery, travel accessories, bags, watches, etc.), and everyone buys tickets with the proceeds going to charity.
Card Carrying Membership
Poker, rummy, bridge or other card games where everyone “buys in” and nominates a charity, money goes to the winners’ nominated charities.
Who’s The MasterChef? (MasterChef Kaun?)
In schools, offices, clubs, apartments, a Masterchef contest, where each participant creates, others “buy” food coupons, proceeds go to charity. The winner’s charity gets a special prize. Can focus on men cooking to change stereotypes.
In colleges, offices, clubs, gyms, a lunch or safe dinner date with the popular members is auctioned and proceeds go to the charity of their choice.
Kara-OK Action (Kuch Achha Karao-ke)
Sing for a cause on karaoke, the audience buys tickets to listen, proceeds go to charity.
Preparing, collecting and distributing food to those in need on the streets or at shelter and care homes, or even to auto drivers at a stand, etc.
Set up a “kindness fridge” in a public place like an apartment, school, college, hospital and create groups of people who will ensure the fridge is stocked.
Record Audio Books
Everyone records an audio book for the blind.
In colleges, clubs, theatres, large corporates, large apartments, a TEDx/ Litfest type format featuring social enterprises, ticket donations to charity.
Bake Sale/ Art Sale
People exhibit their talents in baking/ other arts and sell their products, proceeds go to charity.
Adopt an Institution
Help a govt school, bus shelter, night shelter, newspaper stand, park get a complete makeover and take care of it through the year.
The Tiny Flea Garage Sale
Flea market within school, college, corp, apartment, club etc. where members bring items and others buy them, all proceeds go to charity.
Cycle/ Bike/Car Rally for a cause
A rally for a cause, where participants donate and fundraise to support the chosen cause.
7 Days 7 Givings
Pick 7 different acts of giving, one for each day of the #DaanUtsav week and get students/ residents/employees/members to contribute. The 7 acts could simply be 7 different items to be given (books on 1 day, clothes on another, etc.) or 7 types of activities (money, material, time, blood, skills, etc.).
Organise a collection drive for items in good condition, clean, mend and pack the donated items nicely and set up a “store” on a street nearby. Offer “coupons” to potential beneficiaries which they can use to “buy” the items that THEY choose from the street store, instead of being handed over something that someone else chose for them.
Pop-up #DaanUtsav booths in public spaces provide opportunities to donate for a particular NGO/cause.