From Railways to NSS at the Centre, from Police to Education departments across State Governments and various departments of Municipal corporations and District Administrations, several Government Departments and Institutions help citizens celebrate #DaanUtsav and experience the joy in giving. These initiatives bring the citizen and State closer to each other.
Watch this short video to see how various departments in the government have celebrated the festival.
For any queries or more ideas on how to organise an event with government departments, get in touch!
Reach out here:
Why should government departments celebrate #DaanUtsav?
A democracy will work really well only if every citizen stands up and takes responsibility to engage. A festival like #DaanUtsav provides a wonderful opportunity to citizens to experience what governance feels like, to understand the challenges that government officials face on a daily basis, and to develop empathy, respect and trust between the citizens and the officials.
What kind of events/ideas work for various departments?
Ideas that are likely to work will vary across departments. For example:
Education department: The easiest thing for the government is to reach out to various schools and colleges, send them a circular with ideas of how they could celebrate #DaanUtsav and encourage them to do so. In teacher trainings planned from July to September, they could encourage the faculty member to talk briefly about #DaanUtsav, so that teachers who attend get exposed to the ideas, and when they go back to their respective schools and colleges, they are able to ensure that #DaanUtsav is celebrated is those institutions.
Departments like police: Just a couple of examples: Prisons celebrating #DaanUtsav with inmates making bars of soap for children living in orphanages, construction companies offering a skill building course for prison inmates…
Railways and transport: Corporations have celebrated #DaanUtsav, by using their vehicles as a means to spread the word as well as to give adults and children a joy ride.
Simple ideas that are easy to implement work best with the government.
Alternatively, to see some ideas for your #DaanUtsav event, click here.
Who in the department can one approach for getting permissions to organise an event?
First, decide what kind of event you want to organise. Do you need access to government infrastructure or government employees for it? That will help identify the right department to contact.
Contact information for government officials is available on their website – both, names of the officers/ministers and their phone numbers. Usually, the secretary of the department is the best person to reach out to.
Some departments like police and corporation have commissioners, deputy commissioners, etc. They are the right people to reach out to.
Educational officers at the district level, block development officers, district development officers, collectors could also be approached.
Irrespective of whom you get in touch with, government officials are known to quickly respond with the name of the relevant person/department for permissions and support.
From the chief secretary of the state down to the juniormost person in administration, everybody is accessible to the public. As a citizen, any one of us can literally walk into the chief secretary’s office of the state. As long as you are willing to wait for 2-3 hours, you will get a chance to speak to him/her.
How does one pitch the concept of #DaanUtsav to them?
The easiest thing to do is to just explain that #DaanUtsav is a festival; it is not an organisation, and the government department is free to celebrate it the way it chooses, with any beneficiary group. Share at least three ideas that the government officials could use to celebrate #DaanUtsav.
The other thing that works well with the government is to have a very specific ask. For example, can the post and telegraph department request all the postmen in the area to distribute this leaflet along with all the letters that they will deliver? Or can the municipal corporation request the education officer to issue a circular to all the school principals for celebrating #DaanUtsav? (Share the circular/notice draft with them in English and the regional language.)
What are some of the objections/questions raised and how does an event organiser or volunteer address them?
Objection 1: “How can we work only with you?”
You could clarify that #DaanUtsav is not an organisation but just an idea, and therefore, they are free to celebrate it the way they want to, with any group they want to.
Objection 2: “Who are we giving permission to celebrate to?”
If you want permission to felicitate the municipal workers, then carry a request letter written on the letterhead of the organisation that is organising it. That makes things much easier.
Questions can also arise when people reach out asking for money (since the mechanisms to give small amounts of money are complex). Hence, this is not recommended for #DaanUtsav activities.
Here is a YouTube playlist which you can use to get more ideas and examples for organising your #DaanUtsav activity.
Click on icon to browse the playlist.
Various Govt Departments like education (school & college), Panchayati Raj, NSS, etc. send out circulars asking schools, colleges, panchayats, NSS clubs, etc. to celebrate #DaanUtsav in their networks.
Shadow An Officer
Public gets to bid in an auction for a chance to shadow various Govt officials for a day. Proceeds go to a charity of the official’s choice or a cause supporting temporary/ contract staff.
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.
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.
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, 1 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.
IDEAS FOR RAILWAYS
One NGO is allowed to talk about its cause and solicit donations on each long-distance train, during the week of #DaanUtsav.
Journey of Life
Ask the Railways to allow groups of people to come and paint the trains from inside, writing simple things like- ‘You are enough’, ‘You are beautiful’, etc.
Ask the Railways to make announcements related to kindness like asking people to give their seats to someone else or asking people to be more conscious of their way of entering trains and going out of their way to be a little more kinder.