Daan Utsav – Open letter from ten Ambassadors

The joint letter below signed by the 10 ambassadors endorsing #DaanUtsav and inviting every citizen of India to celebrate it, is here! It is signed Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Anu Aga, Azim Premji, Chhavi Rajawat, Devi Shetty, Justice Srikrishna, Lata Mangeshkar, Mary Kom and Sachin Tendulkar. Scroll down to read it, it is also available for download here.

To participate in Bhumi’s Daan Utsav activities click here.

To participate in or know more about other Daan Utsav events click here

DaanUtsav is India’s own festival that celebrates giving. It takes place every year from the 2nd to 8th October, providing you with the opportunity to contribute time, money, materials or skills to benefit an individual, organization or cause that means something to you.

Daan, in Pali or Sanskrit, connotes the virtue of generosity.

Our modern day lives can be extremely hectic with the pressures of day to day commute, work, meeting our own family and personal needs and overcoming the challenges that life throws at us. But we also read so many inspirational stories of people, taking that moment from their day and time to do an extra bit, not for themselves, but for others.

DaanUtsav is about celebrating that ability to do something for others. It is also about recognising that there is great joy to be found in giving of oneself, bringing a smile on the face of another, or helping someone overcome a difficult situation, even if only momentarily. This is not an organisation with a templated hierarchy run by a few or by any, but a celebration of the “Utsav of Daan”, promoted by hundreds of volunteers across the length and breadth of India.

Over the past 10 years, DaanUtsav has encouraged and inspired millions across the country. What started out as a simple idea, is now a mass movement of giving involving corporates, schools, colleges, not-for-profits, governments and communities. In recognition and appreciation of our voluntary participation, the global ‘Giving Tuesday’ initiative is now observed in India as well and falls on the Tuesday of the DaanUtsav week.

October 2nd also marks the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, who has inspired people world over to give back to society. There couldn’t be a better time for us to do more.

This year, we would love for you to join the celebration and we hope you will encourage your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to do the same. You can experience the joy of sharing whatever you can and your contribution need not be monetary. It could be spending time with the elderly, giving books, toys and other material to those who cannot afford them or volunteering at the local animal shelter – there’s so much you can do!

Take inspiration from the rickshaw drivers in Badamba, Odisha, who ferried elders from their village to the local medical camp at no cost, the vegetable vendors in Chennai who donated bags of vegetables to local NGOs or the young, visually impaired boy from Mumbai who volunteered his skill to paint the Mumbai Central station. These are just a few among thousands of stories. Each one of us is capable of this and more.

Ideas and inspiring acts of generosity are there in abundance, and you can find several, genuine organisations that help those in need and who would welcome your support. Several organisations, websites and platforms allow you to search for opportunities to donate, volunteer or give in kind. You can choose the one that touches your heart, or give directly to someone you already know. The choice and action remains yours. Do it selflessly. Do it happily.

As we ready ourselves for this year’s celebration, we have decided to take an extra step ahead. Just like Christmas, Diwali, Eid, Navroz and so many other festivals celebrated in our country, we have marked October 2 to October 8 as DaanUtsav in our calendars, to be celebrated this year and every year and we invite you to do the same.

Let the virtue of our Generosity be a celebration forever. Yours sincerely,

Important Instructions

How can this be used?

  • Can be sent along with a covering letter or other event collaterals (soft or hard copy form- printing in grayscale is allowed too)
  • Can mention in covering letter that Daan Utsav is endorsed by these 10 ambassadors and that they have invited the people of India to celebrate India’s festival of giving

Feel free to share it widely. However, while doing so, please ensure that this document CANNOT be edited or modified in any way

  1. no logos or elements can be added and the 10th year #DaanUtsav logo can’t be removed
  2. any org using this must not claim or imply in any way that the ambassadors have endorsed or supported their organisation or their events, etc.
  3. orgs or events should not create any other collateral on their own using these signatures or photographs or names of these ambassadors
  4. if there’s even the slightest doubt about whether something is allowed, don’t do it till you get positive confirmation from the Bhumi team via catalyse@bhumi.ngo.

Rewarding volunteers – V-Awards 2018 by UN Volunteers with Bhumi

V- Awards is an initiative by the UN Volunteers in India to celebrate and encourage volunteerism among youth. V- Awards is supported by organisations in the development sector, Bhumi being one of them. V- Awards will recognize extraordinary young volunteers who are catalysts for change in their lives as well as their community.

Deadline

Apply for V-Awards before the final deadline October 10, 2018 (Midnight IST)

Eligibility criteria:

– An Indian citizen between 16 to 29 years of age
– Volunteered for a minimum of 150 hours in a volunteering project over last year
– Meaningful engagement with community

For further information or queries, read the FAQs

Utilize this platform to inspire more people to volunteer for change and encourage volunteerism in India.

Apply now!

Teach For India fellowship – 2018, Webinar for Bhumi Volunteers

The Teach For India Fellowship is a unique opportunity to transform the lives of students and communities while developing leadership skills by  becoming part of a select network of committed, passionate, lifelong leaders working to fight educational inequity. It is a two year, full-time, salaried commitment to teach and lead students in under-resourced schools. We currently have over 1100 Fellows, spread across 7 cities, in 900 classrooms, impacting close to 38,000 children, and all working together to realise our vision that one day, all children will attain an excellent education.

Want to know more?

We are hosting three webinars exclusively for Bhumi volunteers! You can find the details of the same below :

Webinar 1 :

Date : Friday, 16th March, 2018

Timing : 6-7 PM IST

Led By : Smitha Ganesh

Smitha worked with Bhumi as a volunteer from 2012-2014 as Centre Co-ordinator for Ejipura Government School, Bangalore. She also volunteered to bring alive the first Nakshatra event in Bangalore where children across multiple organizations participated in various cultural events. She joined TFI as a 2014 Mumbai Fellow and currently works as a Program Manager Coach in the city of Chennai.

SMita

Webinar 2 :

Date : Saturday, 17th March, 2018

Timing : 6-7 PM IST

Led By : Sanjana Dalmiya

Sanjana led recruitment for Teach For India across Karnataka colleges and corporates from 2015-2017. She then worked as a Consultant on expansion related projects in the East and North East.

Sanjana

Webinar 3 :

Date : Sunday, 18th March, 2018

Timing : 10-11 AM

Led by : Goutham Kumar

Goutham joined Teach For India as a  2015 Chennai Fellow and now leads recruitment for Teach For India across Chennai’s colleges and corporates.

Goutham_Mailer

What can you  expect to learn in the webinar?

  1. Current reality of India’s educational landscape
  2. Organizational context
  3. A Fellow’s journey
  4. Student impact
  5. Leadership development
  6. Is this right for you?

The video call link will be shared once you’ve signed up! We look forward to interacting with you.

Please note that the FINAL Deadline for the 2018 Fellowship is on Sunday, March 25th, 2018. You can start your Application on Teach For India Website. Do spread the word in your networks! For any questions, please write to apply@teachforindia.org.

Volunteer at The Purple Run, Sep 24 | Chennai

The vision of the Purple Run is to spread awareness on mental health. A portion of the proceeds raised at The Purple Run will be donated to NIMHANS – National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Science
 
Alzheimer’s is the 5th leading cause of death in people over 55 years old, and in India, more than 4 million people suffer from some form of dementia. Despite this, there’s a stigma attached to mental illness amongst us. The Purple Run, is an initiative by FORUM to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and mental illness among the young for the elderly.
 
Expecting over 1,500 runners to participate. We need volunteers for assistance in managing the event.
 
Date – September 24th 2017
Reporting Time for Volunteers – 4 a.m. (up to 9 a.m.)
 
Location – Olcott School, Besant Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai.
Landmark – Opposite Rajaji Bhavan and Besant Nagar Bus Depot
Map Link – bit.ly/Olcott-School
 
Contact – 99520-38216

Daan Utsav Fellowships 2017

iVolunteer, Impact Guru, IndiaCares, LetzChange and Swatantra Talim are proud to offer 2017 #DaanUtsav Fellowships. We have 7 exciting 6 month Fellowships on offer, evangelising #DaanUtsav from May 4-Nov 3, 2017. To know about the fellowship, click here.

Fellowship selection for 2017 is starting now, with opportunities based in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Lucknow. Two communications fellowships are also on offer this year. 5 Fellows rocked the first batch, and have graduated to become volunteers, in addition to pursuing their careers. 6 Fellows rocked the 2nd batch this year! Now you can join them in Year 3! Click here to apply for the 2017 Fellowships!

The DaanUtsav Fellowship is an opportunity for young professionals to create significant social change. The Fellowship will enable Fellows to reach out to and mobilise hundreds of thousands of citizens to give, and to experience the joy in doing so. Through this process, fellows will build a lot of hard and soft skills, develop fabulous relationships, grow in confidence, and get in touch with their inner selves. Above all, the Fellowship will help each of them experience the exhilarating joy in giving of oneself to society!

The application deadline for Phase 3 will close soon, so go ahead and apply now!

Apply now

Graphic design volunteer for Bhumi’s Daan Utsav volunteer drive | Virtual

 Volunteer to create graphic designs (Social media creatives) to help promote volunteerism during Daan Utsav.
General Instructions: All graphic designs should
  1. be square shaped (800×800 pixels is suggested)
  2. include the Bhumi’s logo (click here to download)
  3. include the Daan Utsav logo  (click here to download)
  4. include the URL www.bhumi.ngo/utsav (except blood donation pledge)

Specific events for which graphic designs are required

  1.  October 2: Swachh Bharat & Tree Plantation drive – Volunteers will organise cleanups / tree plantation activity inside their locality/organisation, or a public area nearby
  2.  October 5 : Blood donation pledge – Two lakh people are expected to take the pledge via SMS or the website
    Poster should have either website link or SMS details: Website link : www.bhumi.ngo/blood-donors
    OR SMS:  PLEDGE <name> <email> <pincode> <blood group> to 9220092200
  3.  October 8 : Seva Sandwich – A simple empathy building activity where volunteers form groups, make sandwiches, distribute it to beneficiaries and also have insightful conversations with the them.
  4.  October 8 : Reading Activity – A wonderful reading activity where every person reads a story to a child and also motivates the child to read it.
  5. Daan Utsav : General – You can also design general posters on giving, volunteering and Daan Utsav
In case of any queries, feel free to write to daanutsav [AT] bhumi.org.in

Wanted: Volunteers to make #SeedBombs |Chennai

How many plants have you planted till now? Do you feel there is no space or no time for you to do so? Make no more excuses. Make a seed bomb and throw!

Our senior environmentalist, Nammalvar insists on planting trees wherever possible. Over the years of industrialization and urbanization there has been a rapid decrease in seed plantation resulting in loss of green spaces. It is now our responsibility to give back to mother nature.

Make no delay! Let us blast the seed bombs for the benefit of future. Simply throw your seed bombs into empty space and nature will take care of the rest.

What is a SEED BOMB?

  • It is mixture of Soil (5): Manure (3): Seed (1).
  • It is the most effective way to increase green footprint.
  • Mold a bomb (ball) and throw it into an empty space!

Seeds can be of:
1.Flowers (For butterfly and bees)
2.Millets/Vegetables (For cattle and human)
3.Trees (For our mother nature)


Join the Bhumi team in making 10,000 #SeedBombs

Days and time: 20th August Saturday/ 28th August Sunday/ 04th September Sunday/ 11th September Sunday
Place: Bhumi, 13/4, Cenotaph First Lane, Teynampet, Chennai – 18
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Google Map to location: http://bit.ly/BhumiCHQ

Ashoka Innovators for the Public Youth Venture Program

Dear young social innovators,

Ashoka India: Innovators for the Public is recruiting our third cohort of Youth Venturers and we want you to apply!

The live application link and for more details about the application please look at the poster attached to this email.

What is the Youth Venture program you ask?

Ashoka India’s Youth Venture program works with the belief that one of the most effective ways to drive social change is to empower young people to realize their own ability to make positive social change. We are looking for young minds who believe in pushing the boundaries of innovation to find answers to social problems and who exhibit traits like leadership and empathy.

Selected candidates receive support in the form of extensive mentorship and training through a structured program, and become part of Ashoka’s Global network of Social Innovators & Entrepreneurs. The program is completely free and travel and accommodations for events will be reimbursed.

Take a look here to learn more about a few of our current Youth Venturers here

And please look here for an informative blog post about one of our workshops written by a current Youth Venturer

To apply to become a Youth Venturer you must:

  • Be a young Indian between 12 and 20 years
  • Have already started an initiative that has a social impact
  • Embody principles of leadership, teamwork, empathy and creativity in your work.

We really hope you consider applying! The live application link again

Ashoka website: http://india.ashoka.org/.

If you have any queries contact sjoshi@ashoka.org | 7506889034

How to know when not to volunteer

Volunteering is an act of giving back to the society, to ensure its smooth functioning, and to help shape ourselves as individuals. While active involvement does create a significant impact on the cause we’re working towards, there’s a possibility of overextendingourselves and experiencing a burnout.

Remember, this blog does not intend to discourage you from volunteering. Rather, it explore occasions when volunteering may not be your cup of tea, or when, at the very least, you need to vary your volunteering activities.

1. Don’t volunteer if you face a time constraint. Don’t involve yourself in volunteering if you’re unable todevote the necessary time. Because, your absence or rare presence during key moments or otherwise, may disrupt the smooth functioning of designated activities, and result in other volunteers having to take up additional responsibilities. This is especially important if you have signed up to visit school children or nursing home residents, because, if you’ve met them once or twice, they tend to quickly depend on you and look forward to your visits. As a result, when you don’t show up, they may feel your absence. In essence, it’s better not to offer at all than to let someone down.

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2. Decline if you are already over-committed to volunteering. If you are already on a parent’s board, or helping adults learn English, in addition to working full-time, you may be starting to spread yourself too thin. In such circumstances, don’t feel obliged to take on more responsibilities, even if somebody asks you to. Volunteering overload is not good for you, your family or your work performance, and it certainly isn’t good for the organisation you’re volunteering for, because, they can’t rely on your presence. Instead, inform the organisation (you’re volunteering for) about your packed schedule, and remind them that you are open to volunteering in future, when your current obligations have been met. Then again, you do not owe any explanation whatsoever. You can simply say “I am not available”.

3. Avoid volunteering activities for which you don’t have the temperament for: Don’t become a volunteer firefighter if you’re afraid of fire or if you lack physical fitness. And, don’t become a health assistant volunteer if you tend to faint at the sight of blood. Instead, take roles that are better suited for you and leave the rest for others to take up. Alternatively, tell the volunteering organisation what your skills are and let them find a position better suited to your aptitude and interests. It’s far more helpful to devote a few hours in doing something that you can do well, rather than volunteering many hours towards something you’re not suited for.

4. Be careful about taking on volunteer work that is “close to home”. What we mean is, ensure that your personal problems and emotions don’t spill over into your volunteer work, in a way that it impacts negatively upon you. For example, if you have been abused yourself and you have decided to help others who are abused, be absolutely certain that you have worked through issues that are likely to be raised in your role as a volunteer. You don’t want to break down when confronted with an issue that is still very raw for you. This is not to say that you shouldn’t find catharsis in facing the issues head-on through volunteering, but it does mean that you must be strong enough to cope up with your emotions as they are likely to be presented back to you by someone else suffering from it.

5. Be aware of the fact that there are certain stages in your life when volunteering may not be a good option for you. Although temporary, there will beperiods in your life when you’ll have to step down from volunteering. These may include: death of a family member, exam time, birth of a baby, illness and such. Each of these activities rate highly and you are well within your rights to put all your efforts into seeing yourself and your family through the temporary disruption. In time, you will have recovered or moved on from the hard part and be ready to return to helping others. This is about knowing when to let others help you for a short time. On the other hand, volunteering can sometimes be the only reality you have to hang onto, to provide you with stability, such as when you’re going through a divorce or when you’ve lost your job. Carefully weigh your personal, physical and emotional demands as compared to what energy you may have remaining to expend on others; be honest before overdoing things. You’ll be a better volunteer if you take time out to strengthen yourself first.

6. Avoid volunteering for something just because a friend is volunteering. You must care about the cause that you volunteer for; a reason such as “my friend is doing it, so I should too,” is unsound. By all means, join a friend if both of you are truly keen on the work involved, but if you only do it for your friend’s sake, you may end up resenting the volunteer work and perhaps even your friend. In such circumstances, tell the over-enthusiastic friend that you support him or her, but that your volunteering interests are being placed elsewhere.

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7. Don’t be bullied, coerced or co-opted into volunteering. It is not unusual to be elected at a meeting which you do not attend, or to be pushed along by a crowd unwilling itself to take on a position that a club/school/organisation needs filled. If you are present at such a vote, strongly vocalise your refusal to take up the position. State clearly that you are not in a position to take up such a responsibility at this point in time. If it happens in your absence, send a gently worded letter refusing the position to the board, setting out brief reasons why you do not accept the nomination. Or, simply say you do not accept. You must want to undertake the volunteer work, otherwise you may face challenges pertaining to time management and other commitments.

8. Question authorities who seek to over-rely on volunteers. If you feel that an organisation or school is asking too much of its volunteers, speak up and say that this work ought to be performed by a paid personnel. In such cases, exercise your letter-writing or phoning skills and ask the school principal, the local municipality or your locally elected member why the funding is so low for certain activities. Additionally, ask that paid employment be considered or additional financing be provided to ease the pressure off of over-worked volunteers.

9. Ensure that volunteering does` not sap your time/ energy/ finances/ good will. If you really want to volunteer but you can’t, think of other ways to help out. If you have the money but no time, donate the money. If you have no money, but have the time, donate your time. If you have neither, donate your messages of goodwill and support. Be creative; even writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to talk about the good deeds being done by others is a great volunteering exercise, often overlooked by many. Thoughtfulness, praise and encouragement for those who are volunteering is the most important contribution of all.

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10. Don’t risk your safety. If you feel unsafe, consult the person in charge and let them know. For example if you are asked to venture into an unfamiliar part of town, late at night and alone, ask that someone go with you. If you are in a building site without a helmet or gloves, ask for safety equipment. Trust your instincts. If you are denied any of the safety precautions you requested, you are within your rights to leave.

11. Be wary of any organization that asks you to pay them in order to volunteer, especially if you are strapped for cash. There are many other worthy organizations out there that do not charge, and will provide more hours for less effort.

12. If you don’t have enough money to get by, then you’re the one who should be benefiting from volunteerism. Some people would rather volunteer than have a job – that’s fine, but if you end up bankrupting family members in order to not have a job, it’s simply unacceptable.

Cross posted from: www.wikihow.com

Tips & Warnings about volunteering

Tips

  • If you want to volunteer, but cannot make a long term commitment, remember that occasional, one-time or short-term commitments can help enormously. For example, donating blood doesn’t take all that long, and you feel good about helping others as well.
  • If you are in charge of volunteers, thank them regularly. Don’t expect them to be content with an occasional praise. They don’t have to be there and their resentment can spread, ending a good working relationship or even resulting in dissolution of the organisation or club itself.
  • If you need a special skill set, special clothing or any other equipment for carrying out your volunteer work and it has not been provided, demand it. Your safety, health and comfort are as important as that of any paid employee’s.
  • Don’t volunteer simply for the credit or bragging rights. Make sure it is something you are capable of doing, and enjoy it.
  • Don’t avoid volunteering just because you can’t be bothered. All societies need volunteers who are competent, enthusiastic, available and willing. When you are capable of undertaking volunteer commitments, do so in a flash. There is an enormous trade-off in volunteering that you will only understand when you do it. While the organisation is getting your time and energy for free, you are gaining confidence and satisfaction in doing a good deed, witnessing personal growth, nurturing your character, and perhaps developing a skill set that you would not necessarily get by sticking to you and yours alone. Be open to the world and one day, it just may be you who needs and gets that help in return.

Warnings

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  • Don’t volunteer if you are sick. You’re not helping anyone if you end up giving them a cold. This is especially important if you are working in a hospital, or with the elderly, children or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Additionally, if you’re chronically sick, don’t volunteer if your illness could worsen by performing volunteer tasks. While some people can still carry out tasks during an illness (and for some, this is even a way of escaping the illness), if there is any possibility that your illness could be worsened by the added strain of volunteering, back down for some time until you feel better. This applies to many illnesses from cancer to chronic fatigue syndrome. You know yourself best – don’t let others “persuade” you into doing something rather than staying at home. Only volunteer your time if you truly feel it won’t harm your recovery and that you have the energy to do so.
  • When volunteering, people with varied personalities come together. This is perhaps more so than in a workplace, where certain people come together based on specific skill sets and personality traits. To deal with this, sometimes you’ll need great patience. If things get heated, let people have their say and summarise their position. Later, suggest a compromising path. You don’t want to lose volunteers because of personality clashes, or those that know it all. Often these people will fly in, tell everyone else how to do it and then drop out just as quickly as they arrived. Volunteers that succeed the most are those who stick around for the long haul, who understand what’s happening and who treat each other with respect.
  • Be aware of your environment. You may be a tempting target to the underprivileged. Consider taking a friend along if you are in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Leave valuables behind. Do not show fear. This signals weakness and could be insulting.

Cross posted from: www.wikihow.com