Mumbai, 10 October, 2016:
The housing rights organisation, Nivara Hakk, which has spearheaded the rehabilitation and uplift of slum communities in Mumbai, put together some significant programmes for this season’s celebrations of Daan Utsav, earlier called the Joy of Giving Week.". Chipping in with contributions was the Adlabs theme park ‘Imagica’, a music band ‘Nirvana’ and a set of selfless community workers in Powai.
The focus of the celebrations was Sangharsh Nagar, Powai, among the largest rehab communities in the country of about 45,000 people who for the first time have a roof over their heads, pay property tax and live with pride in their 300 sq ft homes. They were relocated in batches from the slums of Sanjay Gandhi National Park from 2007 onwards to this 90-acre layout, where NGO effort and a Slum Rehab scheme have changed their lives. Serving the community is a municipal school in buildings donated by the Sangharsh Nagar housing societies that is educating 3,000 children from Sangharsh Nagar.
On October 2, Gandhi Jayanti Day, a 12-piece band ‘Nirvana’ put up a crackling programme of Bollywood songs and Marathi folk numbers to a 500-strong clapping audience at the Sangharsh Nagar Community Centre. The entertainment from Nirvana came free, with the condition the audience members all brought in a fistful of grain as contribution. The band members, and Daan Utsav volunteers also spread the good word among the better-off middle class communities in the area – the Nahar enclave and Raheja Nest, etc – and the combined contribution has now crossed 3,000 kilos of grain. This in turn will be delivered to Shramjivi Sanghatna in Palghar district for distribution among tribal families to end the final loop in the chain of giving. It may be recalled that over 130 children have lost their lives over the past few months in this tribal belt because of malnutrition.
In another initiative of experiencing the joy of giving, a band of 183 children from Sangharsh Nagar Municipal School, along with 20 teachers and volunteers, set off in four buses on Sunday, October 9, at 8.00 AM in the morning to the ‘Imagica’ Theme Park on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. They enjoyed themselves to the fullest; did all the theme rides – Alibaba and the 40 thieves, drove their Indian Jones cars, and churned their stomachs on the Rollercoaster; and they sang and danced their way back home for dinner by 10.00 pm the same day. A time of their lives was had by all; and they haven’t stopped talking about the heart-stopping thrills since.
Given the high-ticket costs, these kids would have never made it on their own! It was made possible by Imagica waving off 75 percent of the ticket costs, and providing the transport and a nourishing meal to all; and the Powai community of Daan Utsav raising over a lakh of rupees – Rs 500 per kid – to cover the balance costs.
Mr. Kapil Bagla, Director & CEO, Adlabs Entertainment said, "Daan Utsav is an amazing initiative undertaken every year. It has been an honour for Imagica to be able to participate this year and do its bit for the society. We are glad that the 200 children who visited the park, not only enjoyed themselves, but went back with a lifetime of happy memories."
Watch this space! It will be much bigger next year!!
For more details, please contact: Daan Utsav volunteer Chitman Kaur: 91-820124552; and Sanjay Dawre, Nivara Hakk coordinator: 91-8108396979