Daan utsav also known as ‘The Joy of Giving Week’ is a festival of philanthropy that aims to become a part of the Indian ethos. Daan Utsav is celebrated between 2-8 October every year.
CSR in India could also be seen in the form of Gandhian philosophy of trusteeship which encouraged industrialists and wealthy people during the era of independence struggle to look after the welfare of the people in general by establishing trust. That is the reason Daan Utsav is celebrated in the month of October covering Gandhi Jayanti by engaging people in acts of giving money, time, resources and skills. It brings together people from various sectors as NGO, schools, colleges, government sectors, corporates and the general public to celebrate and spread the joy of sharing.
Daan Utsav, originally called as ‘India Giving Week’, emerged from a set of choices made by an advertising agency – Euro RSCG India in 2009 which provided the media, PR and creative services for this festival. Now ‘Daan Utsav’ is celebrated and supported by many big corporates, MNCs and NGOs and fulfills their CSR functions. This initiative encouraged, motivated and empowered millions of people to give back to the society. It is not just about big fundraising events but it could also be a small initiative taken by individuals too.
Initially, it was started as a movement mostly recognized by the urban areas but now it is spreading to small towns, cities and in rural areas too. There are no boundaries as to how one can celebrate the festival. There are many Daan Utsav stories shared by the Facebook page of Daan Utsav which demonstrate that giving is simply a question of how big your heart is, no matter the size of your pocket.
Volunteers from IIM Raipur visited Bal Ashram at Raipur, interacted with children and distributed stationary kits and eatables to them. A volunteer in Odisha along with her flatmates celebrated Daan Utsav by arranging a meal for all helpers, guards and support staff. In Allahabad, celebrations took a unique turn as a stress management workshop was organized for the police personnel.
Talent Quest for India celebrated Daan Utsav in Salem, Tamil Nadu with two government school where students were told the importance of gratitude and following which the students made Thankyou Cards for policemen, army, doctors and many other people from the service sector.
Globally CSR is seen as voluntary activity. India is one of the few countries that made CSR mandatory by the creation of companies act 2013, mandating CSR practices. This law demands a compulsory spend of 2% of the pre-tax profit made on 3 preceding years on suggested CSR activities in clause 135 of the act.