THESE days, the city school boundary walls are wearing a new colour and speaking a new language, urging the passerbys to stop and share.
Pramod Sharma from NGO Yuvsatta said: “Painted as the Wall of Kindness, these have been initiated in schools to bridge the divide between the haves and have-nots of the society to encourage people to indulge in the act of giving and sharing selflessly, especially in the month of Diwali.”
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Yuvsatta, in association with city schools and colleges, has kick started the “Wall of Kindness Project”, motivating people to leave their extra goods, including clothes, shoes, woolens and utensils at these specially-prepared ‘Neki Ki Diwar’ with slogans “If you don’t need it, leave it. If you need it, take it”.
According to Sharma, this unique human project was first started in Iran where people prepared special Walls of Kindness on the boundary walls of their homes with hangers to hung extra clothes, jackets, shoes and others to be given away to the needy.
A first in Chandigarh, Sharma also inspires people to paint similar message on their home’s boundary walls. “I have dedicated my house’s boundary wall to this cause and whatever is shared is passed on. People do come and leave things and the needy pick them,” said Sharma.
From Carmel Convent School, Sector 9; Dev Samaj College of Education; St Stephen’s in Sector 45; IS Dev Samaj Senior Secondary School – Sharma has been adding the list of schools to this initiative.
Continuing with the spirit of giving is the Daan Utsav (Joy of Giving Week).
This October, the Utsav, in partnership with LetsEndorse and Goonj, saw collection centres load old (but usable) or new books, clothes, toys, shoes, utensils and more.
Varun Kashyap of social enterprise LetsEndorse said: “The Joy of Giving or Daan Utsav was started in 2009 by like-minded people. I was in third year at PEC and had set up the first collection camp with Goonj. Since then, it’s been an annual celebration like Diwali and engages people in the act of giving. This is further sent to rural India and used in community works.”
Kashyap is now helping Anganwadis in Chandigarh in partnership with NGO Bharat Prakarsh Foundation.
At GrayCell Technologies, CEO Munish Jauhar and his team collected stuff and sponsored mentrupedia comic books (on menstruation) among students of government schools in the city. “To celebrate the spirit of Daan Utsav, we signed up to bring a small change in the community and own the responsibility of busting taboos and myths around menstruation in the city. Our goal is to maximise this number and reach out to as many growing-up children and help them learn all about menstruation, puberty changes and hygiene management,” said Jauhar.
Students from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali, held a marathon and raised funds for the Chandigarh Spinal Rehab, an initiative of Sai Aasra Paraplegic Rehab Centre, which helps people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.
ISB Joyathon saw huge participation with over 500 people running miles to create smiles.