VELLORE: The Joy of Giving campaign in Fort City, which was originally scheduled from October 6 to October 9, will be extended to October 10 or October 11.
Preliminary arrangements for the event had begun a couple of months back but unexpected twists, such as the arrest of the former chief minister, have compelled organisers to extend the campaign by a day or two.
‘Student volunteers from a number of colleges and schools are taking part in the campaign and were reaching out to the people of this city encouraging them to participate in whatever manner they can,’ said Durai Jasper, one of the event coordinators. He said that creating awareness of the campaign by distributing flyers on two-wheelers was being organized and was formally kick-started at the Voorhees College by Director, Christian Medical College Hospital, Dr. Sunil Chandy on Friday. Rev. A. Arulappan, Principal, Voorhees College, released the pamphlets to be distributed to the public in connection with the campaign.
Volunteers on two-wheelers have been distributing the pamphlets in different areas of Vellore city such as Krishna Nagar, Muthanna Nagar, Anna Nagar, Gandhinagar and Sathuvachari and have been appealing to residents and shop-keepers to keep their donations-in-kind ready so that they can be collected from them between 9 am and 5 pm. The donations will be collected by volunteers in vans loaned by B and B Builders for the campaign and will be pooled in a central location. Dr Sunil Chandy said that the CMC workers and students will collect materials from CMC staff for distribution to the poor in such areas as Jawadhu Hills and the villages in Kaniyambadi Panchayat Union where the outreach programmes of the CMC are being implemented.
Jasper said that the campaign seeks the participation of individuals by donating materials and time to needy persons in and around Vellore. “Anyone can participate in the campaign by giving anything usable that is not being used, free of cost, to the poor. The concept is to spread the message of the joy of giving among the people,” he said. It is not necessary that the public should contribute only in kind or cash to the poor. A hairdresser can offer to crop the hair of a poor person free of cost in his saloon, or an auto-rickshaw owner can provide free travel to an elderly poor person or those interested in teaching can teach schoolchildren free of cost or educate people in their neighbourhood.
As part of the campaign, CMC will provide free consultation at its Family Medicine Centre during and after the Joy of Giving week to poor patients and volunteers who donate materials or service, he said.
The donated materials from the general public will be distributed to the needy at Ida Scudder School on October 11.