The 2nd Anniversary of ‘Art of Giving’ was celebrated with much enthusiasm all over the world on May 17, 2015. Simultaneous events were organized in about 200 cities – 100 in India and 100 abroad. USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia, China, Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, UK, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany were among the countries where events were held in which people came together and resolved to make the world a better place to live by inculcating a personal habit of “giving”.
Thousands of people from different walks of life attended the main celebration in Bhubaneswar. Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Editor, The Sambad; Niranjan Rath, Printer and Publisher, The Samaja; Pothula Srinivasa Bramhanand, Sr. Scientist, ICR-IIWM, Bhubaneswar; Manoranjan Panigrahi– IRS, Commissioner of Income Tax; Prabir Kumar Das, Advocate, Odisha High Court; Swami Atma Prabhananda, Secretary, Ramkrishna Math and Mission; Ven. G. Sadatish Thero, President of Odisha Branch of Mahabodhi Society of India, Prof. Bimalendu Mohanty, Former VC, Utkal University of Culture and Baba Ram Narayan Das founder of Bhubaneswar Unit-1 Hanuman Temple graced the occasion at KIIT.
‘Art of Giving’ is a philosophy of life and is all about creating unconditional, unlimited and sustainable abundance of love, peace, happiness and contentment for others through gestures of love, kindness and generosity, opined the guests. ‘Art of Giving’ is part of our great Indian culture and tradition, gradually the people forgetting the importance of Art of Giving in their life. Today people are more materialistic, most of the people are busy in accumulating wealth in their life. Art of Giving is a mindset. Everybody should inculcate Art of Giving in their daily life, so as to get peace and happiness in their life, they said. In his welcome speech Achyuta Samanta said about the concept of this unique philosophy was propounded by him on this day in 2013. “Daan in Hinduism and Buddhism, tithe in Christianity and Zakat in Islam uphold the philosophy of giving”, he elaborated, while adding that one must understand that “Happiness does not result from what we get, but from what we give.” Explaining the concept of ‘Art of Giving’, Samanta said, giving is not always giving only material goods which is just one form of generosity; but it is rather an attitude for being kind, attentive and honest in dealing with others; offering praises where it is due; giving comfort and advice where needed and simply sharing with some one. All these are forms of generosity and these do not require any particular level of material wealth, he added. “Let the ‘Art of Giving’ as a value be inculcated in every heart, because we make living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”, he appealed.
Samanta rose from the depths of poverty and deprivation to achieve phenomenal success as an educationist and social activist. But, he chose to dedicate his life for the uplift of poorest of the poor indigenous community of Odisha (India) and used his success for this noble mission. His two and a half decades of relentless effort to empower the indigenous community through education has brought him several national and international recognitions, including Gusi Peace Prize International in 2014. He gives credit for all of his accomplishments in life to the ‘Art of Giving’, which he silently learned since his childhood. It has been the ethos of his life. In his conviction that ‘Art of Giving’ has the power to wipe away poverty from the face of Earth, he has been passionately promoting the philosophy in different cities of India and abroad. With chapters in almost all cities and towns in India and some other countries, ‘Art of Giving’ has been fast gaining popularity.
A Garment Bank in the name and style ‘Kompassions’ was also launched on the occasion. The Garment Bank distributed 50,000 used garments among more than 20000 of poor people from 30 slum areas of Bhubaneswar and nearby places. The used garments were collected from general public in a month-long drive, informed the volunteer in charge of this massive operation. Suitable clothes were sorted, cleaned, ironed and packed for distribution, he said, informing that this would be an ongoing activity of ‘Kompassions’.