In a scale and spread unheard of before, over 70 lakh people in 17,200 centres across the world partook meals on the occasion of the 5th anniversary celebration of ‘Art of Giving’ on May 17, 2018. Art of Giving (AOG) – a philosophy of life to spread the peace and happiness among the people in the society – was founded on May 17, 2013 by Prof. Achyuta Samanta, an eminent educationist, social activist, social reformer and Founder of KIIT & KISS. Since then, this day is celebrated as International Day of Art of Giving every year.
The theme of this year’s celebration was ‘Pyaar Bhara Pack’ – or feeding with love – standing on the premises of ‘People’s Contribution, People’s Participation’. Mass meals for the underprivileged were organized by generous people inspired by the philosophy of Art of Giving in more than 16,500 centres across the country, covering all cities in all States. Globally, this important day was celebrated in 610 centers spread across 80 countries in six continents.
In Odisha, 35 lakh people partook meals at 6,500 centres, covering 4,000 Panchayats, all Block headquarters, NACs and Municipalities. In Bhubaneswar, the celebration was inaugurated by Mr. Priyadarshi Mishra, Hon’ble MLA, Bhubaneswar (North), Mr. Ananta Narayan Jena, Mayor, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Shri Ajay Agrawal, District Governor, Lions Club and Prof. Achyuta Samanta.
Mass lunches were held in over 300 centres in the city, including eight mega venues: Janata Maidan, Exhibition Ground, Laxmisagar Melan Padia, Kargil Basti, Mahisakhala, Niladrivihar, Patharbandh Basti and KIIT Stadium. In addition, sumptuous meals were donated to almost all orphanages, old age homes and temples of the twin-city of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
‘Art of Giving’ is a not-for-profit initiative for spreading, supporting and promoting the practice of giving around the world. It is based on the philosophy of life of Prof. Samanta, who has struggled through an experience of poverty, hunger, humiliation in receiving and pleasure in giving from his childhood. He gives the credit of all his success to ‘Art of Giving’ and has been working relentlessly to achieve zero poverty, zero hunger and zero illiteracy since 1987.
Prof. Samanta expressed gratitude to the thousands of noble persons for supporting and celebrating Art of Giving all over the world and feeding the people in millions. He also thanked students, alumni and staff of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar for their whole-hearted contribution to make the celebration a success.