Published: 17th May 2018
Learn the Art of Giving from one of it's most successful practitioners, Dr Achyuta Samanta
By successfully running the Art of Giving initiative for five years, Dr Achyuta Samanta makes a case for sharing
Do you recall any incident from your childhood when the world around you wasn’t as giving as it should be?” we asked Dr Achyuta Samanta, the founder of KIIT and KISS, during one of our recent chats. We were almost certain that the humble and guarded Dr Samanta wouldn’t indulge us with an answer, more so when he paused for a few seconds. And then he suddenly said, “Of course, there were many, but there is one that I remember clearly,” he said and went on to share an incident that made him a firm believer in the joy of giving.
Dr Samanta lost his father at the age of four. Naturally, his mother and seven siblings were under great financial duress. But around him, festivals and celebrations would come and go. It was during one such pooja in the village he was living in then that the fanfare was at its peak. A mela in its full glory was being held in the vicinity and as was the norm, people were buying sweets and feeding them to each other affectionately. Festivities were in the air, yet the then 15-year-old and his younger sister were offered neither sweets nor the love that was being passed on from one person to another in the form of hugs and words.
All smiles: Dr Samanta being conferred with Professorship in Humanities from the University of Cambodia
It was this and countless similar incidents that have made him who he is today. But the biggest takeaway for him has been understanding the art of giving. And because he learnt it the hard way, he wants us to understand its importance by celebrating it. Hence, five years ago, on May 17, 2013, Dr Samanta initiated Art of Giving, an initiative that’s truly a movement. And because the theme for this year is #PyaarBharaPack (or feeding with love), as many as 22,000 people from 80 countries around the world are going to provide food to about 10 million people today, that is, May 17, 2018. Among the 22,000 volunteers, 12,000 volunteers are from the KIIT and KISS family itself, including the alumni associations. “All the arrangements are going on in full swing and without being mindful of caste, creed or religion and that is the power of the art of giving,” he says passionately.
The previous themes of Art of Giving have been Art of Giving and Spirituality, Kompassion — The Garment Bank, Connecting the Humanity Within and Cyclathon and this time, it’s all about sharing food and happiness. After all, Dr Samanta truly believes in the adage ‘When you give happiness to others, you feel happy yourself’.
The official Facebook page of Art of Giving has 1,69,206 likes. Indeed, this movement has been gaining a lot of support online as well
But Dr Samanta, who used to buy his friend a cup of tea during his younger days despite his meagre resources, extends the definition of art of giving to everything, “Even when one doesn’t have anything to give, kind words too are powerful enough to uplift spirits,” he says. It is evident that he truly believes in the art of giving, after all, he has been a practitioner of it for the past 45 years.
For more, check out facebook.com/artofgiving.in.