On the silver screen he might be a hero, anti-hero, villain or a comedian, but in real life he is always giving. For months now, actor Jayam Ravi and his wife Aarti have been packing carton boxes. No, they are not setting out for a leisure trip to a foreign country or moving homes, but they are packing used clothes, toys and stationary items for those who need them.
As one of the brand ambassadors of Chennai Gives, a charity initiative by the Madras Roundtable 1 and Ladies Circle India Area 2 in collaboration with Uber, on the occasion of International Charity day on Sunday (September 4), Ravi is happily donating. "Giving is always a pleasure," says Ravi, who last year donated around 200 items during the Chennai Gives drive. This year he is all set to give at least 350 articles.
Chennai Gives has been encouraging and fostering community of givers among individuals and corporate houses since last year. Donors can donate new or nearly new items like books, clothes, games, sporting equipment, household items, stationery and other items that will improve the lives of the less fortunate. All you have to do is pack the things you want to donate and call for an Uber car on the app. The cabs will pick up the donations from homes and corporate offices.
Last year’s drive saw the city coming together to donate more than one lakh items that helped impact nearly 10,000 lives. The generosity was such that the drive witnessed a donation of 36,000 toothbrushes, which were distributed to 9,000 children in 13 schools. Supported by celebrities like Suriya, Arvind Swamy, Trisha, Jyothika, Dulquer and Jayam Ravi, the initiative saw the commoners coming together to make sizable donations. This year, stars Simbu, Sarath Kumar, Srikant, Dhansika, Santhanam, Tarun Tahiliani, Sriya Reddy and Abhishek Bachchan have come out in support of the campaign. Arvind Swami is the brand ambassador for the second year.
"Powerful ideas that can impact our societies must be shared. All it took last year, was one idea—to give, to impact approximately 10,000 people’s lives positively. When we conceptualised and executed #ChennaiGives2015, we understood collectively the power of an idea, the true spirit of giving and bonding amongst the citizens of Chennai and the immense power of a grassroots movement," says T.R. Narayanswamy, Chairman of Madras Round Table 1.
Talking about the spirit of oneness this campaign brings, Round Table India Area 2 Chairman, Akshay Dugar says, "The art of giving and the power of oneness come together in the form of Chennai Gives. If each privileged citizen came forward to donate to a needy person, that act is nothing short of a life changing experience for both. The event echoes every objective of Round Table India and Ladies Circle India and it is a proud moment for us to run this campaign in this wonderful city. Imagine the impact we are going to create with 32 chapters working hand in hand with our partners for the event; the magnitude of such an experience is unbelievable."