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'Wishing trees' come up in city for 'Joy of Giving Week'

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Press Trust of India Kolkata
Corporates, NGOs and several institutions in the city have come together to put up 'wishing trees' aimed at fulfilling the wishes of underprivileged children as part of the 'Joy of Giving Week', which kicked off today on Gandhi Jayanti.

Around 30 of the 'trees' have been put up by NGOs at banks, offices, schools, clubs, hotels and shopping malls.

"They are small, potted trees, either real or artificial, placed centrally to attract the attention of people," Sara Adhikari, one of the coordinators of the Week, told PTI.

"The wishes of underprivileged children are written on small wish cards hung from the trees. The wishes are as small as a pencil box, school bag, clothes or chocolates," she said.

Those coming forward to fulfil the wishes could leave their contact numbers on the cards or leave cash or the gift itself in a small box placed near the wish tree.

Volunteers replace the cards with a smiley once a wish has been fulfilled.

"We call it the wish fruit. When all the wishes are fulfilled, the trees look good with many smileys on them," Adhikari added.

Started in 2009, the 'Joy of Giving Week' is a philanthropic festival organised by NGOs to create a platform for everyone to reach out and give time, money, skills, clothes, food, books or anything else to the less fortunate.

Avani Riverside Mall has installed at least four such trees to attract the attention of shoppers.

"We are participating because the idea is interesting and innovative. With this, we contribute to the poorer sections of society," said Avani Projects and Infrastructure Ltd's president, Vimal Goel.

The premier Tollygunge Club and ITC Hotel have also put up the trees in their lobbies as have Starmark bookstores and banks and corporates like Axis Bank, Citibank, Tata Communications and Vodafone.

City schools like Ashoka Hall, Birla High and South City International have also put up the trees.

Among the NGOs participating in the campaign are Make a Wish Foundation, Hope Kolkata Foundation and Anando, Sanchar among others.

Other activities to be held during the 'Week' include river cruises for children, heritage walks, free screening of films and health check-ups.

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First Published: Oct 02 2013 | 5:00 PM IST

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