Encash your kind deeds for a concert in the city
If kindness were currency, what could you afford? In Mumbai, over the next few days, you can encash it for tickets to a concert headlined by musician Ankur Tiwari and comedian Tanmay Bhat.
At Kindness Jam, acts of kindness are worth their weight in auditorium seats. The city-based non-profit has a simple system: to attend, choose from the dozens of non-profits listed on their website, volunteer your time and skills there, and earn tickets to the concert. And they’re doing it on World Kindness Day.
“All we want is to get young people to get a taste of performing seva and experiencing the joy it brings,” says Nirmala Peters Mehendale, founder and trustee, Kindness Unlimited and Treasurer, World Kindness Movement. “They can start with something small, something they’re good at - writing, photography, making music.”
The volunteering opportunities include everything from urban-farming events, photo walk sessions and making eco-friendly bags, to beach clean-ups, and spending time with abandoned pups.
Mehendale claims that 600 folks have signed up, working towards earning their seats. And because everything comes from a place of kindness, they haven’t paid a single rupee to get the artists to perform either. Acapella band, Aflatunes, and rock band ONEmpire, will also take the stage, in addition to the headlining acts.
Philanthropic cultural events are slowly adapting their operating styles to contemporary tastes. Previous generations would buy donor passes or VIP-level charity tables to be seen at an event. Young people, attuned to bartering skill sin a gig economy, prefer donating their efforts. Many events adapt the template set by the 2016’s Global Citizen Festival headlined by Coldplay and Jay-Z, which urged citizens to post 26 thoughtful actions on social media, directed towards political and corporate leaders, which could be traded for free tickets.
Riya Parekh, 23, volunteered two hours with urban farming in Bandra last week, gathering dry leaves from a church to help mulch vegetables and plants. “It works because you balance self-interest with the common good,” she says.
Anushka Mehrotra, 26, chose to feed and play with strays at the Welfare of Stray Dogs shelter in Lower Parel. “There are so many charitable NGOs in need of an extra pair of hands,” she says. “Given that music is a passion for the people of Mumbai, using it as a way to get people to volunteer is amazing,” she says.
“As far as kindness cycles go, we want to ensure this one is complete and the ripples go far and wide,” says Mehendale.