Back in May 2012, Namita Sripathi wanted to volunteer for Janyaa and while talking to her she said why don’t we do Dandia. We told her that we thought about it but we didn’t get to it as we had other things to work on. She said she will help and we should do it. We spoke to Apeksha Anand from Jhankaar Beats about it and she said she will help us too. We discussed within our team and we decided to go ahead with it. That’s how Janyaa’s Dandia journey was born.
We started working on venue and we asked Raju Chidambaram in July if his band can play for our Dandia. He is the one who came up with the Disco Dandia concept. Do you remember that Raju? We decided the day as Oct 6th. He was kind enough to adjust the schedule of his other band members. On July 24th we finalized the band. We almost finalized the venue too.
The 3 musketeers who helped kick off Janyaa’s Dandia series :)
The same night Venu received an email from Ena on working together for Utsav which they were planning for the same day. We emailed her back saying we are planning Dandia on same day indicating we cannot be part of it. She said why don’t you do it here and let’s talk about it. And that’s how we started off. Everything remained the same except for the venue – the passion to do Dandia, the team, the band, the hard work etc. continued.
Since then Janyaa team worked very hard for the event. VP was personally spending a lot of time on Utsav too. It was fun working with the girls. Ranjani Santosh: do you remember the long nights you worked on this? Venu would get emails from Karthi asking her to sleep :). Janyaa team was working on Dandia and V could afford to spend the time on Utsav. That was a great experience.
We didn’t have the budget to play our ad on radio. So we did not have any publicity on any audio/visual media. Venu gave Amitabh Bhargava both Utsav and Dandia posters and he was kind enough to help us put them up all over. We also started posting the event details online. We had 3 people do this for us. Shiva and one more girl posted on online sites. Amit Chopra (Priyanka Chopra) posted on meetups. We emailed them asking to post both Utsav/Dandia events. Amit suggested putting ads in local newspapers for Dandia. We replied back saying it will cost us and we cannot afford :).
We had a huge turnout. We don’t know how much the above marketing helped us. But we know for sure it was mainly because of few individuals we could sell majority of our tickets. Apeksha was the star selling few hundreds, Namitha sold couple of hundreds. Apeksha was very generous – she would sell to people saying the sales benefit Janyaa. She did not even use her own Jhankaar Beats. Same with all other friends. No wonder most people at the event were talking more about Janyaa. Usha rallied our SAP colleagues/friends and got couple of hundreds. They covered almost 3/4ths of the sales. Venu, Anwesa Chatterjee, Gayatri Palepu and few other friends covered almost the rest. Girls, you are just awesome. We filled up because of you.
Janyaa volunteers played a huge role as always. We couldn’t have done Dandia without them.
In the end we had an awesome event. We settled the accounts at SAP Cafe in the presence of the CEOs of Janyaa, Jhankaar Beats and WN, Sonam and treasurer for the event (Shobana). Janyaa shared the profits equally from ticket sales alone with WomenNow for providing us with the venue and for partnering with us.
That was all the money we got from entire event – as that was what we were entitled to, as agreed. Boy, aren’t we glad to see it helped so many kids in India. And that’s how that fabulous journey ended for 2012.