This Valentine’s Day, a group of 10 volunteers are coming together as a community to celebrate love in a different way. By organising the free hugs campaign, they aim to spread the message of love
“Love and friendship should be celebrated and cherished every day and not just on Valentine’s Day. Free hugs campaign is being carried out in a huge way in many other countries. It’s been followed in a few Indian cities as well. Our free hugs campaign is more about celebrating affection, beyond age, looks and body. We all know that a hug can make a huge difference in a person’s life. The hugs are meant to be random selfless acts of kindness performed just to make others feel better. We also wanted to promote the idea of inclusivity,” says Hafiz Khan.
The 10 volunteers, five boys and five girls, who are supporting the campaign will be stationed at a place inside the mall holding banners. “These volunteers do various professions like social media consultant, technical project manager, painter, artist and so on. The idea is that people from different walks of life joining together for one common goal — connect and spread love,” he tells us.
The team has organised a similar campaign in Coimbatore last year and Hafiz says that the response was overwhelming. “We organised the free hugs campaign in a mall in Coimbatore. People were surprised and staring at us. When we opened our arms many came forward and hugged. We could see a huge smile on their faces. The team was surprised to see the number of people who came to hug,” he recalls.
Unlike the other free hugs campaign where hugs have been exchanged without any gender difference, here boys will hug only boys and girls will hug girls. “Though we talk about progressiveness, there are some people who don’t really appreciate the fact that boys can hug girls. We have to respect their sentiments as well. We are looking forward to this free hug campaign. I am sure that people will definitely approach us and question our intentions. And we have an answer for that — we are here to spread friendship, love and affection,” he smiles.