‘Vaastra – Samman’ with Goonj for The Joy of Giving
Goonj as part of the Joy of Giving week have taken on a massive clothes donation campaign that will resonate in its far reaching benefits to many.
The founder of Goonj, Anshul Gupta, based in New Delhi, spoke with MyBangalore to tell us a little about the Vaastra-Samman Campaign for the Joy of Giving week starting 27th September until the 3rd October.
“Roti, Kapda, aur Makaan, has become a buzz word but at the end of the day, even if the poor and needy, socially backward classes are being provided with roti and makaan, with the force of various initiatives, “kapda” is always being forgotten. So we at Goonj have been collecting and providing clothing all across India for the last 11 years,” says Anshul. He throws light on the fact that clothes somehow are only thought of as a disaster relief item and at other times not given too much attention, “Cloth is a basic need. Also for urban communities contributing their clothes is not really a donation, it is a discard.” Its true, the fact that we are constantly replenishing our bottomless wardrobes and sometimes go crazy trying to accommodate clothes we don’t really wear any longer.
Goonj as the name suggests means to resonate, and this is what the NGO is driving to ring in. Their Clothes donation campaign, as part of Joy of Giving week will surely echo with its benefits. GOONJ, an award winning voluntary organization, has initiated Vastra- Samman, a nationwide material collection campaign; probably one of the biggest in Indian history for the Joy of Giving Week, 27th Sept to 3rd Oct, across the country).
Expecting to collect more than 1 crore units of clothing, GOONJ will be turning the cities excess into a much needed development resource for villages in India. This material will be used as a motivational resource for villagers to dig up wells, build bridges, repair roads & schools and many other development activities in the far flung villages of 21 states. This will be a part of Goonj's nationwide ' Cloth for Work ' initiative.
Anshu Gupta, Ashoka Fellow and founder of GOONJ says, “The Vastra-Samman campaign is as much about the people living in the cities, realizing their role and potential in changing the face of their country, as it is about empowering the village masses in addressing their own problems and living with dignity.”
Anshu adds, “In a country where countless people are still struggling for the basic need of clothing, the message for everyone is - this is a good chance to give… GOONJ is also keenly looking for volunteers to take charge of the campaign. Across the country hundreds of people have come forward to take this initiative ahead.”
GOONJ is setting up collection centers in 25 cities where people can drop their material and know more about how it will impact far-flung villages of India.
In the cities the Vastra-Samman Campaign will involve millions of people across the country; volunteers, schools, colleges, RWA's, corporates, institutions, NGO’s etc. are enthusiastically participating. The idea is to create wide scale awareness on the ‘power of re-use’ and get everyone involved.
During the campaign GOONJ expects a total estimated cloth collection of one crore units which will benefit approximately 20 lakh people while hundreds of rural/slum schools will get school material/uniforms etc. The collected toys & books will help revive and strengthen hundreds of
Aanganwaris as thousands of women will benefit under GOONJ’s award winning clean cloth sanitary napkin programme (made from collected waste cotton cloth). Hundreds of village development activities will be initiated, under the Cloth for Work initiative, leading to large scale replication of the idea and opening up many channels for channelising material from cities to villages.
Log on to www.goonj.info for more on how GOONJ helps build roads, school buildings, digging up of wells and many other development activities with the help of city's discarded material.