GOONJ

Re-positioning cloth and other underutilized material, beyond charity, adding dignity and turning it into a big resource for development. Spreading the idea beyond geographical boundaries so that world over people take it as a subject to work on. GOONJ works on 3 levels:material, people & idea Material level: GOONJ started with 67 personal clothes, today dealing with more than 1000 tonnes of material to parts of 21 states of India, every year. GOONJ has over the years painstakingly built vast country wide network;sort of pipeline grid from cities to villages through which material moves continuously. While general clothes, woolens and other household material etc goes to the masses t...

GOONJ
J- 93
Sarita Vihar
New Delhi, Delhi 110076
India
011-41401216/ 26972351
http://www.goonj.org

Founder and Director

Anshu Gupta

Management Team

Anshu Gupta, Meenakshi Gupta, Ruchika Gandhi, Imran Khan, Sheoji Chaturvedi, Priyanka Tiwari, Suresh Kumar, Iftikar Ahmed

Board of Directors

Anshu Gupta, Meenakshi Gupta, Ajay K Sharma, Keshav Chaturvedi, Mridula Murgai

Project Leaders

Anshu Gupta
Anshu Gupta
Priyanka Tiwari

Mission

Re-positioning cloth and other underutilized material, beyond charity, adding dignity and turning it into a big resource for development. Spreading the idea beyond geographical boundaries so that world over people take it as a subject to work on. GOONJ works on 3 levels:material, people & idea Material level: GOONJ started with 67 personal clothes, today dealing with more than 1000 tonnes of material to parts of 21 states of India, every year. GOONJ has over the years painstakingly built vast country wide network;sort of pipeline grid from cities to villages through which material moves continuously. While general clothes, woolens and other household material etc goes to the masses throughout the year, specifically school material including computers, mats, school building infrastructure etc (under School to school programme) goes from urban schools to resource starved small village schools while more than 2 lakh cloth sanitary napkins, every month (napkin programme) go through the same pipeline to women struggling with the universal basic need of menses. The same channel is used for reaching raw material to villages for production of various finished products, generating employment and income generation there. The channel also works towards reaching things like office equipment, basic infrastructure things for small resource starved grassroots groups, helping in their capacity building. The same network/pipeline is intensified at the time of a disaster in any part of the country to reach specific relief material quickly. People Level: GOONJ works throughout the year with urban and rural masses, involving them, engaging them in taking action for change. In the cities we work with corporates, schools, collages, NGO's, small businesses, resident welfare associations and on individual level- housewives, professionals, retired people, school children; everyone isolated from rural realities, making them aware 1. about challenges and issues of village India 2. solutions which can be achieved simply with their so called discard. Every part of the society is involved in our processes, whether it is spreading awareness, collecting material, sorting, packing or distributing; individuals and organizations play a vital role. Instead of money we stress on services which has resulted in a wide network of transporters, suppliers and other agencies that provide free or highly subsidized services. In the villages our existing network of partner organizations is the backbone of our model. The network has grown to a group of over 250 implementation partners including units of India army, NGOs, CBOs, panchayats, social activities and Ashoka fellows. Acting as the critical last leg, these partners are our hands, ears and eyes on ground. Also far from the usual perception the rural masses also do a big amount of voluntary work when they take up various development activities for their communities. The entire operation becomes sustainable, involves everybody, remains transparent & gives every stakeholder a chance to serve, without much financial burden. Idea Level: Throughout the year when we ask people in the cities to give their discard for a good cause, we not only embed the idea of looking at one's discard in a new light of how it can help someone but more importantly it helps develop in the urban masses an attitude of continuous giving, born from an empathy for village India issues and challenges. This attitude ensures a continuous supply of material in the long term. In the villages as we work closely with our partner grassroots organisations working on varied issues like land rights, health, education, nature conservation etc they have come to understand how material helps bring them close their communities and address areas where they feel financially constrained otherwise. For the rural masses the idea that they themselves have a lot of wisdom and empowerment to deal with many of their own problems without waiting for any outside agency to come to their help, is spreading fast. On a macro and systemic level, we have firmly established old material (thought fit only for charity earlier) as an equally powerful resource for development as monetary resources. In the development sector, we have brought into the agenda some basic but ignored needs and issues like clothing, yearly disasters like winters, floods or sanitary napkin for women's health; making them a matter of concern, bringing them into the list of subjects to work on. In 14 years of work GOONJ has shown that cloth & other old material is a powerful & proven tool for social change, huge resource for economic development & a valuable asset for income generation.

Programs

Different Initiatives carried out by Goonj: (1)Vastra Samman is Goonj's campaign in urban India involves urban masses in spreading awareness about the various issues and problems of village India. This awareness translates into collection of vast quantities of cloth and other household material. (2)Cloth For Work (CFW): Cloth is a synonym of dignity. Goonj and its grassroots partner groups involve the local villagers in addressing their own neglected development issues; they get clothes in turn; as a motivation and not as a charity. In the remote villages of Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh & many other states; roads have been repaired, wells have been dug up, school boundary walls built & cleanliness/plantation drives initiated without any financial transaction. (3)School to School (S2S): it supports resource starved rural and slum schools by sensitizing urban students & their parents about the needs of their less fortunate counterparts; Material like old books, uniforms, shoes, school bags, etc. are channelized to thousands of village children, motivating them towards learning. It is not given as charity but as a reward after a regular monitoring on a series of behaviour, attitude and performance aspects. (4) Not Just a Piece of Cloth (NJPC): Countless women in villages use dirty, useless cloth during 5 days of menses, leading to many infections and diseases. A woman used a piece of blouse and died of tetanus due to the hook inside. Goonj is providing clean cloth pads to rural/slum women and is actively campaigning in rural & urban India to generate awareness on this taboo issue. (5)Rahat: Known for its need-based and systematic relief work, Goonj.. has been active in relief operations during all the major disasters from the Chamoli earthquake in 1999 to the Uttarakhand floods in 2013. The emphasis is on the most neglected disasters like people dying of cold in winters & annual floods across India. Goonj emerged as one of the biggest relief agencies in the past few disasters. We now have extensive ongoing programmes focusing on employment, education & basic needs in these areas. The Common Thread that runs through all aspects of work: A. Focus on basic needs. B. Focus on receiver's dignity rather than giver's pride C. Matching material to receiver's needs, circumstances D. Goonj talks about material instead of money as a resource. D. Goonj is persistent in constructive recycling and reuse of material and involving the masses. E. In the cities as well the villages the focus is on highlighting the role each individual can play in bringing about a positive change. F. A strong belief that an empowered village India can do a lot for its own sustenance, with its own knowledge base and resources.

Statistics on GOONJ

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