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...
Jul 13, 2015

100 Stories of Change - Happy Feet and Daily Puddles of Life

Children jumping with excitement wearing new shoes
Children jumping with excitement wearing new shoes

100 Stories of Change

It’s been a journey of 16 years.. started with touching upon the most ignored rather non issue of clothing to use the old material as a currency for development. Many people still think that Goonj is about collection and distribution of clothes .. but how your old material has come up as a new resource for village development across the country, how the old material has been able to lay pipelines in the country for channelizing tonnes of need based material to how it has become a genesis of a parallel economy which is not Cash based but Trash based !! 

From creating large mangroves to bridges in remote India, the old material and Goonj has a lot to share through 100 Stories of Change!! Thank you all for becoming a part of this journey and showing so much of love and faith..

Happy feet and the daily puddles of life !!

"Like cloth, shoe is a basic we hardly ever think about…you don’t have to walk barefoot to know that no one likes it… So if you see a child walking around without shoes, its not a choice, simply a compulsion, an inability to provide for this basic.. that creates an unmistakable chasm for many in village India. "

A row of shoes outside a village classroom.. is an enduring image of hope and learning.. and when you see broken slippers, broken shoes strewn all around.. That’s another enduring image of what’s missing…This story is about how shoes have helped many a happy feet jump across the little puddles of everyday life..

Over the last decade Goonj has consistently talked about shoes as an important need in village India.. It’s an apt metaphor of a needle in the times of machines.. The little needs in times of big challenges.. While we have been channelizing shoes from the cities to the villages, for people like me and you, it’s also a learning in mindful giving…the tying together of laces of a pair to ensure they remain useful.. Ensuring there are laces and sole etc… Basically giving wearable, usable shoes.. with dignity.

Each child’s story is unique but what’s common is the excitement of showing their new shoes to the parents when they get back home. Both feel encouraged and relieved (from an expense) by this little addition in their lives.… Our faith is further affirmed by the addition in attendance at school afterwards. An after effect is the disparity of haves and have not’s, taken away in one stroke.

Tens of thousands of shoes have reached out as part of our disaster relief work over the years. The outcome is millions of smiles, joy and happy feet …

Shoes neatly arranged outside a classroom..
Shoes neatly arranged outside a classroom..
Huddled together wearing smart shoes!
Huddled together wearing smart shoes!
Enthusiastically marching away..
Enthusiastically marching away..
An old lady trying on the smart shoes!
An old lady trying on the smart shoes!
Trying on Sports Shoes for tough terrain!
Trying on Sports Shoes for tough terrain!

Links:

Jul 7, 2015

School Kit - A successful experiment motivating children to come back to school!

Girl children with the school kits
Girl children with the school kits

Under the School to School (S2S) initiative of Goonj.. one of the main activities undertaken is channelizing of School Kits to children in different parts of the country. A School Kit comprises of a school bag, seating mat, bottle cover, vegetable bag, pencil pouch, belt, towel, skipping rope, cap and scarf. The entire kit is made out of waste material.

Initially the schools that are selected are those with limited infrastructure and facilities for the students. Here children come from families of weaker economic background and communities living in abject poverty. These students can’t afford educational resources necessary for a good education and their regular attendance in schools considerably drop as a result. They lack even the basics like school bag or stationary. Wearing most shabby clothes, with bare minimum books and stationary, instead of a school bag many carry a polythene bag. As a result a feeling of inferiority is predominant among these kids. Their interest in attending school is minimal due to scarcity of these small but important resources.

Goonj’s School Kits work like a motivation for these children, to continue schooling in a meaningful way. Receiving these ‘gifts’, gives them an occasion to be happy and a reason to look forward to another day at school. The Kit supports the families of these children, surviving on meager resources, which they can now direct to an urgent basic need like food or healthcare.

These Kits are distributed as a reward for positive behavioral changes like personal cleanliness, better attendance in school, hard work in class, activities like cleanliness drive, watering the plants and trees etc. These kinds of activities are conducted by the schools at regular intervals to ensure that kids imbibe these aspects in the long term.

School Kits have been a successful experiment as they work as a major motivator for kids to come to school. Using School Kits as a tool, Goonj has reached out to more than 14,500 children in different parts of the country in the year 2014-15 and aims to reach out to many more thousands of school kids with the purpose of not only helping them complete their education but also help in inculcating good habits and behavioral change.

Children playing with the ball in the school kit
Children playing with the ball in the school kit
Boys with their caps & balls - Ready to Play!
Boys with their caps & balls - Ready to Play!
Looking smart in caps!
Looking smart in caps!
Girl children excited about the skipping ropes!
Girl children excited about the skipping ropes!
Girl children skipping to their heart
Girl children skipping to their heart's content!

Links:

Jul 6, 2015

Rahat Flood - J & K - The Road Travelled So Far

Relief Work being carried out..
Relief Work being carried out..
  • In the massive flood that affected Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, around 400 people were killed, 150,000 were left stranded and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed.
  • Goonj reached Srinagar, J&K on 11th September 2015 to initiate the relief operations.
  • Key Partners during the relief activities were Chinar International & Samarpan Foundation, Chinar Kashmir, House Boat Owners’ Association, Seva Bharti, Sambora Welfare Committee, Centre for human Development, Greater Kashmir Welfare Trust, Dastageer Help Foundation, J&K Humanity Charitable Trust, SRID, Vishwa Manav Seva Ashram, Zeashta Devi Shrine, Zaethyar Temple, Dargah Darul Aloom, Al Muzzamil Orphanage
  • A total of 764 dispatches were done from different offices of Goonj; Around 300 tonnes of relief material reached J & K and it was channelized to 29,078 families. 13 relief kitchen (langars) were supported; Two raft boats were used to rescue affected people and to distribute relief material.
  • The major partners of Goonj who supported in carrying out medical interventions are Directorate of Health J&K Government, Doctors For You, SKIIMS, Soura, Govt Medical College & Assoc. Hospitals, 22 Rajput Reg. Nowshera LOC Jammu, Kolhapur Sewa Bharti, Borderless World Foundation, Help Poor Voluntary Trust, Allama Albani Charitable Trust, Geriatric Medical Centre, Chanapora, Oriental Touch Voluntary Trust
  • During the relief activities, medical supplies were given to 14 government hospitals, 29 first aid centres were supported, 13,500 rubber gloves & 15,000 masks were channelized and medical camps were conducted in 39 villages across 7 districts; 30 schools supplied 7651 books for their libraries.
  • 1283 students availed free coaching for 8th to 12th standards.
  • The major partners carrying out educational activities are C.E.S Rajbagh, C.E.S Karan Nagar, NJAT Moti Mohalla, Al Gazali Model High School, BurnHam Public School, Rose Presentation School, Heaven’s Land Public School, Kehkashan Public School, Vasanta Girls High School, Govt. High School Sehar Jammu.
  • Around 20,000 Winter Kits consisting of blankets, daris, soojnis, shirts, shoes,  groceries supply, toiletries, etc. were channelized; 4015 pairs of Quilts & Mattresses reached through local vendors; 902 Pressure Cookers, 1083 woolen ladies phirans and 550 solar lights were also distributed.
  • Apart from local population many migrant labourers lost everything and were badly affected. Basic ration like rice, aata, dal, pulses, cooking oil, etc., blankets and winter kits were provided to thousands of migrant labourers.
  • Under the Vaapsi initiative, sewing machines were provided to 6 people and 100 pairs of shoes were given to shopkeeper.
  • 32 CFW activities were carried out for which 1764 winter kits were distributed.
  • Seeds & Manure were also provided to 500 families in border areas.

The Road Ahead: More activities would be conducted under Cloth For Work; increased awareness spread about menstrual management; support would be extended to computer centers, academic libraries, scientific laboratories,  toy centers,  skill development centers with counseling, Assessments, Examinations & Careers Guidance centres, old age medical camps, construction in schools and community projects, cleanliness drives, livelihood initiatives, Vaapsi initiative and school support for mentally challenged children. 

Volunteers working together!
Volunteers working together!
Medical Interventions..
Medical Interventions..
Coaching Classes initiated!
Coaching Classes initiated!
Channelizing of Winter Kits!
Channelizing of Winter Kits!
Cloth For Work activity being carried out!
Cloth For Work activity being carried out!

Links:

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