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...
Apr 10, 2014

Spreading mass scale awareness about menstrual hygiene..

Awareness using different technologies..
Awareness using different technologies..

GOONJ has been working on the issue of menstrual hygiene for the past decade. Our aim is four fold;

  1. To reach Goonj’s MY Pad, a clean piece of cloth as sanitary pad, to the most un-der-served women struggling for the basics of life in the deep interiors of India.  
  2. Initiate a dialogue in urban and rural India, on menses related taboos and myths to help spread awareness about the related health and hygiene issues to women and adolescent girls.
  3. Reach out more cloth to the poorest of the poor communities so that families have more surplus cloth which the women can use for menses.
  4. To highlight menses and sanitary napkins as an ignored basic need (of women) in the development sector and to the government.

Our strategy; GOONJ’s ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’ (NJPC) initiative starts with providing a physical product but stresses more on long term change in practices, behavior, education & replication. Developed with indigenous processes, out of old cloth contributed by the urban masses, the clean pad is provided at a reasonable cost while we also teach the user women to make it one on their own.

Goonj’s holistic approach

Goonj initiates discussion among urban masses on the issue; Urban women and masses have instinctive empathy, understand the universal need, they also have have surplus cloth which they need to discard.

Goonj acts as a facilitator; collects clothes, sorts clothes into wearable and unwearable, value adds by making MY Pads out of un-wearable cloth. Rural grassroots organizations help with spreading awareness and distributing MY Pads. Women learn about menses related health and hygiene issues and get MY Pads and undergarments. Women and their families work on their development issues under Goonj’s Cloth for Work initiative to get wearable cloth, which they can use later as sanitary pads…

Why cloth pads?

Because they are;

- Practical

- Easily available

- Cheapest

- Familiar

- Reusable

- Easily disposable

- Biodegradable, environment friendly  

- Easily replicable

- No technological or big financial investment required 

About MY Pad; Instead of trying to introduce a new product or a new design, it’s an improvisation and mass scale replication of the existing usage pattern. We are simply removing the risk elements of the existing practices, improving upon and doing a lot of value addition in terms of cleanliness and awareness.

Latest Update; In 2013 when the scenic state of Uttarakhand faced one of the worst floods in India’s history, Goonj was there to provide large scale relief material. In the second phase we are working on various aspects of rehabilitation, one of the focus areas is to reach out to young girls in schools and women living in far flung parts of the state through the NJPC programme.Organising meetings, reaching out My Pads and undergarments and making them a part of the dialogue around menses related taboos, myths and health and hygiene related issues has been a priority… More on our website www.goonj.org

Our challenges

  1. Changing mindsets around taboos and myths is a time taking work.
  2. Resources are needed primarily to spread the idea widely.
  3. We need more forums to highlight the issue,
  4. Need transport support to spread it deeper,
  5. More volunteers to organize camps.
  6. Need a bigger network of motivated NGO’s and civil sector organizations in urban and rural India to replicate the idea on their own level.
  7. Need to find ways of tapping into vast quantities of cloth sitting idle in urban homes across the country.

Some recognition on Not Just a Piece of Cloth:

  • Feb’12: GOONJ won ‘Edelgive’ award in health & well- being category
  • May’10: ‘Innovation for India’ award by Marico for developing innovative solution by using old cloth and other material.
  • June’09: Not just a piece of cloth won GOONJ’s third Changemaker’s Innovation Award
  • March 2009: CNN IBN’s ‘Real Heros’ award to Anshu Gupta in women welfare segment.
  • March 2008: GOONJ won India NGO of the year award in a nationwide search & selection by Resource Alliance.
  • May 2007: GOONJ’s sanitary pad project ‘Not just a piece of cloth’ won World Bank’s Global Development Market Place Award.
Awareness among school girls
Awareness among school girls
Awareness session
Awareness session
Happy to receive My-PADs
Happy to receive My-PADs
Menstrual Hygiene Exhibition
Menstrual Hygiene Exhibition
Awareness among schools
Awareness among schools

Links:

Jan 3, 2014

" Dignifying Relief !! "

School girls walking on a newly constructed bridge
School girls walking on a newly constructed bridge

Goonj's flagship initiative 'Cloth for work' is a humble act of dignified giving where people receive material with dignity and not as charity. We experimented the same approach successfully after the floods in Kosi, Bihar. Here are some glimpses of “Dignifying relief” in Uttarakhand where our teams from all the three centers of Goonj in Uttarakhand (Rishikesh Hub, Guptkashi and Uttarkashi ) are reaching  out to far away areas on a daily basis.

It is certainly encouraging to see how people have accepted Goonj's 'Cloth for Work'  (CFW) initiative to receive the woolens kits with dignity instead of getting it as simple relief. People of village Naugaon (Bhatwari block) in Sangam Chatti in Uttarkashi area took up various activities to make their village more accessible and clean under this initiative. Over 100 people gathered to make two bridges - of 12x3 feet and 30x3 feet to bring back the connectivity of the village. They also undertook cleaning of road-side bushes, cleanliness drives and repairing of roads. Here are some glimpses of the actions from the field….

Bridge made under CFW in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Bridge made under CFW in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Repair of 5 km stretch from Sangamchetti to Agoda
Repair of 5 km stretch from Sangamchetti to Agoda
Dangerously crossing a high water gorge on a trunk
Dangerously crossing a high water gorge on a trunk
40 people from village Seku make a 6ft high bridge
40 people from village Seku make a 6ft high bridge
CFW - a connect between local wisdom and problems
CFW - a connect between local wisdom and problems
Cleaning of drains in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Cleaning of drains in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Cleaning of road-side bushes in village Naugaon
Cleaning of road-side bushes in village Naugaon

Links:

Dec 9, 2013

Filling up gaps in rural schools through recycling

Children enjoying themselves!
Children enjoying themselves!

Goonj’s “School to School” initiative is about filling the gaps in basic educational material, often a distant dream for many children in remote parts of the country. An integral part of this initiative is ‘GOONJ School kits’ made of waste cloth. It includes a school bag, a water bottle cover, a pencil pouch, a belt, balls, sitting mats and skipping ropes etc. Here are some glimpses from Bichhia & Mawai block of Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh, where 1000 kids of local Baiga and Gonda tribes, studying in 21 different schools of the region have got it. Do refer 

School to School - Connect Urban & Rural Children (#11908)

 if you want to contribute for school kits.

Article in Marketing Booster
Article in Marketing Booster
Children with their School Kits!
Children with their School Kits!

Links:


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