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 7, 2015

Reaching out during extreme winters to J & K Flood affected areas..

Winter Coaching Classes
Winter Coaching Classes

Free educational coaching centers; In the rehabilitation phase of our work, as Goonj started looking at the gap areas in the rehabilitation work we found that school children were the worst sufferers as their schools remained closed for critical 2 months post floods. In our first of kind foray, we initiated free winter coaching for students of Srinagar and surrounding areas from December 2014 as the schools were formally closed for three months due to winters. This programme benefited 1283 children in Kashmir who were provided free subject notes and subject material. 9 local educational institutions located at Shalteng, Qamarwari, Chanapora, Rajbagh, Karan Nagar, Interior of Dal Lake, Lasjan, Nai Sarak in Srinagar District and Kakpora in Pulwama district joined hands with Goonj in this cause. The coaching went on till end of February 2015.

Plan of action; For the next phase Goonj team visited other areas including Jammu.  21 education institutions have been explored with whom we plan to partner for Computer Centers, Academic Libraries, Scientific laboratories, Recreation Centers, Toy centers, Reading rooms, Skill Development Centers and Counseling center for Assessments, Examinations & Careers.

Winter Kits Distribution; During Chilai Kalan (extreme cold period during five months of winters) not only in the night but often in the day also the temperature went below zero. During this time Goonj prepared and distributed special winter kits consisting of blankets, Daris, clothing, shoes, toiletry and nutritional supplements to 15000 families including solar lights etc. We are targeting to reach these winter kits to at least 5000-8000 more families in the coming time. While 3315 pairs of good quality mattress & quilts were distributed among the needy, 1083 high quality female pherans specially designed to protect against J&K severe winters were also given.

Medical Camps with Government Hospitals and medical fratenity; J&K Health Department gynecologists, ENT specialists, surgeons, orthopedicians, pediatricians, geriatricians and general physicians conducted multiple health camps in different parts of Kashmir immediately after the floods while Goonj provided medical supplies and medicines.  

Common diseases noticed were Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Acute Gastro Enteritis, Asthma, Hypertension and Urinary Tract Infection.  One of the doctors’ commented, “I really appreciate the quality and quantity of medicines provided.”

Critical care medicine was also distributed to poor and needy in collaboration with Specialists from SKIMS (Sher-i Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences), Government Medical Colleges & Associated Hospitals. Many of these highly qualified doctors volunteered for Goonj's day long Medical camps during the initial days of the floods. More than 30 medicals camps were also conducted in medical collaboration with Borderless World Foundation in October, November and December, last year.    

During the recent swine flu epidemic in J&K , as precautionary measures around 500 masks were channelized to Sanat Nagar and Bagat areas in Srinagar city by Goonj.

Plan of action; We will be distributing 40000 rubber gloves to Safai cleanliness workers across the city of Srinagar later this month. Starting 8th April 2015, we plan to organize 25 medical camps in Srinagar, Budgam and Pulwama Districts in partnership with Doctors for You. 

NJPC and menstrual hygiene awareness Awareness sessions about menstrual hygiene and management were also conducted with ASHA workers. The health workers spoke of the taboos that every woman faces and their desire to talk to women in their areas. 

Work with migrant laborers; Goonj has been regularly reaching out much needed winter kits and other material to migrant laborers in different parts of Kashmir. We are now planning to work more extensively with them on initiatives like Cloth for Work etc.

An Old lady taking materials for winter..
An Old lady taking materials for winter..
Materials channelized during winter
Materials channelized during winter
Students listening attentively in coaching classes
Students listening attentively in coaching classes
Winter kits being prepared..
Winter kits being prepared..
Cloth for Work activity to create an embankment
Cloth for Work activity to create an embankment

Links:

Apr 1, 2015

Richness of waste, becoming a source of happy schooling!!

Children delighted to have received the school kit
Children delighted to have received the school kit

Wondering in this age of glitzy products what sort of waste could lead to happiness for someone.The fact is that realities are very different in rural India. When Goonj School Recycled kits made out of a colorful array of waste cloth shreds reach children in small far flung schools, the joy it brings is incomparable. In the midst of their daily challenges, the way their faces light up with smiles when they get these kits is a joy to witness. Most of the 1999 children who received these kits recently are school drop outs; working as child laborers or rescued from child labor; from fishery & farming families, who struggle hard to make their ends meet. Working closely with a local organisation Kajla Janakalyan Samiti in East Medinipur district of West Bengal, Goonj tries to fill up critical gaps in education in the school run by this organisation. Goonj has also implemented many other initiatives here, to look after people’s vital needs. Some glimpses of School kits distribution;

Children involved in an activity!
Children involved in an activity!
Girl child with her school kit..
Girl child with her school kit..
Jumping with joy & excitement...
Jumping with joy & excitement...
Girl child receiving the school kit..
Girl child receiving the school kit..
Taking down details...
Taking down details...

Links:

Mar 31, 2015

A Million Voices on menstruation echoing from different corners!!

Chhupi Thodo Baithak (Breaking the Silence)
Chhupi Thodo Baithak (Breaking the Silence)

Almost a decade back when we started work on this issue, we never knew that this tiny piece of cloth could create ripples over so many minds.. But we now realise that each one of us has at least one untold story hidden in our hearts.. This is what Goonj is trying to do with its global campaign ‘NJPC- A Million Voices’. To get people to share these untold stories of shame and silence that they haven’t spoken about to anyone..  And a trail of these stories are emerging from across the world, connecting us back to the taboos and myths that exist in the society even today.. We know that these are equally distributing for the poor and the rich, for the illiterate and the educated.. Our aim is to get people to talk about this basic and make it a normal thing.. We are happy to share that voices are growing every day..  Recently Gaon Connection, a newspaper for rural India, shared the 'NJPC - A Million Voices' form with its readers, to fill up and send back to Goonj.

Some voices broke their silence and raised genuine concerns..

When I was a child I remember disposing used cloth (after using multiple times) or sanitary pads was a huge problem. We used to throw it in garbage but the person who used to come to collect garbage shouted at us for throwing pads….. Later on we started throwing it near the railway tracks by ensuring that no one is watching us. But even doing that was difficult. Later on we used to accumulate it and my mom used to periodically burn it. But again, that would create lot of smoke and neighbors would inquire not knowing what we are burning.”

“A girl in my school got her period and her dress was spoiled. The teachers made it into a huge issue. And guys were staring like anything- even the girls were too. She got so embarrassed that she left the school.”

Add your voice to the Million Voices who want to break the shame and silence around menstruation. Click on this link to share your thoughts, experiences..- http://njpc.goonj.org/lets-get-started/ 

Youth actively involved in the discussion..
Youth actively involved in the discussion..
Understanding how My-Pads are made!
Understanding how My-Pads are made!
Spreading Awareness..
Spreading Awareness..
Explaining the campaign & initiative..
Explaining the campaign & initiative..
Gaon Connection, rural newspaper with NJPC Form
Gaon Connection, rural newspaper with NJPC Form

Links:

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