Level 6, Melange Towers, HITEC City, Near Madhapur.
Clothing is one of the three basic needs out of Food, cloth & shelter, but it doesn’t find mentionin the list of development subjects which has more than 100 issues; from domestic violence to global warming. Why do we think of clothes during disasters only? Why do we treat Cloth as mere charitable object, to donate!! In winters, thousands suffer due to lack of proper clothing. In some parts of the country people put their kids to sleep in a pit dug in the ground. Why women’s universal need of a piece of cloth as a sanitary pad is not an issue, forcing millions to use sand, ash, jute bags, husk, newspaper instead. Countless women face 5 to 7 days of indignity and massive health risk during menses in the absence of spare clean cloth. Donating clothes is the oldest form of charity; an activity that has been happening at an individual or sporadic level in every part of the world. On the other hand, there are vast quantities of discarded cloth and other material considered a waste and a burden in the cities.
Goonj is a nationwide movement started 16 years ago by Ashoka and Schwab Fellow Anshu Gupta and his friends to address the most basic but ignored need of clothing and the multifaceted role it plays in village India. Goonj understands the connect between the struggle for the basics of life for the poor and village India getting left behind in the entire development happening in urban India. Using vast quantities of untapped underutilized material lying in urban homes as a powerful resource, Goonj is trying to address both these critical issues simultaneously without burdening either the giver or the receiver in the process.
Goonj is channelising the city’s surplus to village India as an invaluable resource for much-needed development work. The impact is visible in both; cities and villages. In villages, it is addressing many basic needs like woolens for winters, school dress for children while in the cities; it is providing a constructive channel to the growing quantities of waste from urban households. Similarly, Goonj is not only providing clean cloth sanitary napkins to village women but more importantly it is motivating them to shed the massive social and cultural taboos around menses and talk about the hardships, the indignity and huge health risks they face in those seven days. It is providing the critical nudge for urban & rural communities to get personally involved in addressing social issues. Every year Goonj undertakes, together with the village communities, more than 1000 activities of rural development work.