A bit about GOONJ..
In a world where issues right from domestic violence to global warming are discussed with equal fervor, there is scant attention to the basic need of clothing. Over the last ten years GOONJ has grown as a mass movement among the urban and rural masses, mobilizing cloth and repositioning it as an important resource for rural India rather than wastage fit only for charity. Today anyone irrespective of educational, income, social or cultural background, is becoming a part of this movement.
In the villages, we started off with the aim of trying to address a basic need, freeing up the meager resources of the recipients, for other pressing needs. Today we are not just addressing a basic need but are using cloth as an entry point into the lives of people; to address other important needs like health, education, employment generation etc.
Apart from the compelling environmental aspect, as a sanitary napkin it is addressing a taboo basic need and creating health and hygiene awareness among poor women. As a school bag (made out of waste cloth) it’s a motivation for a village child to study. With roads being repaired, boundary walls being built, wells being de-silted and many other development activities being carried, the high point is the elimination of dependency on financial transactions. In effect the value and importance of this so-called waste amplifies many fold from just being a symbolic gesture in the beneficiary’s lives.
In the cities the most wonderful aspect is that it’s turning everyone into a volunteer i.e. anyone wanting to do something outside their own life, can, without making any major efforts, contribute and feel satisfied.
The idea is growing, its changing the way people think about the ignored issue of clothing.. or about winters as an annual disaster. Today in Delhi itself some organizations are mobilizing material for taking care of people in the winters. We have even come across some Clothes Banks copying our text and pictures verbatim on to their websites. The good part is that somewhere the idea has made a dent. That’s why people are replicating, copying..
Recently our campaign for the victims of Bihar & Orissa floods received overwhelming trust and support from a vast number of corporates, other organizations and the masses. This was an emotionally charged phase for us.. To be honest, it was absolutely beyond our imagination. The team worked 24×7,is still working and will continue till the time every penny from you is justified in the field..
We don’t remember asking people for money in the last 10 years but they have been contributing… GOONJ is growing thanks primarily to the trust and continuing support of a long list of well wishers… We all at GOONJ are committed to keep this trust…
Making clothing a matter of concern as a basic need..
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 think of clothing as a basic need and a subject to work on..
Spread awareness about the concept at a level so that anytime an urban household thinks of disposing off reusable material it should have a channel to reach it to the most needy.