In an era of drama and sensation when people like me are going away from watching TV, a small story on a TV channel suddenly struck me. It was about some peoples’ affection in putting warm clothes on an idol to save the god from extreme winters. My idea is not to get into a debate on this but I am certainly shocked as I hardly see people making sincere efforts to cover fellow human beings dying every year due to lack of clothes in winters.
For the last many years we have been raising the issue that why are winters not considered a disaster? Why don’t we talk about deaths due to cold or deal with people’s miseries. Its an annual, phenomena and people can be saved to a large extent just by providing appropriate clothes.
Every year we launch RAHAT WINTERS, motivating people to contribute woolens & blankets. Do enjoy your winters but please make a little effort to make it bearable for the thousands not so fortunate. Believe me, every one of us can make a difference because every singe cloth matters..
(Hope you remember these lines from our last newsletter: ” We were with people who often dig a hole in the nights to make their kids sleep and cover them with dry grass to save them from the cold. This is a place where women tell you that they don’t use ANYTHING during menses, and they can’t take a bath because there is NOTHING to change.
Don’t you agree that for people who roam around naked in peak winters or die because of cold, winters are a much bigger annual disaster than earthquake or floods? For millions of women, even menses is a monthly disaster if they are forced to roam around even without a piece of cloth to use as a napkin.”)
Do visit Clothing Day (http://www.goonj.info/clothincentive.php) to see some realities… more on our activities in the Newsletter..
From all of us at GOONJ – wish you a meaningful, busy but fun-filled 2008.
CLOTH DAY –
We mark 1st January as CLOTH DAY every year. The idea is not to celebrate or organize events; simply begin the New year by providing clothes to someone needy on the first day & continue it as a year long practice. Spread the word among your friends and family about this unique way of starting the year.
While the demand for woolens increases every year, the contributions usually start coming only towards the middle of the season. Apart from woolens & general clothing do send us blankets or make monetary contribution (approx @Rs. 150/- per blanket as we would not like to give popular ‘Daan ka kambal’ in the name of blankets) so that we can buy this in bulk. You can also sponsor GOONJ mats made of old cloth (Rs. 100/- per mat), which are very useful in winters. Please organize collection camps in your offices, schools, colleges & residential areas. (All contributions to GOONJ are tax-exempted u/s 80 G & we are eligible for accepting foreign donations also)
(We have noticed many new organisations/campaigns coming up with similar names like VASTRADAAN & RAHAT. Its good to see that more people are taking up cloth as an issue but copying our name and messages is creating a lot of confusion. It puts an extra responsibility on people. Please check the credibility of campaigns & organisations you support. )
VANS FOR DELHI & MUMBAI –
In a touching gesture Ms. Sushma Khemka, a GOONJ volunteer from Mumbai, contributed for the Goonj Mumbai Van, all the money she and her relatives were planning to spend on ceremonies after her mother’s death. We gratefully acknowledge this contribution. We also thank GENPACT for sponsoring a van for our Delhi operations.
MUMBAI MARATHON –
The marathon is on 20th January and despite our best efforts we still don’t have any corporate running for us this year. The event is crucial for us especially for raising awareness and resources. EXL SIGNS UP WITH GOONJ FOR PAYROLL GIVING -
The reputed BPO- EXL is the first corporate signing up with GOONJ for its payroll programme. Mr. Vikram Talwar, CEO- EXL and senior officials started the programme and signed the forms on 18th November at Noida and on 25 th November at Pune.
GOONJ GURGAON CHAPTER –
GOONJ is all set to start its Gurgaon chapter in the beginning of 2008. GOONJ acknowledges the efforts of Mr. Vineet Khanna of Nestle and his friends and colleagues towards creating a start up fund for the first years’ operation.
Your immediate support is needed –• Space - in Mumbai, Chennai, Jalandhar, Hyderabad and Bangalore. (about 500 sq. ft. )
• Vehicle - for Chennai
• Photocopier - Old/new (most urgent need)
• Washing machines - Old/ New (10 nos. in Delhi)
• Detergent powder - in bulk quantity for napkin project
• Space - at outlets/offices to put up our cash / cheque drop boxes.
• Large quantity of one-side-used-paper for making notebooks
• Commitment of old newspapers.
• Cotton cloth/ export surplus in a large quantity.
• Pick up facilities - from various collection centers (as Delphi arranges a pick up van for a day every month in Delhi)
• To join GOONJ’s Team 600
• To volunteer with GOONJ.. refer http://goonj.org/?page_id=406
GOONJ in the Media :
Also please refer the recent issues of Anand Vikatan, a popular Tamil weekly , and Mathrubhumi Kerala’s most popular magazine for a detailed coverage on GOONJ’s initiative.
For our overseas supporters :
Listing of ‘SCHOOL-to-SCHOOL’, ‘Cloth for work’ & ‘Not just a piece of cloth’ initiatives on Global Giving
(a reputed international online funding site) gives you a great opportunity to get involved in our work and get the tax benefits also.
For contribution please log on to
Anshu Gupta (Ashoka Fellow)