“जब ठण्ड में बच्चा रोता है तो उसकी माँ उसे दारू पिला कर सुला देती है.. बरसों से यही चला आ रहा है.. इस बार हालात बदल गये हैं ”(In winters, when the child cried out, his mother would give him some local liquor and make him sleep. This has been going on for years.. this time the situation is different) – says Binod Da, vill. Parashia, Medinipur, West Bengal.
“जब मुझे ठंड लगती है, तो मैं लाश के साथ चिपक कर सो जाती हूँ ” (when I feel cold, I hug the dead body and sleep)- 6 years old, Kaneez Bano on the roads of Delhi in 1991.
These words sound gruesome for sure.. some might object too.. but these are realities!! And as we always say- realities are disturbing!! If they talk about what happens due to lack of a warm cloth they also show how it changes with a piece of the same.
For more than a decade now, Goonj has been talking about Winters as an annual disaster for people who don’t have enough to cover. We firmly believe that ‘Cold doesn’t kill people, lack of clothing does’.. and this is what differentiates us from the millions on the roads or in remote villages.
The dead body picker Habib’s two decade old story is still relevant. His statement that in winters his work went up, still makes sense or his daughter’s statement that she used to sleep with dead bodies to keep herself warm, still gives goose bumps.. Winters are a pre-defined, regular, annual disaster.. where we know how long will it last, how millions of people will suffer.. all crystal clear; we just need to see through !!
Do join ‘ओढ़ा दो ज़िन्दगी ‘ ( Odha Do Zindagi ) , our ‘Rahat Winters’ campaign in creating awareness on the issue and giving blankets and woolens. We reach out these to people on city roads but more urgently to the villages, with dignity, as people work for their own community issues and get the same. Some glimpses..
Organize collection camps in your cities, colonies, offices, schools. Even if everybody gives 2 blankets and 2 woolens or more or money to buy them, a lot can be achieved. Mind you, it’s not just charity rather you also build up a resource for many years for a family.
Do remember that even when we start wearing half sweaters, winters aren’t over for the homeless.. for them winters are harsher and much longer. In remote mountains even in April the basic woolens are needed. and also let’s not give the traditional light weight ‘Daan ka Kambal’..it really doesn’t help much..
It’s time to Act, Share and Join ‘Odha Do Zindagi’ (as often a simple piece of woolen or blanket has the power to save a precious life).
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