Dear Friend of Goonj,
This is an important milestone in the life of Goonj as we turned 20 this year!!
In 1999, when we started, if anyone had told us that 20 years later Goonj will be triggering over 500 hardcore rural development work every month, impacting poverty, water, sanitation, infrastructure etc. OR that we will be creating massive livelihood OR will be working pan India on disaster relief and rehabilitation OR that millions of people will join this positive movement, by turning urban surplus material as additional currency, our only reaction would have been disbelief. For an organization, working with the most neglected communities on their most ignored, un-noticed non issues, growing on this path has been a humbling and beautiful journey..
Wrapping our head around all these aspects is a big task.. a work that’s in progress right now. Just knowing that we made someone’s life a little better, made a little positive dent on how they look at their own worth and dignity, that our work reduced the burden of urban waste from landfills, makes these 2 decades worthwhile.
Now that we have our footprint in 25 states and UTs, a lot of cities and thousands of villages; a grid, a pipeline that we have laid, it’s also for a lot of new and established ideas. We invite others also to use this strong network of local resources, grassroots wisdom and people. To expedite and spread this invitation to the world, this year we triggered many firsts –A major Photo exhibition on disasters- Myths and Realities, Chaupal Meets- A Space for No Agenda Conversations and a National Dialogue on Menstruation- Missing Voices and Missing Issues.
Putting together this annual report we also notice some interesting patterns like infrastructure building, sanitation and Water emerging as the top three issues which people in villages have prioritized, to work on. Many kilometers of roads made and the handling of over 5.5 million kgs urban surplus, some of it used for creating livelihood for people, are some of the satisfying bits for us. More insights in the report.
On behalf of Team Goonj..