For someone who has walked under the scorching sun for miles, words cannot express the happiness of sighting a bench, or the memory of a hearty conversation on it, waiting for a bus. The locals of Palghar Block in Maharashtra too felt a need for a spot where people could just come, sit and talk devoid of any discrimination. Soon that feeling of the community became their driving force to work under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative towards the setting up of willow benches near bus stops and village bylanes. After taking into consideration factors like accessibility and shade, they built and set up the benches in six villages by using local resources like bamboo, wood and dried leaves. And for the villagers having to wait long hours by the main road for local transport, these benches became an answered prayer. “Now, even waiting hours for a bus is not a problem. It’s much better than the earlier option of sitting on the ground,” said a delighted Rahul Rama Harpale, a local.
Storyteller- Avinash Chauhan (Team Goonj)
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