We believe that water has a direct connect with poverty and well being of rural communities. That’s why our growing work in water stressed rural areas is focused on improving their access to water for agriculture and livestock. We are targeting localized solutions by reviving already present water bodies like ponds, lakes, check dams etc. We mobilize rural communities to find their own sustainable solutions using local resources and indigenous knowledge. Cleaning water bodies, directing their constructing new water access points and increasing water tables through rain water harvesting activities are some ideas that have emerged locally.
Disaster Relief & Rehabilitation(Rahat)
For nearly 2 two decades, Goonj has been working on varied disasters from earthquakes to Tsunami, cyclones, floods, etc. Rahat as an initiative has evolved into an active, reliable and time-tested network of stakeholders in both rural & urban India ensuring our timely response for generating need based disaster relief & rehabilitation efforts. We educate common masses about sensitivities of giving, creating a culture of mindful giving. Goonj also strives to bring attention to preventable disasters like winter to reduce deaths and suffering in this season primarily due to non-availability of clothing.
Access and Infrastructure
Worldwide when we think of resources for any kind of development work, we think of money. Goonj works on turning old material as a resource for hundreds of rural development activities.Through our Dignity for Work initiative (earlier known as Cloth for Work) people of rural India consistently take up diverse range of activities to repair, rebuild, reconstruct and revive local infrastructures like bandstands, community halls, roads, bridges, learning centres, libraries, drainage system, irrigation canals etc. All these works are done but by making people understand their own community power and giving old usable old material as a reward.
Goonj’s award winning School to School initiative is addressing the educational needs of thousands of remote & resource starved village/ slum schools by channelizing under-utilised material of city’s affluent schools not as a thing to distribute but as a tool to bring about comprehensive behaviour change in the recipients and the contributors! Scores of children leave schools for unimaginably reasons like lack of note book, pencil, water bottle or inability of parents to pay the recurring expense of stationery, which are abundance in urban schools.
Almost a decade ago we were shocked when we came across this ghastly story of a woman who died of tetanus due to a rusted hook in the piece of blouse she used during menses !! At that time we had no idea about the deep rooted relationship between cloth and menstruation. This story fueled us to go deeper into the non issue.. It is seen that in the absence of a clean piece of cloth, millions of women in villages and city slums use rags, sand, ash, etc. to deal with their menses.. A humble piece of cotton cloth can save a woman from a lot of indignity, embarrassment and infections.
Apart from working on critical issues of hardcore rural development works, disaster relief and rehabilitation and channelizing urban underutilized materials, large numbers of people are directly connected in implementing those works through various processes. Green by Goonj is a brand built around reusing and up-cycling even the last shreds of material that Goonj receives. A range of over 100 different products like purses, fancy bags, file folder, mats etc. made out of torn jeans, obsolete audio tapes, one side used paper etc. shows the ingenuity, craftsmanship and design aesthetics of women from nearby slums involved in making these products..They also serve as a means of livelihood to thousands of women who make them and make livelihood revival initiative for others.
Every year Goonj has been increasing its work on Sanitation for it has a direct impact on their health, nutrition and wellbeing. The immediate benefit to the local communities is safer access to water, improved water bodies, better nutrition and prevention of diseases. By involving women is our work on toilets and bathrooms has given them a voice in decision making regarding their needs for dignity, health and hygiene.
One of the key impacts of our work is on environment – conserving it, reviving it and prevention of natural resources from degradation. Through efficient repurposing, reusing and recycling, it has wide ranging impact on circular economic model.