My sister asked me to look into an organization called Goonj to see if we can work on a collaborative with them. I was really impressed by what they are doing so I decided to Blog about it.
Goonj is an organization that simply puts clothing and other charitable products like furniture, books, medicine, etc to use for the poor, in exchange of the much needed development work in their communities in India. To explain, read the stories here . One of the stories explained here showed that under the “CLOTH FOR WORK” initiative, villagers joined to make a 240 ft x 6 ft bamboo bridge on a river for clothing. “It was a first for GOONJ and a moment of huge elation for the villagers who got involved in its making. No money involved voluntary labor by the villagers, under Cloth for Work.” — Goonj. Today this bridge connects many villages and has brought many other villages together to do the same!
A lot of us, and a lot of people we know, give clothes to the poor outside the temples in India. But we don’t know whether our goodness is really ending in a good deed or if it is actually used in harming the poor by maintaining their poverty. After all who wants to work if he/she is getting things for free all of his/her life. And this becomes their habit and nature for life. I believe that the ‘Cloth for Work’ initiative can break this habit by giving the poor an option to find respect for themselves by being able to live, compete, and grow. But this can happen only if we feed the poor with work and not a free treat.
You can help by just giving things from your home that you are not using. And we all know that we have a lot of them! The kind of things that Goonj can use are listed in the picture below.
For those of us who live abroad, but would like to help – please ask your friends and family in India to Give what they can to the centers in their area.