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Goonj NGO Visit


25th November 2022

Team Shakti – Women Development and Social Responsibility Cell of SIBM- Hyderabad has organized a clothes collection drive at Symbiosis, Hyderabad from June’22 to Nov’22. Around 8kgs of clothes have been collected from students of Symbiosis and faculty members. Team Shakti along with Dr. Ridhi Rani (Faculty In-charge of team Shakti) have visited Goonj NGO in Hyderabad and have donated the clothes collected during the drive organised earlier and had a conversation with Goonj team about how they operate and what are the goals that Goonj is trying to achieve in the coming future.

Below are few insights from the NGO visit-

  • Goonj envisions to grow as an idea across regions, economies and countries using urban discard as a tool to alleviate poverty and enhance the dignity of the underprivileged people of the world. It addresses basic but neglected issues of the poor by involving them in evolving their own solutions with dignity and in return urban material is given to them as rewards.

  • Goonj aims in building and maintaining a connection of empathy, dignity and valuing between the issues of the poor and the rich. Also, leveraging and empowering already available resources, wisdom, time, skills and efforts of people on a timely manner with outmost dedication.

Team Shakti with Team Goonj

How Goonj Works?

Goonj works on the principle that “Donate what you can rather than what you don’t want”. With this principle Goonj organization is receiving large amounts of reusable materials mostly clothes from different organizations, households and educational institutions. What ever the material is gathered is shifted to processing units of Goonj where everything is separated and segregated according to the need, community requirement and seasonal utility. Once the separation is done bags are being arranged and shifted to distribution centers where the requirement is identified. Goonj volunteers will be visiting the rural areas and conducts community meetings to identify the problems they are facing and assist them in coming up with the solutions on their own and will reward them with benefits in return. Once the cycle is done, they will be addressing a new issue at a new place and follows the same procedure by donating the needy people from the surplus and affluent donors.

Managing Finances and Scope for Employment.

Goonj’s main source of income is mostly by the CSR funds, donors from different sources and also Goonj is assisted by the Philanthropic Grant that is being issued by different multinational organizations and companies. All the finances are being managed by different teams in every outlet and will be reported to the headquarters to avoid deviations from the nominal budget plan they are being planned on an annual basis. All the expenses be it transportation, packaging costs, salaries paid to the employees will be managed by these funds and no monetary support is given to the rural areas rather than reusable materials and clothes.

Scope of employment is being created to the household women who are good at tailoring, good with making things out of waste and DIY oriented practices. They are employed by Goonj to reduce the wastage and create something out it. All the unused material is being transferred into something like bags, wallets etc. And the materials which are other than the clothes like books, utensils are being traded at a half price or in terms of exchange with another useful material. For example, novels are being traded to the half price and the books of high knowledge or theory are being replaced with regional books which can be used for the donation along with the clothes in rural areas. The household materials are being decorated in such a way that they can be traded for a sum in return Goonj will be getting some funds out of it which is useful to manage the local expenses and labor wages. They are coming up with internships programs with students who are socially inclined towards charity work and who can act innovatively in bringing up new initiatives from Goonj.

Team Shakti in Conversation with Goonj Member

 

Goonj’s main aim is equipping end users in cities and villages to thrive and evolve sustainably. Listening deeply to the rural communities with humility, treating people with dignity and respect. It focuses on evolving solutions along with the communities, but not for the communities as mentioned by the Goonj team member.

It helps to recognize and value the potential of local resource and traditional wisdom of people. It also mainly focuses on the receiver’s dignity instead of the donor’s pride. In the race of development, we all are too focused on machines i.e., the big, known issues, ignoring the needles- the most important basic needs. At Goonj the focus is on the needles i.e., the small neglectedneeds.

Some of the initiatives by Goonj Organization:

    • Goonj is creating a parallel economy which is not CASH based but TRASH based, where every work doesn’t have to wait for money; instead, huge quantities of old re-usable material is turning into a valuable resource where Goonj is making it possible by donating the basic needed materials to the rural areas in return to something they do for the upliftment of their livelihood.

    • Nothing is a waste as per Goonj; not even used papers and used staple pins. What ever the paper used on one side is being reused from the other side by reducing the paper wastage where Goonj is using it in promoting the organization and also even the sending letters and important notes to other organizations and institutes.

    • Among the clothes donated, shirts larger than size Medium, pants larger than size 32, too fancy dresses won’t be sent to the rural areas; as they won’t be of use over there. If these clothes are cotton or semi-cotton, they will be used in the making of sanitary pads. Else they will be used to make cloth bags, files, wallets, etc. This creates livelihood to hundreds of women.

Sanitary Pads Made from Old Cotton Clothes

Best Out of Waste (Green by Goonj) – An initiative by Goonj Organization

Your Little Change Can Bring About

A Big Change (Goonj Ki Gullak) - An initiative by Goonj Organization