07 November 2010

Should we be proud of our country or be ashamed of it ?

As a country, as people talking of GDP rates, Sensex, Fashion-malls, Big-brands coming to India. Obama's visit, KBC, Bollywood fashion and what not, we should be ashamed to see what the article below shows - the real picture of our streets...........have a look if you still do not feel for your country, for yourself........

 “Kitney log? kaun janta hai ? hazaro lashey thikaney lagayi hai mainey”. (How many people, who knows ? I have taken care of thousands of dead bodies). The frail, lost, over 80 years old Habib murmurs on a recent visit to the footpath where he still lives in Delhi.
Nothing has changed in Habib’s life, except there is now a small horn on the tricycle he uses for picking up bodies from different places. He is still on the footpath with his blind wife Amna begum. The little girl who shocked me 19 years ago with her statement - “when I feel cold I hug the dead body and sleep. It does not trouble me, it does not turn around” is a grown up women today. Habib still gets news of dead bodies to be picked up. Like every year, he is worried about winters, since the number of deaths doubles almost on a daily basis but Habib is more worried about what will happen after him? Who will pick up a person who comes to Delhi in search of a job and dies on the roads due to lack of woolens.
I have been following Habib for many years now. His story and GOONJ’s in-depth work on clothing over the years has reaffirmed my belief that ‘winters are a much bigger disaster than earthquake or floods'. The irony is that it’s a regular, known disaster, more people die in winters due to lack of clothing and we don’t even call it an unnatural death, maintain records or give compensation. Earthquake or floods don’t discriminate between rich and poor. but on the other hand in winters, in the same city one person dies because of cold while I survive.. enjoy my life.. at the same place, in the same temperature. The culprit is not winters or cold, it’s the lack of clothing which kills people..


GOONJ has been working towards making clothing a matter of concern through its nationwide movement Vastra- Samman for the last many years and I’m happy that it has started getting
 its due place. A basic, ignored need of the human kind is now getting a wider attention of agencies, media, corporates, government and the larger public.


The recently concluded Joy of Giving Week was a good success; a wide spectrum of people and organizations joined the initiative. More recently Whirlpool and GOONJ have launched Ek Jodi Kapda; a pan India campaign. It’s a vibrant, mass scale effort to talk about the issue, raise awareness to a larger audience and collect material. It’s your chance to join the initiative. The collection centers in many cities are active till November 10th. Do visit www.ekjodikapda.com to find out more about the campaign and your nearest collection centre. Do write back at mail@goonj.org  or call up 011-41401216 in case you need more information.

Meanwhile 50 people have joined GOONJ’s TEAM 2000. We are hoping to bring together a strong team of 2000 people who commit a sum of Rs. 10,000/- (about $ 250) per annum i.e just about Rs. 800/- a month to GOONJ. Feel free to commit less or more. There is no compulsion or restriction that you have to do this for a lifetime.. as long as you have faith in our work or can do it- do it . This will make us self sufficient in terms of our regular expenses while any extra funds generated will be used for growth, expansion and wider replication.


Given a vast base of friends and well wishers, we are confident that this is achievable. We do hope that like all other initiatives TEAM 2000 is also largely volunteers driven. Apart from signing up we certainly want you to talk to your friends, relatives and colleagues to join the team..
A cheque/draft in the name of GOONJ with your full name, address, Pan No., email ID & Tel. Number can be sent to J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-76. Please click here to download the form. All the financial contributions in India are tax exempted u/s 80G of IT act. Write back to mail@goonj.org if you want to make an online transfer.
Keep referring  www.goonj.org  and join us on facebook . We’ll soon be uploading the reports on the Joy of Giving Week and our Leh Floods relief work on the website.
Over to you..
With best
Anshu Gupta (Ashoka Fellow)
Founder Director
Tel:- 011- 26972351, 41401216
Add- J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-76
Website:- www.goonj.org

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