Images of India : Clothing is a major problem for the poor…

clothing

More people die in India due to lack of clothing in winters than earthquakes and floods. Every year the NGO Goonj collects and distributes over 2000 tonnes of material through its countrywide network. At Goonj every piece of cloth is put to use. Hundreds of volunteers and staff sift through the piles of clothing that arrive at the central warehouse. Each cloth is graded, matched, segregated into usable and recyclable, repaired and altered. A family pack is made of essentials and dispatched to the needy. They just don’t hand over the donations. To uphold the dignity of those getting help, it is given as a payment towards community work – a kind of currency in cloth. The organisation has overseen over 1,500 development works across the country. Another campaign called “not just a piece of cloth” has become central to their operations. Women in this section make cheap and hygienic sanitary towels called MyPads. Recyclable cloth is washed and sterilised. Then cut in handkerchief sizes, packed and rolled with smaller pieces of cotton cloth. A packet would cost just a fraction of the commercially available.