All Talk and No Action Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Received an email from Pankhudi about Goonj.

Goonj, an Indian NGO, aims to make creative use of all household wastes (specially old clothes) as resources.

Re-producing the email I received. See if you want to help and/or pass on the word.


Dear Friends,

It’s been 11 years of GOONJ.. an exciting journey indeed. People are talking about clothing as a subject. Larger society is becoming more conscious of clothing need in winters, sanitary napkin-one of the most taboo subjects and a neglected need of countless women is fast becoming an issue now.

This mail is not to tell you about the impact of GOONJ’ work or how people and organizations have started replicating the work or how it’s being termed as one of largest civic participation movement given the number of volunteers joining in from across the globe.. do refer to know more about GOONJ..

This mail is about the challenges hampering our work & potential. In the last 11 years our mails & appeals revolved around material only. We don’t remember writing to people about money or organizing any fund raising event! Things have still been working well. People have supported the work and have made sure that nothing for whatever reasons, stops at GOONJ..

Today we are growing and reaching new places but what makes us unhappy is that often instead of using our full potential we get into some mundane jobs. Sometimes things like space or vehicle become big bottlenecks. For the last couple of years we have gone crazy looking for space in Mumbai. Right now we operate from Dharavi. During rains our team spends most time taking out rain-water from the store, with buckets in hand. In Bangalore we are operating from a makeshift place about 40 km outside the city and the team is forced to spend more time in travel than work. In many cities local transport guys take us for ransom as we lack a basic vehicle..

It is hurting now.. the GOONJ team is quite used to of working day and night.. We don’t mind throwing rainwater from the store but at what cost? We do feel bad when we find that due to all these issues we often are forced to under utilize our capacities & potential…
Here are four major points. Do read, revert, act…

A- TEAM 2000- It’s about bringing 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…although we need 2000 people to commit atleast Rs. 10,000/- per annum. This will take care of our regular expenses and 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, and we do hope that like all other initiatives TEAM 2000 will also be largely driven by the volunteers.. We certainly want people to sign up as also talk to their friends, relatives and colleagues to join the team..

1- cheque/draft in the name of GOONJ with your full name, address, Pan no., email ID & Tel. No. can be sent to GOONJ, J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-110076 . (A simple form is given at the end of this mail- All the financial contributions in India are tax exempted u/s 80G of IT act)

2- Space - One of the biggest bottlenecks in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. We are looking for 2000 to 5000 Sq. ft. for a processing center, basically a shed with basic facilities of water and electricity, accessible to trucks and not far away from the cities since a large number of people and organizations visit our centers on a daily basis.

3- 25 good computers/laptops - in proper working condition. For the last many years we have somehow been managing with the discarded lot of corporates, which is now becoming a big problem for us. Given the multi city operations and our fast spreading work, we are focusing on MIS, trying to use technology to the maximum for which we need high end, good working systems with genuine software. Laptops are preferred as all our team members spend a lot of time in the field.

4- Vehicle- For 7 cities - Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Jalandhar, Pune. (ranges between 2.5 to 4.00 lakh rupees). Right now local transportation is a major expense and also a lot of time goes into dealing with the local transporters for pick ups etc..

Feel free to write back with your queries, suggestions and comments. Do send out this message to as many people as you can.

Looking forward…

With best

Anshu Gupta (Ashoka Fellow)
Founder Director


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