Thursday, March 22, 2007

Plight of Gidhdha village

A cold winter morning of 2007, about 30 kms from Patna, I was in
Gidhdha, a village of Moosahari's, a 35-lakh strong community spread
across Bihar, known for eating even rats in dire circumstances of
poverty & survival.

We were with people who often dig a hole in the nights to make their
kids sleep and cover them with dry grass to save them from the cold.
This is a place where women tell you that they don't use ANYTHING
during menses, and they can't take a bath because there is NOTHING to
change

We felt criminal, wearing sweaters and jackets. For every person who
dies because of cold and for every woman who goes through a bad phase
without a piece of cloth, we found ourselves answerable…not because
it's our doing but because we are not doing enough.

I remembered a radio channel holding hundreds of sweaters because they
wanted a celebrity to hand it over to us and they were not getting
dates. I remembered corporates who didn't send material to us because
after collection they were waiting for the right moment to organize an
event to do it. I also thought of millions of individuals who keep the
material with them in search of a real needy or waiting for a
disaster…

Don't you agree that for people who roam around naked in peak winters
or die because of cold, winters are a much bigger annual disaster than
earthquake or floods? For millions of women, even menses is a monthly
disaster if they are forced to roam around even without a piece of
cloth to use as a napkin.

We have decided to do something; every year in addition to our present
role, we will take up 100 villages and ensure that no one in these
villages remains without clothes. That means generating over 1,00,000
kgs of extra material every year. In 2007, we will do this for 100
such villages of Bihar and it has already started from Gidhha, the
village I mentioned earlier.

If you understand the seriousness of this issue then I'm sure we will
able to go way beyond this commitment. By simply giving us any
unwanted cloth you have in your wardrobe, you can change the realities
for these people.

Your immediate support is needed:
(All donations to GOONJ are exempted u/s 80 G of IT act.)
Do visit http://www.goonj.info/clothincentive.php
Anshu K. Gupta ( Ashoka Fellow )
Founder -Director
GOONJ..
Tel.- (m)-98681-46978, (o)-011-26972351
Add-J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-76
E-mail- anshu_goonj1@yahoo.co.in,anshugoonj24@gmail.com

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