Friday, September 18, 2009

And you say ' Why do I do it ? '

Dear Friends,

It was about 12.00 in the night, a very cold winter night in Delhi; we found this young man without legs, on crutches sitting around a makeshift fire-made of old polythene, paper etc. collected from the road..

Although GOONJ provides clothes largely under ‘Cloth for work initiative’, but on chilly winters night we also do anonymous distribution on Delhi roads. We gave him a warm overcoat and started moving ahead..

And suddenly I saw from my back view mirror that this guy is trying to run….on his crutches….. behind the car.. before we could find out why; he stops, rests on the crutches, lifts both his hands and yells, “AB HUI HAI MERI EID” (now its Eid for me).

EID, Diwali; from my childhood we have been reading essays and stories, including one by famous Indian writer Premchand; is a synonym of good clothes.. and imagine here is a person on the footpath who knew about EID but had no sign of that festival in his life and then suddenly an old cloth, to be honest a discard of someone, added so much life…gave a meaning to someone’s EID…

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This is the Joy of Giving.. when it makes an absolute stranger happy, it makes YOU happy..

For us Clothing has always been a core issue, for more than a decade now we are struggling to dignify the act of giving, trying to add value to cloth contribution, trying to tell people that when you talk about 3 basic needs, you say food, cloth and shelter; then why has cloth become a disaster relief material only? Why do we think that people in remote villages need clothes only when we find out about a flood or an earthquake there? Do you really think that half the world needs a disaster to be helped? Is poverty itself not a big disaster? It’s not hard to believe that many more people die in winters due to lack of clothes than earthquake or floods? Winters are a much bigger and regular disaster.. For that matter even menses are a monthly disaster for every single woman who is forced to use ash, sand, jute gunny bags, or grass as sanitary pad due to lack of a small piece of cloth.

Our role is to tell you the importance of the subject and provide you a channel.. how much you do is in your hands..

To open up the subject for a nationwide participation, GOONJ has initiated its VASTRA-SAMMAN campaign during the Joy of Giving Week (27th Sept. till 3rd Oct.)

We are reaching many cities and people from many other cities are doing it on their own..

(details on It’s a massive campaign, many times bigger than our size J.

We want people to join us in large numbers; individuals, schools, colleges, corporates - anybody and everybody.

Before asking an obvious question, “whether it will reach the right people or not OR how can we trust you? Please spend 15 minutes on, that’s the first thing we will also tell you to do..

Please remember I said many times bigger than our size so arranging for transport etc. is really tough for us. We have arranged for space in many cities to store, have devised a communication kit, with an authorization letter for anyone wanting to organize a camp and also a few e-posters, (if needed we can also send you printed ones).

AFL has come up as a big support for courier services & transportation of the sorted material to the Indian villages. CNN IBN & IBN Lokmat have promised to spread the word while hundreds of volunteer are joining us to take care of the logistics. Integrator & Eulogik for work on website & replication kit. And Bedi Films for making a short video capsule. Our active collection will take place from 1st to 3rd October but you are free to organize camps in your area/school/college/corporate/institution anytime before or after.

Just make sure to reach the material to our central hubs in the short listed cities by 15th October (a detailed list will be up on by 25th September)

NOW its your turn to join the movement, get motivated, get involved; motivate others and bring a change.. with this collected material as a massive resource under Cloth for Work for development activities in the villages, school material and toys to support rural/slum schools and aanganwaris. Useless cloth to make mats, school bags and the entire cotton waste material to be converted into sanitary napkin.

Immediate requirements:

  • Large-scale participation of masses, corporates, schools and other institutions.
  • Logistics and transport support, as we don’t want to burden AFL alone.
  • Spread the word about the campaign through mass media, so that more people know how they can become a part of the change simply with their unutilized material..

 We have miserably failed in getting :

  • about 200 free mobile connections for 2 to 3 months, even when Nokia has sent us 200 handsets free..
  • 25 data cards
  • old/new but working 25 laptops
  • Storage space in a few cities
  • Someone to take care of the printing
  • And in raising the bare minimum sum of Rs. 73.00 lakh for the entire campaign, since we are known for raising material and are not experts in raising money.

Do write back if you want to become a part of this campaign or want to support the above, to (give us a day to respond). For financial contributions; Pls refer- (all monetary contributions are exempted under section 80 G)

To know more about the campaign details:

To organize a camp:

To know the latest are two important links..          

CNBC- Young turks  (Story in two parts- links given below )


GOONJ’s Cloth for Work article in Outlook Business magazine

Over to you..

with best


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 Vastra- Samman (Before & After)
       Reviving aganwadies        Cloth for Work- Making a bridge             

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Sent By: Goonj J-93, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, 110076

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Call for Volunteers - SRIJAN - Towards a Beggar Free Society

Srijan was started under AID NCR with the aim of putting an end to the beggary menace in the city. The problem has burgeoned to such proportions in the country that until and unless we (public and law enforcement bodies) work together to discourage the practice of beggary, the situation would get worse day by day.


Our ideology is to stir the mass to come up with ideas and solutions to tackle the issue. Ignoring this issue is not the solution, nor is giving alms to beggars. We say "Don't encourage begging, they need your support more than your sympathy. STOP and THINK before you give alms. Are you really helping them or pushing them further into this marsh called Beggary??" 


Give them a penny, you feed them for a day;

teach them a trade, you feed them for life!!|

As some of us might know that in lieu of Commonwealth games in the country next year, the Delhi Govt. has aimed to make Delhi beggar free. A lot of activities are going on in terms of mobile courts, open shelters and beggar homes. And there is an urgent need for the general public also to rise and work for this campaign.


We have done some ground work in terms of Flyers, banners, Email, Pledge, and Questionnaire...which would be directed to the public through various modes of communication. We require a good number of volunteers from Delhi-NCR region for the next 6-12 months. 


Interested volunteers are requested to kindly fill in the volunteer registration form at SRIJAN


For any further details/queries, please write back or speak with me


Anupam Roongta

+91 9910773500


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Regarding Parichay: Requesting you to Support us for Deepawali Stalls

Hi Friends,

I have been a regular volunteer with an organisation called Parichay for about 5 years now. Parichay aims to mainstream underprivileged kids into regular education, as also to impart them vocational training. You could make a wonderful difference to their lives by allowing them to showcase their products to the world around you. Here's an opportunity for you to do your bit, to make a difference to the world around you, (without having to step out from your workplace). J  

With Deepawali round the corner, I'ld request you to reach your organisation (HR/CSR department) and have a word with them to allow us to put up a Deepawali stall. The kids at Parichay have prepared some wonderful items – such as diyas, floating candles, gel candles, pooja thaalis, torans, and several other items.

Most of us aren't able to volunteer because of the paucity of time and several other commitments that hold us back from such activities. Here's a simple gesture to reach out to masses and convey that you care for the communities around you.

The draft given below catches a glimpse of activities at Parichay. You could have a word about Parichay to the HR/CSR department of your organisation, and forward the following draft. You could also reach me to discuss about Parichay's initiatives at

We would like to be introduced as:

Parichay Abhigyan Society, a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) working with a deprived community.

Parichay started its Bal Vikas Kendra (Child Development Center) in April 2000. Mr. Vijay Bajpai started working for a closed community in Tukmirpur area near Bhajanpura in East Delhi, where most kids never attended a school, and the ones who were able to attend the local state-run schools, were by and large de-motivated given the deploratory condition of such schools.

Started with 9 children, we are now a family of 60 children and their family members; teachers and volunteers, who have helped us in numerous ways. Parichay's vision is to effect the personal and the social development of children, youth, and adults of the community.   

With the progression of our relationship with the community, which comprises of either Hindus or Muslims, including rickshaw pullers, carpenters, cobblers, hawkers, drum players, embroiders, and laborers working in small industrial units, we strive to:

  • Promote listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and physical fitness.
  • Promote means of self-expression and to contribute to mental and physical health.
  • Cultivate traits such as discipline, courage, devotion, respect and confidence.
  • Promote the sense of worthy use of leisure time.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility, patriotism, and helping others.
  • Develop the sense of brotherhood and friendship.
  • Develop proper understanding of hygienic habits and proper food nutrition.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills of safety and first aid.
  • Develop creative thinking.
  • Help the children to realize the importance of good and bad.
  • Develop an attitude of co-operation, sportsmanship, fair play, and team spirit.
  • Develop leadership and self-reliance.   

We have kicked off several projects like Non Formal Education, Masala Unit, Vocational Training, Handicraft Unit, to name a few. Some of these involve training and creation of many beautiful handmade items by children and women of the community keeping the quality of the products intact. The list is an endless one but few of them are:

Handmade paper bags, Potlies, Handmade paper folders, Cloth folders, Pouches, Posters, Photo Albums, Pen Holders, Diaries, Greeting cards, Shagun envelops, Magazine Holders, Lamp shades, and Printed books etc.

Deepwali specific items include diyas, candles - gel, floating, regular candles, gift packs, torans, chocolates, pooja thalis, and many more.  

Thus, we would like to seek your permission to put a stall in your organization of these items. 

Thanks and warm regards,


Know about Parichay: 

Join Parichay's yahoo group:



[Volunteer] Chopping the world barren!

Over 83,300,000 tons of PAPER is wasted every year. Much of it can be prevented through simple acts of conservation & recycling.


  • Print and PhotoCopy only and only if absolutely necessary.
  • Always Insist on using both sides of paper for photocopying and printing,
  • Use notebooks thriftily. Utilize all the space available, including margins..
  • Reuse paper (including printer waste) as many times as possible.
  • Do not throw any paper into the Garbage Bin. Preserve it and sell it to your local scrap dealers/recyclers (Kabaadi Waala)

Resources Saved Per Ton (1000 Kg) of Paper

  • 17 trees
  • 2,32,500 liters of water
  • 1500 liters of oil
  • 27 kilograms of air pollutants

Not enough savings? Please consider this…
The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 110 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

We humans are rightly called "creatures of habit". Conserving paper is one habit we must internalize with unprecedented commitment.

"Only after the last Tree has fallen,
Only after the last River has been poisoned,
Only after the last Fish has been cut,
Only then will we realize that Money cannot be eaten."


An enlightening reference:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drowning Himachalis, pampering Delhi

Reproduced unedited from:
Its demand for water is ever-growing, and its usage wasteful. Using its
political and economic power, however, Delhi is quenching its thirst by
extracting it from places near and far. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports on the
proposed Renuka Dam.
22 July 2009 - The Renuka Lake in Sirmour district is the largest natural
lake in Himachal Pradesh. The State Tourism Development Corporation
describes it as a "perfect year-round destination that beckons every
traveller ... whose natural beauty has to be seen to be believed." And
tourism apart, the lake is quite well known for its religious significance;
it is regarded as the embodiment of goddess Renuka, mother of the legendary
Parasuram, the sixth of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The lake is said to
have been created when Parsauram killed his own mother on the orders of his
father, the sage Jamadagni. The religious significance is so important that
the place is known as Renukaji.
Lately, however, Renukaji is in the news for an entirely different set of
reasons. A large dam planned to be built near the Renuka Lake and temple on
the Giri river, a tributary of the Yamuna, threatens to submerge homes,
farms and rich forests, as well as a part of the Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary.
It will also displace people from 32 villages, without any viable
resettlement plans. And understandly, the people of the area are up in arms
protesting against the project.
The Renuka dam is planned to be 148 metres high and 430 metres wide, with an
installed capacity of 40 MW. However, power generation is a small and
'incidental' component of the proposed project. The main purpose of the
project is to store and supply water to New Delhi for meeting its drinking
and domestic water requirements. The project will supply 275 million gallons
per day (MGD), that is about 1250 million litres per day to the city.
As per an MoU of May 1994 among the Upper Yamuna basin states (Delhi,
Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh) Delhi is
to get 0.724 billion cubic meter (BCM)of water out of the 11.983 BCM of
annual utilizable flow of Yamuna upto Okhla. The 275 MGD to be supplied from
the Renuka dam is a part of this share.
A pampered city
Delhi is rapidly becoming a city with virtually insatiable thirst for water.
Using its political and economic power, however, it is quenching this thirst
by extracting resources from places near and far. The city is already
drawing water from the Bhakra dam, it also gets water from the Tehri project
and now it is looking to the Renuka dam. Moreover, it expects to draw its
remaining share of Yamuna waters from the Kishau and Lakhawar-Vyasi Dams in
Uttarakhand. And all of this is accompanied by wide-spread submergence of
villages, fields and forests, as well as the displacement of hundreds of
thousands of people.
Delhi has among the highest per-capita water availability of all Indian
cities. With a supply of more than 200 litres per capita per day (lpcd), it
compares well with Bangalore (74), Chennai (87), Kolkatta (130) and Mumbai
(191). In fact, a 2007 study by the Asian Development Bank and the Ministry
of Urban Development, Government of India titled 2007 Benchmarking and Data
Book of Water Utilities in India looked at the data for 20 major Indian
cities and found that the average per capita water availability for these
cities was 123.3 lpcd. The 11th Five Year Plan document notes that
per-capita availability of water in New Delhi exceeds that in Paris. Of
course, these figures hide the gross inequities of water distribution in
As if the ecological and human costs were not enough, Delhi uses the water
thus obtained rather profligately. When pushing for privatisation of the
Delhi Jal Board under its now aborted Delhi Water Supply and Sewerage
Project, the World Bank noted that as much as 40 per cent of Delhi's water
was lost, mostly due to old and leaking pipes, compared to the international
best practise of 10 per cent. Given that Delhi supplies somewhere around 720
MGD of water, the losses work out to 288 MGD, more than what the Renuka
project is expected to supply. So the Renuka dam is being built essentially
to compensate for the leaks and losses of a wasteful city.
On 6 May 2009, several civil society organisations including the Renuka
Bandh Sangarsh Samiti, an organization of the people affected by the Renuka
dam, the Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, a coalition of movements, struggles and
independent activists in Himachal Pradesh, and the South Asia Network on
Dams, Rivers and People, a leading research organisation on the issues of
dams and water based in Delhi submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, then also holding charge of the Ministry of Environment and
Forests. This memorandum, apart from raising many other issues quoted the
Performance Audit report of the Delhi Jal Board for 2008 which also noted
that "Delhi has distribution losses of 40 per cent of total water supply
which is abnormal and significantly higher than the acceptable norms of 15
per cent prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development."
The memorandum also noted that the Delhi Jal Board had admitted, in response
to an application under the Right to Information Act, that it had not
carried out any options assessment before concluding that the Renuka project
is the best to meet its water requirements.
The Environmental Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment and
Forests, which is considering the project developer's proposal for
Environmental Clearance, decided in its meeting of 14 May 2009 that the
representations made in the memorandum must first be addressed, and only
then can the project be considered. This means that as of now, the project
does not have the necessary environmental clearance to go forward.
No clearance, but land acquisition On
In a major travesty of justice, however, the project has taken up
acquisition of lands even though it still does not have the statutory
clearances. Not only that, but the land acquisition is being carried out
under the Sec 17 of the Land Acquisition Act, the so called 'urgency'
clause, which also means that the right of the land owner to raise
objections to the acquisition process is bypassed.
This has justifiably made the people in the area furious. For some time,
people from the 32 villages affected by the project have been raising the
issues of displacement, resettlement and compensation. At first, they
believed the promises of the project authorities that they would get the
best possible resettlement and compensation. Then they found that there was
no land-for-land provision, but only cash compensation for their losses.
Their final disillusionment came when they heard the rates being offered.
While the going rates elsewhere in Sirmour district were between Rs.8 to 12
lakhs per bigha, they were offered a paltry Rs.50,000 to 1,50,000 per
bhigha. This meant that they would be in no position to buy land to replace
the lands they would lose. Like in many other projects in the country, this
is a sure recipe for rendering them landless, and pushing them into poverty.

The representatives of the oustees told this author that when some of them
met the Chief Minister of the state, he said that if they opposed the Renuka
project, then he would stop the development of the entire area.
Total opposition to the project
The oustees of the Renuka dam have now decided to completely oppose the
project. Apart from the resettlement-related issues, they have also started
questioning the very basis of the project. They argue that if Delhi wants to
use the waters of the Giri river, there is no need for the dam; the same
water in any case flows into the Yamuna and then onwards to Delhi.
On 25 June 2009, they held a big rally and public meeting in Dadahu, the
main town near Renukaji. The event was attended not only by men and women
from the affected areas, but also activists from other parts of the state
and the country. The local MLA, Dr. Prem Singh of the Congress, (the BJP is
the ruling party in the state) who is himself affected by the project,
participated and declared his support to the people. The gathered protestors
also went to the project office and declared their total opposition to the
project. The leaders of the Renuka Bandh Jan Sangharsh Samiti - which is
spearheading the struggle - emphatically and repeatedly stated that the
issue is no longer about resettlement, but rather the question of whether
the project itself is unnecessary.
The anger, distrust and opposition in the dam-affected areas are attracting
widespread support not just from other parts of Himachal Pradesh but also
elsewhere in the country. The real question is whether Delhi will learn
anything from it. Not only is the project from a bygone era - it was first
mooted in the 1960s - but the methods of implementing it are also outdated.
An all-powerful government has decided what is best for the people, without
their consultation or involvement, and pushes ahead its 'public interest'
projects using force if felt necessary. And as in countless other examples
throughout India, the people are prepared to resist, knowing quite well how
poorly the state has treated others facing similar fates.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Please find below the Urgent Volunteering Requirement in AID -Gurgaon for Sept 2009 .   


Intrested Volunteers can reach following numbers for further faciliation  


Dileep Kumar  : 93105 56612

Munish Duvedi : 9999623 000

Dilip Kumar :   99990 76708



Project Request 

Number of Volunteers required

Number of beneficiary  kid



Purpose of task

Timing desired



Regular School  Education Programme


06-08 Approx.


Providing Add On Clases in all subjects to Kids of  1st and 2nd standard  on a regular basis in the evenings for two to three -months only  

During our Community connect programme it was observed by fellow  AIDers  that  kids addmitted under RSEP were not able to catch up with the pace of Regular schooling. So it was observed that though the parents are supporting them in all possible ways and following them to study ,but these parents being illitrate were not able to follow what they do in school.We try to check these kids on weekends but saw that regular follow up was required to bring them to the desired level





Working people can opt for post office hours.


Home based people can opt for earlier timings also.

It would be suggested that if 2 people can take it on alternate day basis.


Ask your frinds who can spare one hour in the evenings.


Find desirous people who are :-


·         Housewives

·         Professionals who generally leave office by 5-6 PM.

·         College goings students.

·         Retired teachers

·         Those on vacations etc.




On behalf of AID -Gurgaon Team



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