My Story: With My Cramped Hand & A Heap Of Luggage; A Man On A Scooter Became My Messiah On Women’s Day

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“It was my day to fly home to Kolkata after nearly ten months alone in Bengaluru. Little did I know that the excitement I woke up with would soon fizzle out.

As I stepped outside my door with a pile of the backpack, trolley and handbags, a surprisingly hot morning sun offered me a bitter welcome. The plan was to attend office, pull an early day and straight away head to the airport for the late-night flight. For those who are unaware, Bengaluru airport is around 47 km away from my place. People in Bengaluru usually joke about the Bengaluru airport being closer to Hyderabad than the city itself.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

My home to office is arguably walking distance, which completes my daily quota of shedding a few calories. But today was a different day. I desperately needed an auto to help me reach my workplace armed with my baggage. Also, I had a crepe bandage wrapped around my right hand, thanks to persistent pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.

As minutes drew close to an hour, I was trying to book an auto and failing. Auto-drivers in my area are quite infamous for dodging requests be it in person or through apps. I was not a new victim.

Clueless, I picked up the luggage with my cramping hand and started walking, with the feeble hope of meeting some considerate auto-driver on my way. I was to meet with sheer disappointment as one after another auto-driver replied with a curt Illa (No) to my desperate pleas.

I was almost on the verge of a breakdown as the pain only worsened and the load was becoming heavier by the second. Little did I know that a man would be my Messiah on the morning of Women’s Day.

Struggling, I somehow walked on with an awkward gait. Suddenly, someone asked from behind, “You need help, Ma?”

I turned around to find a grey-haired man sporting a soothing smile atop a scooter. He looked around sixty. He again smiled at me and offered me a lift. It was like a blessing from the blue for me. He picked up my luggage and managed to fit everything in the leg space. As I settled in the pillion seat, he set off and soon dropped me at my destination.

“I saw you struggling to walk. I figured you needed help,” he smilingly said as I alighted.

Amid my million ‘thank you’-s, he kept on smiling the same way. Finally, he wished, “Happy Women’s Day, Ma,” and scooted away. ”

– Sayantani Nath

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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