Friday, November 8, 2013

Goonj - Old Clothes, Toys, Material Collection Centre in Hyderabad

For some time we'd been thinking of giving away Anjali's clothes, books, games and toys that she'd grown out of. For one we'd visit the orphanage at St. Theresa's. But now Shobha located a centre called Goonj which accepts clothes, toys etc and uses them for material exchange.
Ashutosh and tonnes of urban waste around him, Goonj, Hyderabad

So we packed the stuff and I went yesterday looking for the Goonj office. It's right at the Gachibowli centre - the place where the Kondapur reaches Gachibowli island and heads on towards the ORR. As you approach the centre from Kondapur pull up to the left where you see, right at the edge, a Maharaja restaurant or the more famous Punjabi Rasoi. Slow down and take the left because almost immediately you find a small lane, so small that two cars may find it difficult to pass, but a cemented road. Go into the lane, take the right at the Y junction and not 400 meters from the junction you find a building with Ladies Hostel written on it. That is the building where the local Goonj office is located.

At Goonj I met Ashutosh and walked in to find tonnes of clothes in various states of packing and unpacking, sorting and such stuff. They were being packed in clean, white gunny bags. I could see some local women who were probably being employed to take care of the work. Ashutosh told me that the clothes (and other material) are never given as charity because Goonj believes in self respect and dignity. Cloth is always given for work for the village development which includes, building of bridges, cleaning ponds, water bodies, digging wells and laying roads.
More clothes, a picture of the Goonj team in the background
I was inspired enough to come back and read more about Goonj. It was begun by Anshu Gupta who, after a stint in the media as a journalist was inspired by a story of Habeeb, a man who disposed of dead bodies in Delhi. Anshu was bothered at the number of deaths that cold caused  and realized that it was not so much about cold as about lack of clothing. So came the idea of using material as a currency, of using urban wastage into rural resources. All this while preserving self respect and dignity.

So Goonj takes urban waste and gives cloth for work in rural areas. They believe that someone needs to match the needs to the waste given. They work for their clothes and do something good for their villages. Children get material such as books, toys, for attending school, following hygiene, women get sanitary pads etc. Goonj makes 35 different products from the waste it collects from bags to sanitary pads, toys, underwear etc. Today Goonj operates in 21 states, has 150 full time employees, wors with 250 partners. has done 900 developmental activities, won awards, processed over 1 million kilos of material, have produced 200000 kgs of quilts, 2 million sanitary pads, processed 2.1 million clothes, won several awards and recognition. Check out more information on Goonj at their website and listen to the 12 minute presentation by Anshu Gupta at NASA on Goonj.

For Hyderabadis who wish to give away their waste for a good cause, you can reach Ashutosh who was very helpful at 9550274637 or 9640433473.
The address reads like this - Goonj, Gulshan Nagar, Behind Punjabi Rasoi, Next to Florida International school, Gachibowli. 


Rajendra said...

good work, this.

Unknown said...

Do you have some contact or office near Himayath Nagar or Kachiguda

Harimohan said...

No Namita. Maybe you could try the numbers given here (dated now) or on their website. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Do you have any branch nearsecunderabad?

hari said...

Do you have any branches in around secunderabad,

Rush said...

How can anyone donate old stuffs from Patna (Bihar)
Pls let me know

Unknown said...

Any dropping centre near by Chandanagar

Harimohan said...

Last I heard, they had moved their office from Gachibowli towards Sun City. Please try the phone number and I am sure they will guide you accordingly.

Anonymous said...

There is a dropping center at diamond point I think, pls call Rupesh at 9640433473.

Unknown said...

I have tried to reach them through all ph. Nos available but Not even a single number I can able to speak !! I have tried to
Kavita Bansal --09320009766 (always in engage -but no response)
Rupesh-- 09640 433473 --09441553473 -- Out of Coverage area (or) switched off !!!

Other nos-- 09550274637 (same situation)
Delhi corporate office
011-41401216 --No Response
0even after so many trials made we couldn't able to connect any one of these (Keeping in my motive to donate clothes / or other items as described in the website of Goonj !!!

Unknown said...

Hi i hv lot of cloth meterials how can I donate