poem inspired for goonj

Keepsakes and Landfills

Two little boys of nine and seven
ran with a gait uneven
up the road to the school gates
laughing and talking all the way

they did not mind the bend of their backs
pulled down by the tattered books in their hands
nor the harshness of the sweltering heat
on their bare backs and sanded feet.

cause they are after all
two little boys of nine and seven.

while—
pristine school shoes
lie in a landfill in my city

and a bag in Superman colours
dwells in the loft of my child’s room
a keepsake, long forgotten.

©Namratha Varadharajan

POETRY FORM

FREE VERSE

Inspiration/Cause for the day: GOONJ

The inspiration for today’s poem is an organization called Goonj.

Goonj, formed in 1999 by Anshu Gupta, started with 67 clothes and now deals with over 3000 tonnes of material every year!

What is so different about Goonj?

Goonj does not just take used clothes and pass it on. They collect clothes in their drop off centres where it is segregated and provided to people in the rural areas/ for relief in disaster-hit areas according to the need. For example, women in rural areas would only utilize sarees, there is no point providing them with t-shirts, right? People are given clothes according to their custom/preference as well as size. They also do not believe in just charity. They have successfully developed an alternate currency: cloth for work! So the people work on the development of their areas like laying roads, plumbing lines etc and get cloth in return. Hence rendering a dignity to receiving.

Other clothes collected are then repurposed into bags, and waste cloth into menstrual pads. In villages, talking about menstruation is taboo and there is not enough awareness about menstrual hygiene. They provide information as well as the handmade pads, a dire necessity. If you have waste cotton clothes you can donate them to this program.

In my poem today, I have highlighted one of their programs called “School to school“. Many children in villages do not have essential school supplies like schools shoes, uniforms, books, school bags, pencils and pens. At the end of the school year, we usually discard these items and buy new ones. Since most schools in India must just be breaking for the holidays I thought this is an apt time to champion this cause.
If you are inspired by this organization and decide to write a poem/article about them, do leave the link in the comment and I will be sure to read, comment and share it.


For each letter this April, I shall be presenting a poem inspired by ‘something’ that is making our world a little bit kinder, a little bit greener. The ‘something’ is a mix of people, movements, thoughts, or organizations who are having a positive influence on the world around us. Read all the posts in ‘Poetry For A Cause’ series by linking the button below.

“CHANGE BEGINS WITH AWARENESS”

Keepsakes and Landfills: Inspired by Goonj #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo
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23 thoughts on “Keepsakes and Landfills: Inspired by Goonj #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo

  • April 15, 2018 at 9:25 am
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    A acquaintance of mine runs toybank (in case you are interested here is the link http://www.toybank.org/play) and I had heard her mention Goonj. But I hadn’t really got around to learning more about them. This post was informative and what a great idea to dedicate a poem to the cause. A lovely tribute that also creates awareness.

    Reply
    • April 23, 2018 at 2:18 am
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      Thanks. Yes I have heard of toy bank. Glad I could contribute to some awareness about Goonj. Do share the link of your blog so that I can reciprocate the visit:)

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 10:36 pm
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    Your poem is awesome. what makes it more beautiful is the thought behind it. another lovely piece.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 10:37 pm
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      Thank you for your comment Priya. Glad you liked it.

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 11:16 am
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    I donate to goonj quite regularly. Once I even offered to volunteered. Good post Namy. You are doing a noble job.

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 11:02 am
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    Goonj does a great job. This is a great tribute to an organisation that works for such a noble cause. Lovely as all your poems.

    Natasha
    natashamusing

    April Anecdotes
    Kiss

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 11:44 am
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      Yes their work is so organised and really impressive. Heading over to your blog now

      Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 11:46 am
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      They are definitely worth supporting Neha😊

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 10:21 am
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    Another superb poem by you. I find Goonj an excellent NGO. Your Gravatar links to a page that says your blog is private. This is why I haven’t been able to visit the last few days.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 11:48 am
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      Thanks for pointing that out, Kalpana. Shall try to rectify that. I think it is connected to my old wordpress blog. Have to figure out how to change it.

      Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 11:49 am
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      Thanks Shalini. It is beneficial for us as well when we give away things. Lesser stuff to clean and organise😊

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 3:17 am
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    It was wonderful knowing about Goonj.
    I really liked the use of irony in this poem. Very well written dear 🙂

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 11:49 am
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      Thank you Purba. I loved your Echo poem.

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 1:07 am
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    Just this morning I looked up the local Goonj contacts. my house is overflowing in stuff and I must give it away. lovely series this is turning out to be.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm
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      You can trust that your stuff will reach the people who need it with Goonj.

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 1:05 am
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    This is a very critical issue we are facing now. People who can afford just keep buying things without properly discarding the stuff they own, be advised that they are contributing big time to our planet’s non-degradable junk. In that sense, organisations like goonj are doing a creditable job in balancing the equation. Nice poem for a noble cause. Excellent, as ever, Namy 🙂

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm
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      Thanks😊 Consumerism, use and throw mentality, changing fashions all contribute towards over buying by those who can afford it and a lot of it simply gets thrown away when there are many people who can use these things. Thats where organisations like goonj come in

      Reply

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