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.
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.
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”