Day 12 (04.01.2015) The cold wind woke me up, bypassing those sealed (with duct tape) windows of the compartment, thick blanket and my multilayered clothes. And, that’s how winter of the north hits you. My mouth almost became numb when I gargled after brushing my teeth, the water was that cold. Howover, I took my version of ice bucket challenge that day, actually it’s ice water bucket challenge and that’s the most refreshing bath in my whole life :P . Cups of hot tea save me that morning, thanks to pantry car anna. When the train stopped, we were at Delhi Safdarjung station, OMG the capital of INDIA. From where we moved to IIT Delhi for a series of panel discussions. And, Here comes the unusual twist in the story, me and my friends decided to cut the sessions and roam around Delhi, because Yeh Dilli Hai Mere Yaar, Bas Ishq Mohabbat Pyaar (This is Delhi, my friend, there is just love here) :P .
We chose to visit QutubMinar as it’s near to IIT Delhi. No wonder why its an UNESCO World Heritage Site, It’s such a massive ancient structure. We enjoyed going around and clicking pictures. As usual our group’s official photographer CEO Charen clicked some awesome pics. By then, it was afternoon and we were terribly hungry. We had some dhaba style non-veg food as veg food for past 12 days bored us.
Back to IIT Delhi, we realized that Kiran Bedi is one of the panellist along with Rajendra Singh Pawar (Co-Founder, NIIT), Kishore Jayaraman (President ,Rolls-Royce India & South Asia) and Rajan Anandan (Head, Google India) in the panel discussion and we missed it . From there we reached GOONJ.
GOONJ (means an echo) a multi award winning social enterprise focused to work on ignored basic needs like clothing, sanitary pads for village and slum India while changing the dynamics of giving & receiving with dignity. Using the city’s discard GOONJ is fueling widespread development work across village India. Over the last 14 years it has built a network of channels from urban to village India, channelising clothes & other household material to reach people in most far flung areas. Turning city’s discard into currency for rural development work, GOONJ has innovatively catalyzed what is threatening to be an environmental disaster & taken the pressure off monetary inputs for wide ranging rural development. – http://goonj.org/
It’s said “Picture speaks more than words”, how about a Video?. The following video is a Talk by Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj talking about it at NASA, think it’s far better than me writing about it.
We too had a similar thought provoking talk by him. We also had stalls,where we could buy Goonj products and old books. Then, we were taken to their Processing Centres. It’s really amazing to see, the things which are considered waste and are disposed by urban population is being converted into useful products that would empower rural population. We saw old clothes being transformed into sanitary pads (MyPad), bags, purses and other articles. They also segregate old books; children books are sent to rural schools and the others are sold at a discounted price to raise fund for the organisation. Visiting Goonj really changed my perspective, I could no longer see anything as waste, not even a piece of paper.
It was already midnight when we were back at station. Our dinner was on the platform, then we boarded back our train and the journey continues.
To Be Continued …