Goonj successfully triggers over 500 rural development projects every month. I first discovered Goonj and the incredible work they do whilst investigating how I could put the excess material from my factory to good use. Goonj offered the ideal solution. Material leftovers are bagged up in the factory and posted to Goonj’s head office where they are distributed across India to create Sujinis (patch work quilts) and Aasans (sitting mats). Not only does creating Sujinis and Aasans serves as a means of livelihood to 1,300+ people, most of them women, they are also included in material Kits that contribute to Goonj’s Cloth for Work, RAHAT and School to School initiatives.
The work that Goonj does for women particularly resonated with me. Not only does the work provide women with a livelihood but Goonj also works to raise awareness around menstruation. Around 70% of women in India cannot afford to buy sanitary pads and according to UNICEF 1 in 3 girls in South Asia knew nothing about menstruation prior to starting it. Using donated cloth, Goonj has managed to develop and distribute 2.5 million cloth sanitary pads called MY Pad in remote parts of the country. This action is also accompanied by awareness campaigns such as NJPC – A Million Voices, a campaign bringing together a million voices shunning the taboo on menses.
Another reason the work with Goonj was to reduce Deeba’s environmental impact by ensuring all excess materials that would otherwise have been thrown away in landfills was re-used and recycled. Goonj itself is committed to creating environmentally friendly products, illustrated by their Green by Goonj initiative. Under this program, women are encouraged to showcase their craftsmanship and design skills and use any surplus materials to develop a range of contemporary products from purses to eco mats.
I am so proud that Deeba can work with, and contribute to, such a forward-thinking organisation. Their impact not only spans India, but is also felt across a multitude of key issues. Working with them has been not only moving, but the process of setting up a meaningful partnership was seamless. By supporting Deeba you are also supporting the work of Goonj and if you want to read more about the work that they do, or make a contribution directly, you can check them out here.