Bill Gates rightly said, “Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.”
If you plan to reach out to the underprivileged people and have an impact in the lives of many, you should get started by all means not just by pondering over ideas but by the actual act of giving.
Sajan Abrol graduated from The Indraprastha University, Delhi and is currently working as a Research analyst in the frauds department at American Express .Naman Ahluwalia is working at KPMG and is an engineer by profession. The duo observed the lack of resources available to the not so fortunate and decided to give back to society. Thus was born Clothes Box Foundation in April 2014.
They carried forward their idea of procuring clothes that are not needed anymore and giving them to the disadvantaged sections of society by setting up a unique yet well-connected network across the country.
“One of the reasons why we started this foundation was the idea of keeping things clear and transparent. Unfortunately, we say that a lot of NGO’s now a days do not really believe in the transparency of activities being performed. We are one of the few NGOs keeping our activities for all to see”, says Sajan.
Valuing the importance of how a little gesture can go a long way, the foundation aims to see smiling faces by doing little things other than just providing clothing. Initially, they found that the donors did not know where their donations were going. They solved it by keeping the donors well informed about the donation and distribution via Facebook.“The basic USP is that telling people where your clothes are exactly going. You have given me 100 clothes; I am accountable for giving you 100 pictures in return. That thing brings you happiness when you see your clothes being worn by someone who really needs them.”, says Sajan.
The foundation gets hold of unwanted clothes that are in good condition or brand new from the people who have the same vision as theirs. Using Facebook as a medium, donors know that their clothes have been donated to the underprivileged.
The clothes are collected by the volunteers stationed in cities such as Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Assam, Bhubaneswar, Silokhera, Ambala and Surat. The receiver gets a photo clicked which is then uploaded on the Clothes Box Foundation Facebook page with the donor tagged in it.
They say the greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it. No matter how unique your idea is, there is competition everywhere. Clothes being the basic input, people donate them in bulk which requires considerable money for it to be transported. The donors often misapprehend donating with waste disposal and give away clothes that are extremely dirty and filthy.
Journey so far
So far, the foundation has received 12,000 clothes out of which 11,700 have been distributed already. People have contributed generously and appreciated the idea not only in India but across the globe too. The team has gone out of their comfort zones to reach out to those who were adversely affected by the Nepal Earthquake and Kashmir Floods by providing basic needs for survival through the Embassy of Nepal, Art of Living Foundation and the Indian Army respectively. It has conducted interactive sessions at schools such as Delhi Public School, Gurgaon to make students aware about the life outside their comfortable A/C rooms.
Going strong, the foundation plans to implement ways to diversify its field of work towards other areas such as education, sanitisation, and making available potable water to name a few. Stating fundraising as a secondary concern, the founders are in search of people who are willing to help the organisation in terms of time, commitment, volunteering and above all the passion to help the ones in need. Keeping in line with their goal to help as many people as possible across India, they intend to make their foundation a fully youth driven organisation with volunteers being equal stakeholders. The team at Clothes Box Foundation hopes to take it outside India to expand its aid and reach.About the Author
Divya Chandra is an intern at YourStory. She’s passionate about writing and is a coffee fanatic. Her belief – at the end of the day, you are but your story. Catch her on twitter @d1vyaChandra
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