Just ahead of Diwali, hundreds of slum-dwellers from Dahisar and Borivali got to take home some gifts of their choice. During a charity fair called Street Funder, organised by the Borivali-based Naidu club at the KoraKendra grounds, the slum-dwellers could pick up furniture, electronic appliances and clothes, at no cost. The club organised the fair, a first-of-its-kind event in the suburbs, with a simple theme — asking people willing to donate items to leave them at the venue to be picked up by those in need.
“Many people appreciated the move and openly donated items. Those in need got them for free. We became a medium and through it could help hundreds of people,” said Ganesh Naidu, founder of Naidu Club, a well known Dandiya event organiser. Between October 13 and October 15, nearly 1,500 people came to browse through the items and make their selection. “Many children chose video games and clothes while adults picked furniture, electronic appliances, etc,” said Naidu. Gayatri Bhoir from Dahisar gaothan said, “I heard about it from a relative and visited the mela (fair) Sunday afternoon. I wanted to buy a mixer grinder but was not able to afford it. I saw one, and got it for free.”
Shalini Kanojia , a resident of the Borivali Daulatnagar slum, brought home a wooden cupboard. She said, “It’s a second hand cupboard but it looked new. We could have not afforded it otherwise. My husband and I checked out many items but picked this one.” On the last day of the mela Sunday, the organisers also visited the nearby slums to distribute items that had not been picked up.