For a sustainable and shared economy, a group of 28 social activists in Tripura have come together to provide free garments to the poor. Known as ‘Free Bazaar’, this is a place where the well-to-do can deposit their old garments and the poor can pick them up.
The group formed a socio-cultural organization called ‘Helping Hands’ in Tripura’s Udaipur two years ago and have been engaged in philanthropic works since then.
On Diwali Mela this year, they decided to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor to provide relief to the downtrodden, while investing only their labour.
“We are a new group and we want to do much. But since our activities are funded by our own pockets alone, we can’t make radical changes, even if we want. Couple of us came up with the idea of crowdsourcing used but wearable garments and give them away to the needy. This way, we can give all the help we want and in a sustainable manner”, 30-year-old Soutam Das, a member of the group, told indianexpress.com.
While most NGOs and care organizations thrive on funding, this unique group has made a point in keeping the finances to themselves and the love out for everyone else.
While anyone can donate anything, the poor can take anything they want, no questions asked. With the slogan of ‘Give Some, Take Some’, the group ensures a continuous flow of garments.
Das says the group was sceptic about the first experiment but have got a tremendous response.
“We half-expected not more than 400-500 garments to be crowdsourced this year. But we have received tremendous response so far. Our stall has received over 1,500 clothes in last two days. Though we planned this Free Bazaar to continue for two days experimentally, we might need to extend our plan for now”, Das added.
Prasenjit Das, a student of Tripura University, said the stall has attracted huge response and people have requested them to keep up the good work.
‘Helping Hands’ is now planning to go for a permanent stall of ‘Free Bazaar’ at Udaipur city from 2020 to help the needy. The group has its annual meeting coming up in December.
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