Goonj (meaning echo) is a multi-award winning social enterprise which was founded in 1999 with the objective of building an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between cities and villages, by using under-utilised urban material as a tool to trigger development with dignity, across the country.
Goonj turns old material into a resource for hundreds of rural development activities. Its network of communities have built bamboo bridges, dug up wells, developed small irrigation canals, built drainage systems, built village schools, repaired roads and developed water harvesting systems. All these works are achieved whilst making people understand their community power and giving usable old material as a reward. Over the years, Goonj’s work has led to systemic changes in disaster relief and rehabilitation work, while it has also opened up the taboo issue of menstrual hygiene and providing clean cotton cloth as a viable solution.
During the last 3 years, Goonj has mobilised communities to undertake more than 12,000 small and big community development projects around water, local infrastructure, sanitation etc. across rural India, reaching over 2.25 million people with needs-based material.
During the Covid pandemic, Goonj has been creating carefully-designed kits for local communities, including family kits, school kits, labour kits, marriage kits and menstrual hygiene kits. In the six months to October 2020, Goonj has provided over 3.8m kgs of rations and other essentials to communities; over 190,000 kgs of fresh fruit and vegetables; over a million face masks and cloth sanitary pads and has initiated over 3,500 Dignity for Work projects.
3i’s donation will fund aid kits for 840 migrant families, totalling approx. 4200 people, in Madhya Pradesh who have been displaced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The aid kits contains dry rations, personal care items and household necessities such as utensils and mosquito nets.
HelpAge India is a leading charity working with and for the disadvantaged elderly in India, of which there are an estimated 106 million. HelpAge advocates for their needs such as for Universal Pension, quality healthcare and action against Elder Abuse.
HelpAge provides elderly relief through various interventions such as running one of the largest mobile healthcare programmes through its Mobile Healthcare Units which provide free healthcare services to destitute elders; helping elders earn their livelihood through the formation of Elder-Self-Help Groups; conducting cataract surgeries to restore their sight; looking after their basic needs though its Support-a-Gran programme; running Elder Helplines across the country and providing relief and rehabilitation for elders post disasters and active-ageing opportunities.
Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable groups who have been affected by the Covid pandemic. Through its donation, 3i will fund 2 mobile healthcare units which will visit 10-12 locations in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar each week to provide free medical treatment and essential medicines to chronic patients as well as offer Covid-19 awareness and prevention counselling. Cases needing further intervention will be referred to secondary and tertiary hospitals in the area.
The mobile healthcare units will also be equipped with tele health facilities which will enable consultants to reach medical staff in remote villages. In addition to supporting the elderly, the consultants will advise other people in the community to raise awareness of, and diagnose, common ailments and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, provide counselling and health & nutrition awareness sessions, and arrange home visits for bedridden older patients.
It is anticipated that in excess of 2,500 people will be supported through these units over the coming year.