Bhubaneswar: Are you discarding your old garments? Or, clothes spilling out of your wardrobe? Don’t worry. You can help somebody by donating them to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation as the Civic Body today launched a one-of-its-kind initiative called ‘Wheel of Kindness’ to donate clothes to the poor, needy and homeless people living in the State Capital, on the occasion of ‘Utkala Dibasa’.
This unique initiative was inaugurated by BMC Administrator and Director of Municipal Administration of the Odisha Government, Sangramjit Nayak in presence of BMC Commissioner, Prem Chandra Chaudhary and several other officers of the Civic Body.
Appreciating the BMC’s initiative and terming it as one-of-its-kind in the entire state, Nayak said: “Like food and shelter, clothing is also a basic need of a human being. Therefore, in civil society, we all must show kindness towards the poor and underprivileged people to ensure that everyone wears good clothes. Instead of throwing away wearable clothes, people should come forward to donate their garments which will be given to the needy. By doing this, you can bring smiles to the faces of several poor people, including children amid a difficult time we all live in these days.”
The BMC Commissioner, Chaudhary thanked all the officers, staff, and NGO members involved in the project to make it happen and directed to make it successful by achieving its desired target. The idea is his brainchild.
“The purpose behind this initiative is to collect old clothes that can be still be used and make those available to the needy free of cost. Besides, it will encourage people not to discard their wearable old clothes, instead, they can give it to us, as a result, these clothes reach the needy and homeless people living in the city,” said Shri Chaudhary.
Making an appeal to individuals and organizations to extend all possible help and support to this endeavor, the BMC Commissioner added: “It becomes the responsibility of the large civil society to create a caring city where all citizens live in a dignified manner.”
The Civic Body has selected and partnered with city-based non-profit organization Vikash, which will manage this project starting from the collection of used clothes from people and distributing them among the poor, needy, and underprivileged people. The NGO has been given the task of collecting at least 17, 500 pieces of clothes every month.
The BMC will spend about Rs 1.60 lakh every month as part the running and maintenance cost of the initiative.
A bus has been designed and decorated for the display and distribution of clothes at selected points of the city, especially in slum areas where there is a constant need for clothes among the underprivileged. Around 2 to 4 people will be engaged in the vehicle to collect old clothes and distribute them among the needy as per their requirement. A register will be maintained to keep the record of beneficiaries.
The BMC has set up a facility called ‘The Kindness Hub’, a central washing, packaging, and inventory management centre (CWPIMC) on the premises of Old AG Colony UP School (which is closed now) in Madhusudan Nagar.
The clothes collected from the donors will be washed, sorted, and packed for their distribution at CWPIMC. Several classrooms of the school have been renovated and designed for the purpose. There are two washing rooms, three rooms for display and store, one-room each for office and cloth collection. Around 10 people will be deployed daily to manage the entire activity sating from collection to distribution.
The Kindness Hub accepts clothes of persons of all ages — right from babies to elderly people — apart from bed sheets, towels, blankets and other such necessities.
Interested people can donate their clothes at BMC main office and at zonal offices or they can give a call on mobile number +91 7978242201 to collect the clothes from their doorstep.
This apart, the BMC is also planning to keep drop boxes for clothes at places like shopping malls and apartments etc. in the coming days.
As of now, the bus will ply on the streets nearby different slums or labour markets across the city in two shifts – from 9 AM to 2 PM and then from 4 PM to 9 PM in every working day. There will be no cloth distribution on Sunday.