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Clothes bank set up to help the needy - NGO to facilitate doorstep collection of old garments, keep drop boxes in shopping malls, banks

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 2.12.08

Dec. 2: Were you about to discard your old garments? Don’t. You can help somebody by donating them to the “clothes bank”.

This unique bank was launched today by a city-based NGO, Xavier’s Foundation, with the support of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), a financial and development institution formed under the DoNER ministry.

Actor Kapil Bora inaugurated the clothes bank at a function held at Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok this afternoon.

The bank will collect used clothes from people and distribute the same among the poor and needy.

“Our basic idea is to collect old clothes that can be still be used and make those available to the needy free of cost through different NGOs and other organisations which are working for the uplift of the poor and underprivileged,” Xavier’s Foundation president Pranab Jyoti Neog said. The idea is his brainchild.

He said they had received a tremendous response from the public on the very first day as a large number of people came forward to donate their old clothes.

The inaugural function was attended by a large number of people, including former chief secretary H.N. Das, former vice-chancellor of Dibrugarh University Kulendu Pathak, the chairman of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, B.C. Konwar, and the joint director of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati, Pranab Sarmah.

Neog said Assam governor S.C. Mathur could not attend the function because of health reasons.

“The government, in a written message, appreciated our effort and made an appeal to individuals and organisations to extend all possible help and support to this endeavour,” he added.

He said the clothes bank would be good for donors as well because while disposing their old clothes they would be doing charity by ensuring that these clothes reach the needy and poor people free of cost.

“The basic needs of human beings are food, shelter and clothing. People understand the need for food and shelter but often overlook the need for clothes,” Neog said.

“When natural calamities hit people, relief in the form of clothes and food come in. But there is a constant need for clothes among the underprivileged. Nobody realises this. There are so many people in the country who die of cold because of lack of clothes or cover,” Neog said, explaining how he came up with the idea of setting up the “clothes bank”.

The bank 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 our office in house number 8 on Rajgarh Main Road or they can give us a call and our members will collect the clothes from their doorstep,” Neog said.

“We are also planning to keep drop boxes for clothes at places like shopping malls and banks,” he added.