CHENNAI: As onions get dearer with the prices hitting `50 per kg, Communitree, is conducting a donation drive to collect onions and distribute it to old-age and destitute homes.“We have been organising the ‘Gift an Onion’ donation drive annually since 2016 for a week every year. We ask schools, colleges and corporate offices if each employee/student can donate one onion. Usually, each person gets two or three and we end up with a sack full of onions from each institution that we donate to old-age and destitute homes,” said Hafiz Khan, founder, Communitree. The donation drive will be conducted from October 2 to October 8. Khan said they were initially doing this because onions have a longer shelf life compared to other vegetables, but this year the drive is more relevant given the current situation and as most Indian dishes are incomplete without onions.
Talking about the genesis of the idea, Hafiz said, “Usually when people think of donation, the first idea they get is to donate money. But while donating money, a person becomes really conscious if what he/she is giving is really sufficient. And also when money is involved, people tend to form judgements. For example, if he/she drives a car, they are expected to donate more. So, I came up with this idea — because this does not leave room for judgement and in turn it sparks conversations at homes on what a small donation can really do. Maybe someday they will want to start a similar drive.”
While in the first year, they collected only a few sacks of onion, the volunteers of Communitree managed donations of 800 kg in 2017 and a whopping 1.5 tonnes in 2018. This year, they expect the quantity to be more than two tonnes.
“This year, we are expecting apartment complexes to donate too. With at least 500-600 houses in each complex, the donations will be great. Also, till now our greatest contributor has been the IT sector. Last year, we got a mini van full of onions from an IT company,” said Hafiz.
Communitree members plan to take students of schools which donate, to destitute home where the onions will be donated, to give them an end-to-end understanding of their contribution.
For details, call: 9840575555
They are operating on the East Coast Road, Old Mahabalipuram Road and Tambaram. However, they can collect onions from all over the city if willing contributors are available.