THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Next time you splurge and saunter out of a shopping mall, how about keeping aside one new dress for the sake of the needy. As you enhance your wardrobe, how about donating some of your old clothes that are in good condition. These red boxes are just for that.
Like a beauty spot, it adorns the front space of the shop in Keston Road, a six ft high red box akin to that of a post box. This is where you can drop off that dress you no longer need or rather donate a brand new dress.
When Saranya and Unnikrishnan, who belong to the city decided to tie the knot, they decided to mark the celebratory occasion by contributing a dress bank to the city. By contributing the dress bank, they were, in fact, giving flights to a mega dress bank initiative envisaged by the NGO 'Support 4 Society (S4S)'. The marriage was a low key affair. But with the dress bank, the duo and the NGO has joined in the movement to help the lesser privileged. “Saranya was a friend of one of our members and she expressed her desire to set up a dress bank. The dress bank was set up by associating with us,” says Syam Thampanoor, founder of S4S. The first such dress bank was inaugurated by KASE managing director Sriram Venkitaraman and award-winning calligraphy artist Narayana Bhattathiri.
These dress banks are slated to be set up across the major shopping centers in the city. The idea is to ensure that this Onam, the needy in the city will get to celebrate the occasion with a brand new 'Onakkodi'. “The larger aim is that every other needy person in the city is well clothed,” says Syam. Within one week since its installation, the Dress Bank got filled to the brim with clothes of all kinds, towels, and even new dresses that people donated. One can drop off washed and ironed clothes in these dress bank which will be collected by the team every week.
The team has identified several areas in the city and outskirts where there is a requirement of clothes and is in touch with the orphanages and old age homes in the city.“Although we are getting calls, as of now we haven't started the distribution as we are short of the required number of clothes. Only when we have enough cloth materials for each and every person in a particular institution can we start the distributing it. We hope that this Onam, we will be able to mobilise enough people so that every needy individual will get a fresh 'Onakkodi',” Syam says.
“You can always give us a call if there are old and usable clothes at your homes. We will collect it from you. Moreover, if you come across anyone or any place where people are in dire need of clothes, do not hesitate to call us,” says Syam.
The NGO is a collective of like-minded individuals across the city, who volunteer their time for various charity works.
S4S is envisaged as a platform whereby we intend to address the issues gripping the people, he adds. “The concept is not unattainable. Even if a small percent of the students in the colleges in our city decide to donate clothes, we can ensure that the caregiving homes in the vicinity of these institutions get a steady supply of good clothes,” says Syam.
The NGO is in talks with various shopping centres in the city to set up these dress banks. “Once we have implemented this in the city, we intend to expand this to other districts. We hope that more people will join our team and together we can all make a change,” he adds hopefully. For more details contact: 0471 2117777.