This wonderful news comes to us from West Bengal, India.
Saju Talukdar is a 47-year-old commercial car driver who also runs the Bir Birsha Munda Cloth Bank (BBMC) about 100 km away from Siliguri in West Bengal. The bank was inaugurated in January of 2017 but Saju has been collecting used clothes from people and distributing it to the needy for over a decade now.
As of now, the clothes bank has 50,000 units of clothing from which Saju distributes 3000-4000 units to families in nearby tea gardens, bus stops, railway stations and wherever else people need clothes.
When he was a child, Saju had to drop out of school for the lack of a proper school uniform. He says what happened to him should never happen to anyone else. It was this thought that encouraged him to start these clothes donating campaign.
Saju started driving commercial vehicles from 2008 and during the course of his daily rides, he would see people scrounging from dustbins, living a miserable existence and roaming around half naked. This had a big effect on his mind and he says that he saw his childhood in these people.
In order to collect clothes to donate, Saju had to go to each house in Birpara and ask residents to donate clothes for his campaign. In the beginning, many people were skeptical but Saju’s enthusiasm gradually won them over. He would go on his cycle to the tea gardens and observed as to who needed the clothes the most. Next, he approached the shanties where the people lived and donated clothes to them.
Opening a Facebook page enabled Saju to solicit public support for his campaign. This helped him with starting his cloth bank. In January of 2017, Saju started BBMC from his home and put up a signboard. The people who noticed it started donating clothes, In order to collect and distribute these clothes Saju bought a 4 wheeler in 2015. He distributes the clothes at Bandapani, Red Bank, Ramjhora, Dimdima and Kathalgudi including other closed plantations and also at railway stations and bus stops.
During the winters Saju distributes nearly 3000 blankets hand to hand. This is a marvelous effort and worthy of praise. Besides the cloth bank, Saju runs a shelter home called Heaven Shelter for abandoned people. Here he provides food and clothing to the homeless.
Image Source: The Better India