In Chandigarh, the non-profit Yuvsatta launched this campaign earlier this month with school children. It has spread in more than 8 schools now — the institutions adopting this campaign say they feel it inculcates the spirit of giving and sacrifice in young minds.
The concept originated in Iran some years ago, news agency IANS quoted Pramod Sharma, co-ordinator, Yuvasatta, as saying. Over the years, it has been done in Pakistan, parts of China and other countries. “The unique thing about this concept is that the giver and the receiver remain anonymous to each other. It has an element of kindness from the giver and gratitude from the receiver,” Mr Sharma said.
The ‘Wall of Kindness’ got its colloquial touch in Punjab and is referred there as ‘Neki Di Deewar’ and in Hindi it’s called ‘Neki Ki Deewar’. In Odiya, it’s called ‘Daya Pracheer’.
In Delhi, two friends who own a small translation company – Moraine Group — started this drive by putting up posters at selected locations in the national capital. Vijay Shankar, 32, and Abhishek Singh, 33, took up this initiative and spread the word through posters. They have put up the posters in 8 locations and the response, they say, has been overwhelming.
Mr Shankar said, “We took up this initiative last year and are astounded to see people’s generosity. At one point we had more than 10,000 clothes near Uttam Nagar wall. Some problems also started creeping up as there was a space crunch for storing all these clothes.” He further said that in absence of a proper shelter, during rains, many clothes were soiled and started stinking and they were forced to remove the poster from there after objections were raised by the locals.
Mr Shankar feels the initiative met the needs of a lot of people, especially during the winter months. The two are now choosing select locations near hospitals and construction sites, so that maximum people could draw benefit from it.
The above image is from Bhubaneswar’s Vani Vihar in Odisha. The wall was painted three months ago and has been getting a generous collection from people. Jagannath Panigrahi, a resident of Vani Vihar, says, “I see people leaving footwear, clothes, books for the needy and within two days, the place gets cleaned up. The next day, we see it is full again. It’s heartwarming to see this initiative. ”
In Barbil in Odisha, Chittaranjan Kar, a journalist by profession and his friend Kali Prasad Mahanta started this initiative six months ago. Mr Kar says, “Apart from the collection near the walls, we also hold donation drives in institutes and collect clothes.” The tribals from nearby areas come and as per their fitting, collect the clothes on Sundays, he informs.
Mr Kar says, “To watch children pick up clothes and toys of their choice and see their gleaming smiles, lights up my day and pushes me to do more for them.”
The above image is from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. The ‘Neki Ki Deewar’ here sees a great response throughout the year. Himanshu Jaiswal, a resident of the place who donated his old clothes here, says, “This wall inspires us every day to work for greater good of the society.”
The ‘Neki Ki Deewar’ at Sai Chanduram Ashram at Jaripatka in Nagpur sees scores of clothes being donated regularly. Deepika Janiyani, a resident of Nagpur, says, “Whenever I pass by this place, I always see clothes hanging. It’s encouraging to see this sight.”
The concept has picked up in Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Korba in Chhattisgarh and several other states. For a lot of underprivileged people across India, the ‘ Wall of Kindness’ is like a ‘Secret Santa’ that doesn’t wait for Christmas.