Lower-income group benefits from clothing banks in BirgunjThe service has been set up by three different social organisations in the city.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ganesh Sah, a rickshaw puller in Birgunj, can’t afford to buy new clothes for his family.
But for Sah and those in his income bracket, ‘clothes banks’ set up in various places across the city have helped a great deal. “I can now pick and choose the clothes I need for me and my family, and I don’t have to pay a single rupee for them,” said Sah. “The clothes bank has been a boon for us.”
Many like Sah are benefitting from the introduction of such clothes banks. These “stores” are set up with the tagline: “If you have clothes in abundance, give it to us; if you don’t, take from us.” The slogan is currently the talk of the town in Birgunj.
The banks have been set up by three organisations: Green City Communal Adarshanagar, Byabasthit Birgunj Campaign and Womens’ Creation.
Chair of Green City Communal Jaya Prakash Khetan said that the banks have proved to be fruitful to the target group and he is happy with the outcome. “We run with the slogan “sab ko haat, sab ko saath” (which loosely translates to ‘everybody’s contribution, everybody’s help’), and we hope to continue it for a long time,” said Khetan.
Coordinator of Byabasthit Birgunj Campaign Dilip Raj Karki said that the bank is an “effort to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots”.
Karki said, “The effort has been remarkably successful in the city.”
Meanwhile, Nutan Sarabargi, chair of Womens’ Creation, said that while those who can afford to spend money on clothes find themselves with clothes they hardly wear, and then there are those who struggle to buy even a single item of clothing. “We aim to end this gap,” she said. “Many social workers have even bought new clothes themselves and donated to our bank.”
Brijeshwor Chaudhary, coordinator of the Birgunj Clothes Bank Main Committee, said that the bank has seen success in a limited timeframe. “The number of service givers and seekers is on the rise by the day,” he said.
Chaudhary further added that the campaign will continue well through the winter. “Its importance is more during the winter, where many suffer from the cold for lack of clothing and shelter,” he said.
Meanwhile, groups like Meme Birgunj and BanShakti Youth Club have also joined the fray, setting up new banks on their own.