Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pune: ‘Kapda bank’ spreads warmth to deprived

25 January 2017

PUNE: In the biting chill of the first week of January this year, 25-year-old Sangeeta Subash Babar, a migrant living in a roadside tent, had a surprise in store. A group of women from Sanaswadi had landed at her tent with a ‘bag of goodies’. When the group handed over a saree, a sweater and other clothes to her, Sangeeta could not hold back her tears.

“Forget sweater, my one-year-old child does not even have proper clothes to wear…these tais are like gods for us,” said Sangeeta.

Like Sangeeta, 24-year-old Shobha Shinde, who lives in a nearby tent, too got clothes for herself and other members of her family. “These clothes mean a lot to us…we have been thrown out of our homes in Nagar district. We have no money, no roof. In these cold conditions, this kind of help —especially clothes —mean a lot for each one of us,” she said.

Several other migrants, who too were beneficiaries of sarees, shirts and trousers, water bottles, towels, blankets, carpets, expressed their joy on largess bestowed on them by the group of women living in Sanaswadi, near Shikrapur, in the district.

The group of women, who are all housewives, have formed what they claim is the first of its kind ‘kapda bank’ in Pune district. “If their can be a roti bank, why can’t there be a kadpa bank?,” said activist Seema Pawar, who is instrumental in bringing the women in the area together.

The ‘kapda bank’ has just come into operation and till now, the group claims that they have reached out to at least 400 people that includes migrants, slum dwellers and the homeless. As a rule, Pawar said, ‘kapda bank’ does not accept torn clothes or clothes that are not fit to wear. “And it is all a voluntary thing,” said Pawar, adding the idea of a the bank came up after she witnessed the plight of migrants and slum dwellers living in Sanaswadi, Shikrapur and other nearby areas. 

“In the meeting of our Yeshkiriti Samajik Sanstha, the members agreed to do their bit for the sake of deprived sections of the society,” said Pawar.


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