Eighty-year-old Mohammad Shahuddin was happily choosing from a few clothes that Kiran Kumar who works at a store in Mehdipatanam was showing him.
As the man who works as a security guard and has measly monthly earnings of Rs 3000, walks out with a packet, he hasn’t paid a single paisa to the store.
Looking at a wheelchair in the store, he said, “I want to take this as it’s really difficult for me to walk at this age, but we stay in a small single room so there is no space for this wheelchair. I cannot even accommodate it even if I get this for free.
L-R Kiran Kumar(Project Coordinator) showing clothes to Mohammad Shahuddin
Like Shahuddin, many others come to the ‘Goodwill store’ in Hyderabad and shop for free.
The store was launched on October 2, 2015 in Mehdipatnam area of Hyderabad with the aim of providing underprivileged people, basic needs like clothing. The store collects household goods and clothing from different parts of the city through people who donate used materials. The needy can just walk in on any Thursday and Saturday and select clothes for free.
The store reaches out to slum dwellers, migrants and homeless people in an effort to achieve all-round community development.
'Goodwill Store' is a part of the LSN foundation, which is a non-profit organization established at Hyderabad in 2007. The main focus of the foundation is to support vulnerable sections of society.
Manjula Pallipoyena, 38-year-old founder of LSN foundation and Goodwill store, told The News Minute, “In one of my visits to Bojjagutta slum near Mehdipatnam, I have seen there are migrant workers who are in need of clothing, food supplies, and kitchen utensils, books, play material for children and many more things.”
Right -Manjula Pallipoyena with other ladies from Bojjagutta slum
“I also observed that slum dwellers and the poor are not able to shop with any sense of dignity or confidence. There are many families in the city, which throw out a lot of used/unused clothes, materials as and when they get transferred or for other reasons. That’s where the idea of bridging the gap through Goodwill store was born,” she added.
Speaking about the hurdles they face, Manjula explains, “We need more volunteers to collect donations from different parts of the city. Most of the time, we face the challenge of how to transport things. We would like to encourage neighbourhoods and residential areas to have collection drives to mobilize things for the store.”
Manjula strongly believes that the solution to this problem involves employing a strategy called 'Receiving Mechanism' i.e. reviving people through consciousness.
It's not a charity, clothing is a basic need and state and civil societies need to focus on basic needs along with other issues. Goodwill store is not just a distribution store but it's a vehicle to bring issues that are sidelined on to the table and to bring communities together to make them aware of their own strengths, Manjula adds.
45-year-old Bassapa looked happy with his red shirt which he seleced at Goodwill store
Thirty-two-year-old Venkantamma from Mehboobnagar who works as a domestic help said, “I work in a men's hostel. I was not aware of this store but today I suddenly walked in to this store and am glad to know about this initiative, which is a great help for people like us. My family stays in Mehboobnagar. I came to Hyderabad for work. I earn around Rs 4000. We never go for shopping, once in a year may be we go to some small shop and buy for around Rs 50 to Rs 60. But today I got many clothes and I also selected some for my husband and kids. They will be really glad to see these clothes.”
Venkantamma selecting clothes for her husband and kids
If u wish to contribute to this store you can contact the 'Goodwill Store' on 9949563967/04023511488.