A first of its kind initiative in Tamil Nadu, thanks to Collector Sandeep Nanduri.

Tirunelvelis thoughtful Collector installs wall of kindness citizens flock to donateImage: Wall of Kindness/ Twitter.com
news Human interest Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 19:01
Written by  Pheba Mathew

“Donate it, if you don’t need it! Take it, if you need!”

These words jump out at you on this colourful wall titled the ‘Wall of Kindness’. This isn’t your average street art meant to beautify the town walls. The ‘Wall of Kindness’ is in fact the Tirunelveli Collector’s latest initiative, launched on Monday, to help the needy. From books and toys to clothes and shoes, one can leave any useable item on the shelves attached to the Tirunelveli Collectorate compound wall. With shirts and trousers hung from pegs on the wall, a few curious people browse through the clothes and the items on offer.

“The entire concept is that poor people can benefit from what we do not use in our houses. It is just a place of exchange of goods. This concept is not a new one, it was started somewhere in Iran, it has been there in North Indian states and also in some of our neighbouring states. But in Tamil Nadu, it is the first time we have started it,” Tirunelveli Collector Sandeep Nanduri tells TNM.

Image: Wall of Kindness/ Twitter.com

Explaining the rationale behind choosing the Collectorate for the new initiative, Sandeep says, “It is a place where lot of people come, petitioners come and poor people come, that is why we thought of starting it here. It will also create an awareness among people. We are looking at the responses and if it is successful we will expand it to other public areas.”

The collector observes that the wall does not need to be maintained, pointing to provisions like cupboards, hangers and shelves. “We make sure that things do not get wet if it rains. We are thinking of tying up with some NGOs. If there are items which are there for a long time, the NGO can take it and give it off to orphanages,” Sandeep noted.

Two days since the launch of the initiative the collector says the response has been “tremendous” with a number of people coming out to donate things.

Sunderrajan, a businessman, who came to donate clothes said that it is a very useful initiative for poor people. “I’m very happy that Tirunelveli has become the first district to start such an initiative. We have donated shoes, chappals, toys and clothes here,” he says.

Mariammal, a daily wage labourer, who picked out clothes from the ‘Wall of Kindness’ notes, “We are very grateful to the collector to start such an initiative. We got saree, pants and shirts. It is a very good scheme.”

In June 2015, Kozhikode district collector N Prasanth had come up with ‘Operation Sulaimani’, an initiative to provide free food to the needy in collaboration with the state Hotel and Restaurants Association and a number of NGOs. Food coupons are distributed through taluk and village offices, from where those in need can avail the service at select hotels across the city. It has been a successful initiative, from 40 restaurants, it has spread to 200 restaurants providing free food to the needy in the district.