For the NGO Goonj, this Diwali was anything but a celebration of hope and prosperity. A firecracker landed in the Delhi office of the well-known NGO, setting its building on fire and destroying almost everything inside it, including all the aid material stored in the premises. CEO Anshu Gupta shared images of the fire - which took two hours to be put out - on Facebook.
He wrote, "Here I was asking you to spread the message against crackers and there a cracker did this to Goonj's center in Delhi. 7 hours of un-manageable fire, 10 fire brigades till 2 am on Diwali night. 3000 sq.ft of area, tons of material, where we all had put in our days and nights turned into ash !!"
Based out of Delhi, Goonj provides social services for disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development across India.
Soon after Gupta shared details and pictures of the incident, thousands of admirers of Goonj's work shared the pictures and urged people to reconsider the necessity of fireworks. Several people also posted on Gupta' Facebook page, enquiring if they could help rebuilding the facility.
A campaign was also started to help raise money to put Goonj back on track. However, Gupta soon took to Facebook to ask people to not start a new campaign to raise money for Goonj. He said, "Thank you for hundreds of calls and messages. Please DO NOT START any new campaign for RAISING MONEY for this loss.. the need of the hour is woolens and blankets and that too after couple of days as we need to arrange for the storage space. Our operational space in Delhi is intact and the team is on job. Will keep you all posted..thank you..it's been touching and humbling few hours !! Here is an ongoing campaign - http://goonj.org/?page_id=23616."
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