What Kind Of A Person

donates torn and soiled clothing to charity especially when the charity hasn’t specifically said “Give me your tired, your stained”? Are you shocked? Don’t be…I can assure you there are people who don’t think twice before donating unwashed, worn out or torn clothes…Yesterday, I went to Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Kolkata to donate clothes, bed linen and food for the victims of Cyclone Aila and was shocked to see what people had left to be distributed amongst the needy…Most of the clothes weren’t washed and some had holes in them…Are the needy not people? Don’t they have dignity? I’ve never given anything to anyone that can’t be used and till yesterday, I thought everyone thought and acted like me…

The people who donated the unusable stuff are probably gloating to others about their good deed but did they really do anyone any favours by donating goods that were worn out or damaged beyond use? They in fact created more work for the ashram as the latter will now have to find a way of disposing the junk…

Am I being stupid or is it common courtesy to toss the disgusting and the unusable in one’s own garbage?


21 thoughts on “What Kind Of A Person

  1. Bones, I echo your exact thoughts on this. It is so sad that people think of donating unwashed and torn clothes and name it charity. Most charities actually now have rules where they don’t accept such clothes.

    Whether its toys or clothes, donate if it is in good condition and can be used by people. Just because someone is less fortunate doesn’t mean that they deserve shoddier things.


  2. Bones this is very common. I saw broken and unusable prams in orphanages. People use these opportunities to get rid of their junk. The intentions are not really bad, it’s just thoughtlessness, we need to talk about this – in advertisements and in schools.


  3. It is so attrocious! People really use charities as dumping grounds, without thinking beyond, clearing their cupboards.. Here in UK, it is very clearly mentioned – and yet, I have seen collection bins stuffed with dirty shoes..


  4. That is a nice way to get rid of your junk, earn some Karmic brownie points by doing a “good” deed , and then gloat about the fact that you killed two birds with one stone . Normal people do that, I am afraid .


  5. While I can understand the unwashed part a bit, because the clothes are usable after a wash by the recipient, giving torn and barely usable stuff tells us something about the mindset of these people. Many actually believe deep down that the poor are wretched sub-human creatures who will be grateful for even this. As Kislay says, it is all about earning some Karmic Brownie points, with your soul missing from the act…


      • I don’t dispute what you say at all. People should wash what they want to give to to wear. But, should one, for any reason, not be able to do that, the least he can do is give clothes that can be worn, not those that are fit to be used to mop their own floors.


  6. That’s the extent of our ‘giving’, and I sure the donors felt they had done a good deed……..nice to know charity and philanthropy are alive and well in India!

    Quirky Indian


  7. I hate these people. They fob off their junk on charitable organizations, causing added problems for them. It’s like Kislay says – I would prefer people to be charitable only when it comes from within and not because they need to earn Karmic points. Nice post.


  8. It happens bones… awareness must be created among the on this… I hope that many were willing and few know how to… they must be educated on how their donations are going waste.. as far as the people giving torn clothes they are really mindless… before giving something they must think whether they will wear it and have it…


  9. I saw similar things when I went to drop my contribution for Tsunami Victims. It seemed like people were using it as an opportunity to get rid of their old and worn out stuff simultaneously feeling good about themselves.
    Unwashed – now that is even worse.
    The depths to which human sink.


  10. Bones what I liked about the people in Tamil Nadu (during and after the Tsunami)was the fact that they refused to take the used clothes…they clearly felt that it was beneath their dignity to wear used clothes(and that too unwashed ones as you said).

    They were ready to go without clothes from ‘charity’ they simply wanted to have other usable items…

    Amazing isn’t it as to how many Indians are willing to five old clothes and toys as charity but never other household items??
    Coz then they would have to ‘buy’ new stuff..

    I clearly remember that the list of charitable items clearly said that we could give non-perishable food items..and yet ppl came in hordes to donate clothes..
    it was as if the gates had been opened once and for all to make a quick punya earning trip while at the same time getting rid of the household junk!
    disgusting is not the word for such people!


  11. It is really awful Bones. But honestly I am not shocked, because there are all kinds in this world. For people who donated those dirty things, there is also you who gave things that you yourself will not mind using. And then there are also those who at the collection agency, might have liked your thing and taken it back to their own home. It is sad, but unfortunately that is the way it is.

    Also in a country like ours, where we ourselves often get treated badly, we unconsciously follow the same pattern onto others, our sensitivities dimmed, to help us survive, and unfortunately that also shows in our attitude towards others.


    • I’ve heard that a lot of the stuff that is donated is sold or taken by workers of the receiving agency…I would like to think the stuff I’ve donated has gone to the right people so I donate to known agencies although they too might be doing the same (if they are, I don’t want to know)…Our country is a country of scams and nobody thinks twice about conning another person…This state of our nation is not only unfortunate but extremely sad…


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