How many times does the thought of helping the poor cross your mind? Do you act on that feeling or do you just let it pass? Unlike most of us, Mohammed Abbas Khatkhatay and his friends just could not let that feeling pass. Which is why instead of just talking about it, they decided to actually do something about it. Their idea was simple. The 7 friends would go door-to-door, collect old newspapers from peoples’ houses and donate the proceeds from the sale of the same. So, they hired two vehicles to cover South and North Mumbai; and at the end of the day sold off the newspapers to vendors offering the best price. Sale proceeds were utilized to provide school/college books to poor students. This is how they spent the first Sunday of every month back in 1968, not realising that they were sowing the seeds for what would become a large scale non-profit one day.
From a meagre Rs.3,000 in the first year, MESCO today generates over Rs. 25 lakhs collecting and selling old papers from 2,500 households. And the funds are used to provide scholarships to school/college students, to assist poor patients in need of kidney dialysis/minor surgeries or to provide sewing machines to destitutes and widows. Their two teams manned by 7 employees and two vehicles go to 44 locations in the city – upto Mira Road in the western suburbs and Ghatkopar/Vikhroli in the Central suburbs. Check out the schedule for July 2013. A similar schedule is followed every month.
|1st||1st||Mon||Holiday||Versova, J P Road|
|2nd||1st||Tue||Bandra 1||Milat Nagar 1|
|3rd||1st||Wed||Belasis Road||Santacruz (W), Kalina|
|4th||1st||Thurs||Kurla Pipe Road||Versova, Yari Road|
|7th||1st||Sun||Pedder Road||Jog, Vaishali Nagar|
|9th||2nd||Tues||Mahim||Milat Nagar 2|
|10th||2nd||Wed||Bandra Dharavi||Andheri, S V Road|
|11th||2nd||Thurs||Kurla Hall Road||Four Bunglows|
|14th||2nd||Sun||Colaba, Mohammed Ali Road||Juhu, Goregaon, Malad|
|15th||3rd||Mon||Holiday||Jogeshwari, Station Road|
|16th||3rd||Tues||Bandra||Milat Nagar 3|
|17th||3rd||Wed||Grant Road||Jogeshwari, S V Road|
|18th||3rd||Thurs||Kurla Kapadia Nagar||Versova Gaon|
|19th||3rd||Fri||Bandra Hill Road||Holiday|
|20th||3rd||Sat||Nagpada||Shastri Nagar, Lokhandwala|
|21st||3rd||Sun||Churchgate||Marol, Malad (E)|
|22nd||3rd||Mon||Holiday||Andheri Link Road|
|23rd||3rd||Tues||Sewri Wadala||Yamuna Nagar|
|24th||3rd||Wed||Chembur Govandi||Mira Road|
|25th||3rd||Thurs||Kurla Taximen||Seven Bunglows|
|28th||3rd||Sun||Warden Road||Jogeshwari, Rajnagar|
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) them or fill out this form sharing your complete address and contact number (also mention it’s for the old newspaper collection) and they’ll arrange to pick up the same.
Don’t hesitate to be part of this programme – you’re going to have to discard your old newspapers anyway. Why not change lives as you do so?