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.

1st1stMonHolidayVersova, J P Road
2nd1stTueBandra 1Milat Nagar 1
3rd1stWedBelasis RoadSantacruz (W), Kalina
4th1stThursKurla Pipe RoadVersova, Yari Road
5th1stFriBandra ReclamationHoliday
6th1stSatBycullaLokhandwala 1
7th1stSunPedder RoadJog, Vaishali Nagar
8th2ndMonHolidayMira Road
9th2ndTuesMahimMilat Nagar 2
10th2ndWedBandra DharaviAndheri, S V Road
11th2ndThursKurla Hall RoadFour Bunglows
13th2ndSatMazgaonOshiwara 1
14th2ndSunColaba, Mohammed Ali RoadJuhu, Goregaon, Malad
15th3rdMonHolidayJogeshwari, Station Road
16th3rdTuesBandraMilat Nagar 3
17th3rdWedGrant RoadJogeshwari, S V Road
18th3rdThursKurla Kapadia NagarVersova Gaon
19th3rdFriBandra Hill RoadHoliday
20th3rdSatNagpadaShastri Nagar, Lokhandwala
21st3rdSunChurchgateMarol, Malad (E)
22nd3rdMonHolidayAndheri Link Road
23rd3rdTuesSewri WadalaYamuna Nagar
24th3rdWedChembur GovandiMira Road
25th3rdThursKurla TaximenSeven Bunglows
26th3rdFriGhatkopar VikhroliHoliday
27th3rdSatAgripadaOshiwara 2
28th3rdSunWarden RoadJogeshwari, Rajnagar

Email ( 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?

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