Footwear nowadays is not only a necessity, but a fashion statement. All of us need so many pairs of footwear to go with different kinds of attire. Something to go with jeans, something for that floaty skirt, something formal and so on. Apart from this, we buy footwear because ‘we liked it and it was cheap’. All this creates a huge pile of shoes, sandals, floaters, slip-ons, flip-flops, sneakers etc in the house, credit to every member of the family.
Obviously we don’t use so many shoes and they keep lying around in the house until one day Mom or Dad orders us to get rid of the footwear that you haven’t worn in the past three months. Once we start digging, we also find out shoes that we like but are now torn. What do we do with these shoes? Throw those away!
But not Shreeyansh Bhandari and Ramesh Ghami from Mumbai. They didn’t like to throw away shoes that were good. But there were also shoes that were torn on the upper side but had intact soles. They decided to do something better with the shoes than simply throwing them away.
Initially they tried to repair the shoes with nylon chords. Now they receive heaps of old shoes. They clean the shoes, segregate the ones that are usable and non usable. Then they sew new uppers to the old soles and give these shoes to the children and adults in rural India.
Shoes are a valuable commodity in rural area where people walk a lot for their day to day work, but can’t afford to buy shoes so often. Shreeyansh and Ramesh’s company Greensoles has provided shoes to more than 50,000 rural people so far. When we look at such initiatives, we think, if they can, we can too!