Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sept 23:
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, notched up a rare first in India when it hosted the country’s first ‘The Street Store’, the world’s first rent-free, premises-free and pop-up clothing store where the homeless choose whatever they like without having to pay anything.
The event, organised at the entrance of Hotel Marrion in front of Ram Mandir in the city from 10 am to 5 pm on Tuesday, got a huge response both from the donors and the beneficiaries.
There was a beeline as soon as the The Street Store opened at 10 AM. By pack-up time, as many as 605 poor people from the city had walked away with dresses of their choice and a broad smile.
“The idea is to gift the poor and the homeless, who probably haven’t had a chance to enter a shop in their lives, a dignified shopping experience on the festive occasion of Dussehra,” said Tanaya Patnaik, Curator, The Street Store, Bhubaneswar.
The clothes and footwear up for grabs at ‘The Street Store’ were donated by the people of Bhubaneswar.
Donations started pouring in hundreds more than a week before the event after a massive campaign on Facebook and Radio Choklate, the organisers said while thanking the people of Bhubaneswar for their ‘overwhelming’ response.
“Radio Choklate is extremely grateful for all the overwhelming love and support of the people of Bhubaneswar. It is their support and donations that have brought a smile on the faces of hundreds of poor,” a spokesperson for the premier FM station in Odisha said.
The curator of The Street Store Ms. Patnaik called for setting up of more such stores in other cities across the state and the country. “It is a wonderful concept and the best part is it is very simple to organize. All you need to do is to register on their website and host a street store in your own city, locality or neighbourhood,” she said.
“We plan to organize more such street stores and would encourage more and more people to take the initiative and host such stores in their cities,” she said.
The concept, mooted and executed for the first time in Cape Town in South Africa is fast becoming a global movement, having already reached 33 cities across the world.
Bhubaneswar, the 34th city in the world to host The Street Store is the latest addition to the list.