Wall of kindness – A trend started in Iran to help the homeless is restoring faith in humanity
Contributor: Minal Nandwani
‘Wall of kindness’ was first introduced by an anonymous Iranian. Wall of kindness is a charitable work developed by painting and reinventing the walls with a few hooks on it, where strangers leave goods they no longer want for those who need them.
The motto of the movement can be known from the two sentences which appear on these walls, ‘leave what you do not need’ and ‘take (it) if you need’. Similar messages have turned up throughout the country, as Iranians take the matter into their own hands to help the homeless people.
The economy of Iran was hit badly, when sanctions were imposed by the western world. As the situation became worse, with an increasing number of unemployed, many could not afford clothes. Inflation particularly caused difficulties for the homeless and poor. In Tehran alone, more than 15000 people are homeless, often referred to as ‘kartonkhab’ – those who sleep in the cardboard boxes. In the winter of 2015, young Iranians in Sajjad Boulevard in Mashhad came up with the idea. The main theme was to meet the demand for resources from charities.
Young Iranians took this chance to strengthen the bonds of the community. The campaign went smoothly despite the risk of misuse and loss of resources. In Tehran, local municipality has welcomed the move, promising to set up more kindness walls.
A wall of kindness was seen in Pakistan’s Karachi on 15 January 2016 and another one in China’s Liuzhou, located in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on 29th January 2016. In April 2016, students of the Marymount International School in Rome have reproduced the idea by designating a wall with the similar function and name. Recently, the similar wall of kindness was seen in two Indian cities ‘New Delhi’ and ‘Varanasi’.