One day, Sia Godika, was walking down the road and noticed construction workers and their children. Sia paid special attention to their feet which she says were “hard, cracked and dirty” despite the children being so young. She “always had (excess) footwear in (her) cupboard which either didn’t fit or which (she) never used”. So quickly, Sia made a connection and saw a solution for the construction workers. Donating refurbished footwear to the disadvantaged and needy.
Sia Godika, who many of you may know as the current Brahmaputra house captain, is the founder of a philanthropic organisation called ‘Sole Warriors’ which donates refurbished footwear to those in need. On the inspiration for her organisation she says “I wasn’t sure if there were more people like me who had footwear stored up so I did some research. I found that 350 million footwear are discarded every year and at the same time 1.5 billion people cannot afford footwear. This was the key moment which led to Sole Warriors. Sole Warriors today is a registered NGO which collects and donates footwear to the needy.”
Today, Sia and her organisation have helped 20,000 people, a number she says is only a small fraction of her final goal. “My goal ever since starting Sole Warriors has been to help a million feet” she says. When asked about the challenges she faced in regards to this goal she stated “(We) faced many logistical challenges that came up with the steady influx of shoes. Without effective distribution channels, the footwear began piling up”. Although due to her ability to solve challenges and think critically, Sole Warriors has partnered with “Robin Hood Army (RHA) in Bangalore and Delhi to assist with distribution drives.” Another more serious challenge came when “people began treating these collection drives as places where they could discard their unusable footwear”. While Sia has not completely eradicated this issue, she has spread more awareness about the state in which Sole Warriors accepts shoes through mediums such as the poster.
Sole Warriors, which started out small has now grown into a larger organisation with more recognition. Earlier this year, Sia won the Diana Award for the work being done with her organisation. The Diana Award, Sia says “honours young people who work to improve the lives of others. The award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.” This is truly remarkable, one might call it an impressive feet (get it?). The Neev community is extremely proud of these achievements and looks forward to seeing what Sia will take on in the future!
Now, all of you may be wondering about what you can do. You have dreams of your own and a cause which you support but how do you go about creating change? Sia has given you two pieces of advice.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to mentors or others when you need help.
Learn the value of time management. Time management especially at this age when students have so many extra curriculars is a must have.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Sia’s organisation and the inspirational work she is doing. We love to see students actively creating change in our community! We encourage you to let us know your thoughts, whether that’ll be to congratulate Sia, ask a question or share your ideas on creating change, do comment below.
Instagram & Facebook: @thesolewarriors