Episode 222. Anshu Gupta – Founder, India-based Nonprofit Goonj & One of India’s Leading Social Entrepreneurs
Anshu Gupta, popularly known as the Clothing Man, is the Founder of an India-based nonprofit, Goonj, and one of India’s leading social entrepreneurs. Starting as a freelance journalist, he left a corporate job in 1998. He founded Goonj to address the most basic but ignored need for clothing and the multifaceted role it plays in villages across India.
Today Goonj is a pan-India movement working equally widely in cities and villages, dealing with more than 3,000 tons of material annually and addressing a core challenge of our time – the growing gap between urban prosperity and rural poverty.
By taking the menacing growth of urban waste and using it effectively and efficiently as a tool to trigger large-scale development work on diverse issues, Goonj has created a model for a parallel economy that is not cash-based but trash-based.
Anshu is a 2017 Curry-Stone Design Prize Social Change Circle Honoree, an annual prize awarded to innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues, and recipient of the prestigious 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Award in India, which credited him for “his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor, and in reminding the world that true giving always respects and preserves human dignity.”