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Piyush Panigrahi:

The eldest among four siblings, he came from a big middle-class family with limited resources. His upbringing taught him the relevance of making the most of the little. An understanding further imbibed from his mother who has played a profound influence in his life. A brilliant mind, he studied journalism as well as Advertising & Public Relations from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, and then Masters in Economics.

While still a graduate student in 1991, he travelled to Uttarkashi, North India after a major earthquake. Missing out on his classes, he lived in tents for days and helped in the relief efforts. This shocked his urban sensibilities. After completing his studies, he joined the corporate sector. Insatiate, he craved for that feeling of satisfaction that went beyond one’s personal goal and self-interest. His longing to give back to society, do something different to benefit thousands and involve people’s participation, inspired an idea. He ultimately left Escorts as Manager, Corporate Communications in 1998 to work full time on his idea.

Goonj, his dream for many years, was set up in the same year. From collecting clothes from his own house, relatives and friends and distributing them on the roads in the chilly winter nights of Delhi, his dream has come a long way. He has organised an effective distribution channel for disposing reusable resources lying in urban, well-off households.

Anshu Gupta at an underprivileged children’s school in Firozabad, UP

Through shifting surplus urban resources to some of the poverty-stricken rural areas, he has made a difference in the lives of thousands who lack the basic resources needed for survival. He has witnessed cases where a few pieces of clothing has freed up meagre resources of the poor for more pressing needs. Clothes do not involve heavy investments but protect millions from extreme weather, shelter the homeless from the elements. His nationwide movement ‘Vastradaan’ is geared toward this end. Working with local grassroots organisations operating in rural areas, Goonj has built a network of about 60 distribution partners with bases in West Bengal, Assam, Uttaranchal, Kashmir and Jharkhand.

His uniqueness lies in thinking and putting in place an efficient, systematic distribution channel on a nationwide scale and the establishment of a nodal agency for generating vital resources for the rural poor. His idea is also the first effort where instead of focusing on a limited target group or limited product, he is trying to spread awareness at such a level that anytime an urban household thinks of disposing reusable materials it is aware of a channel to its fullest utilisation.

Anshu Gupta, Founder, Goonj

His organisation Goonj has a strong network of 300 volunteers, works with corporate houses, schools, transporters, resident welfare associations, neighbourhood communities and local grassroots organisations working in rural areas. Though Vastradaan operates as a continuous process, a part of his strategy has been also to focus on disaster preparedness. The idea is to spread the network in such a way that anytime disaster strikes, Goonj can reach them the relief material at the earliest. It made a difference in Gujarat riots where Goonj was able to collect truckloads of material within a few days’ time and support thousands.

Beginning with 67 items of clothing from his own closet to initiate Vastradaan, he has reached out and benefited lakhs of people. He has meticulously linked the urban affluent and the rural poor. His idea tends to bridge the gap between the supply that exists due to urban phenomena like space constraints and rising consumerism on one hand and demands for basic commodities that exist with millions in the country. His aim is to ultimately make large-scale resource mobilisation a reality and to further apply his model to clothing to other critical resources such as medicines, books.

He inspires many in the revered eighteen-day national odyssey, Tata Jagriti Yatra. He is a change maker. He is an Ashoka Fellow. Dear reader, he is Anshu Gupta, the Founder of Goonj.

Images Sourced From Goonj
You must be to comment.
  1. MAHESH NAUDIYAL

    I AM PRESIDENT UTTARANCHAL MATRI SUNGH (REG.) SECTOR-55 FARIDABAD THE REUSING OLD CLOTHES CAN HELP SOLVE THE CLOTING PROBLEM OF THE POOR I HART FULL THENK.

    1. NIRUPAM NAUDIYAL

      NIRUPAM NAUDIYAL :- HYE MAHESH , THIS IS NIRUPAM . IAM ALSO A PRESIDENT OF RECENTLY OPENED NGO OF MINE . I WANNA GET A CONSULTANCY FROM U IF U DONT HAVE ANY PROBLEM ……………WILL U PROVIDE ME YOUR HELP

    2. mehraj

      what type of consultancy you want

  2. OSCAR CHINAKA

    My self having lived in India for like 6years, studied, worked and married there with no bad records of misbehavior in anyway, i have couple of india friends in the police and other sectors during my stay. On my arrival here in my country (Nigeria) I discovered that we have thousands of good indians working and living peacefully in here that can serve as an eye witness of the situation in my country. I equally know and believe that most Nigeria youths out there in India looking for their green fortune are finally indulging into one illegal activity or the other. Reason for is best known to them and to those good Indians residing in Nigeria. Nigeria government needs to amend their leadership system giving and rendering service of why they were voted not pushing and creating rooms for such criminal mind in the life of our great youths. I seek the help of this organization on what to do, how you can come in establishing your NGO here in Nigeria for charity in any kind. I’m ready to welcome such good work you’ve doing in India here in Nigeria. Thank you..

  3. Dr.Vinita

    Life has given me a lot,time to give back to the society in terms of service and kind pls suggest how to go about. Willing to devote time in Delhi.
    vinita_1999@hotmail.com

    1. jkrawat

      dear mam.start an ngo.thanks

  4. MOHAMMEDUL HAQUE

    NEED
    OF A SELF-EMPLOYMENT TRAINING CENTRE IN DHUBRI

    The unemployment problem is a major problem in our
    country and a large numbers of unemployed persons are suffering due to lack of
    proper employment.Like this Dhubri is one of the economically backward district
    of Assam due to unemployment.

    In this time to
    solve unemployment problem it is necessary to start some self employment
    programmes in this district.Already various schemes has been implemented ,but
    due to insufficient training most of the schemes are failed to achieve target.

    In Dhubri no self-employment Training
    Institute or Centre is established by Central as well as State
    Government.NABARD,SIRD,CAPART,NEDFi,Rubber
    Board,Spices Board,Cocconut Development Board,Coffee Board,National
    Horticulture Board,ICAR,Extention Centre of
    Rural Dev. Deptt,Farmers Field School of Agriculture Deptt etc have not
    established in this backward district. For this reason the unemployed youths of
    this district deprived of getting benefits of their developmental schemes. To
    solve unemployment self employment is only way and one Self-Employment Training Institute in
    Dhubri is prime need at this time

    MOHAMMEDUL
    HAQUE

    GENERAL
    SECRETARY

    CHILARAI
    KRISHI BIKASH SAMITY

    TARUN
    RAM PHUKAN ROAD,DHUBRI:ASSAM,PH-03662-234007/9864568410

    1. saroj khatri

      I want to join your ngo.pls tell the procedure of joining.

  5. Aftab Uddin Sheikh

    You do for others He must do for you.

  6. barnali

    sir can i join your ngo.

  7. kuntala sengupta

    this ngo can a great job.. i have seen a tv. i am work with this ngo piease chance my talent.ilve at asansol.i am appeared to msw.

  8. RADHA KASOW EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SOCIETY

    Hy all the NGO ,my society name RADHA KASOW EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SOCIETY ,ALL THE NGO PLEZ spotted my ngo .at time a god project do it -free aducation provide B.tech,Diploma and MBA for 80 thousand below income her family .IF HAVE THIS TYPE student you cont with me.can you spotted any way my NGO say all are thanks. JHARKHAND,,,, CONT:-09334018095.

  9. avdhesh ojha

    i wanna work for downtrodden and poor people. i dont knw the way.plz guys help me out

  10. samreen

    want to be part of NGO

  11. meenu

    sir can i join your ngo

  12. Abhishek

    i also want to be the part of this NGO.

  13. Narender Yadav

    I wants to join your NGO

  14. Rakshanda

    I want to join ur NGO

  15. Ranjana

    Hi,
    i would like to donate small amount every month kindly guide us

    Regards
    Ranjana Sharma.
    (ranjanasushant@gmail.com)
    Mobile No. 07666602888

  16. heena

    Hi! I also want to work for the poor people pls tell how i can join this ngo.

  17. swati

    I want to join your ngo. I m from meerut. is your branch in meerut?

  18. Archana chauhan

    U r working fr the good of poor people i wana join your ngo plz let me know

  19. sachin

    Want to join you, plz let me know the procedure.

  20. Dipak Kumar

    I want to join this NGO PLZ Let me know the process and procedure.

  21. Eklavya pandya

    I want to join this NGO PLZ Let me know the process and procedure.

  22. nichole

    i love to join what must i do?

    1. Eklavya pandya

      sir i wanna work in your ngo
      so pls reply
      09213090213

  23. Parul Masiwal

    Hi,
    I am Parul Masiwal. I had done M.B.A. in HR . I want to join this NGO. please help me in this regard.

    1. santosh kumar

      Hi’
      I am santosh kumar from Dhanbad’ Jharkhand I am a railway employee now i m posted in west bengal i want to join your ngo so plz let me know how can I ?
      my no 08420372681

  24. mohammad saqib

    i am mohammad saqib how can i join this ngo plz help me

  25. diptamika sen

    I want to join your ngo. plez help me.

  26. NABIN KRISHNA MOHANTY UTKAL UNIVERSITY BBSR

    sir i can join ur ngo.can you provide a statistical internship.

  27. Khushboo Ansari

    Sir I am pursuing MSW from IGNOU and I want to be a part of your team.

  28. gaurav chauhan

    Res,
    Sir.i wan to join your ngo in haridwar (uk)
    Its a hambal request.
    Gaurav chauhan
    09412999994

  29. SMRUTI RANJAN PANIGRAHI

    dear sir,
    i am a mba marketing guy with 3 years of experience in ngo sector and now i wish to be a part of your ngo

    regards
    smruti
    8260864149/07209575651

  30. Divya

    How can i Join Goonj??

  31. Yasmeen Fatima

    Res,
    Sir.i wan to join your ngo in Lucknow
    Its a hambal request
    yasmeen fatima
    09580137814

  32. pappu kumar

    i want to join a ngo.i want to a lot of things in this field.

  33. Pramod kumar

    I want to join this NGO i.e goonj. Let me know the process and procedures. Plz reply as soon as possible

  34. Pramod kumar

    I want to join this NGO i.e goonj. Let me know what the process and the procedure. Plz reply as soon as possible. 09451937120

  35. alankrita

    I’m alankrita..i want to join goonj ngo .plz let me know what is the process of joining.

  36. sanjana

    Please sir / mam How can I join goonj?

  37. jyoti singh

    My self jyoti singh am complited master of social work from Mhatma Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapith. I want join the goonj.

  38. Chaman Bharti

    I want to join goonj and dedicate my all life for social services. Can you tell me what is the procedure ?
    9871239054

  39. Mukesh Kumar

    Dear sir/madam
    I want to dedicate my all life for social services so I want to join Goonj. How to join Goonj? Please tell me the procedures of joining.

    1. arunima

      I want to join this NGO

  40. RAVI KUMAR

    I want To Join goonj.

  41. upasana

    Hello,
    I want to do something for people.
    Can i join this ngo?

  42. Bilal Ahmad Wani

    Can u help flood effected schools/students in kashmir

  43. payal

    i want 2 join goonj

  44. Durgesh Kumar srivastava

    i am a mba marketing guy with 4 years of experience in delhi ngo sector and now i wish to be a part of your ngo

  45. anuj

    I want to do social work by my true heart

  46. virendra singh bhati

    It will be good if goonj start a chapter in every city so we can collect more clothes. great anshu !!

  47. mehraj

    like the way of working

  48. Aman tiwari

    Dear Sir,
    l want to join this njo for helping people please contact with me . I am from punjab.my contact no. Is 9501-9701-34

    1. rocky

      How To join Goonj

  49. madhur chhabra

    hi i am a dentist and would lobe to join goonj and help in qny way possible.

  50. rocky

    Great Work….Many people get helped from Goonj

  51. rajkumar

    I I’m join your n.g.o please help me

  52. poonam nautiyal

    hi guys!!
    my name is Poonam Nautiyal..I want to join NGO…I really want to work for poor and helpless children.

  53. Zahid shah

    Agar me is sanstha ko kapde dena chahu to kahan contact karna padega

  54. shipar gill

    Jab bhi m kisi child ko road par kuch mangte hue dekhti hu to humesa bachne ka try karti hu ki kahin WO mere piche na pad jaye but m unke liye kahin na kahin kuch karna bhi chahti hu in fact m sabhi ke liye kuch karna chahti hu like old people ,child ,environment sabhi ke liye but mujhe humesa yahi lagta ki jab badi ho jaungi to karungi but now I think aise to puri life nikal jayegi bcoz bade hone ke bad shayad mere pas time hi na ho so I am wanna to join an NGO waise to kabhi bhi kisi ki help karne ke liye kisi NGO ki jarurat nahi honi chahiye but m chahti hu ki m un logo ki help karna chahti hu jinhe m janti bhi nahi hu . And m only people hi nahi animals ki bhi help karna chahti hu bcoz I love animls

  55. nisha roy

    I want be a part of this NGO

  56. Admal surrender reddy

    Would like to any branch of goonj NGO is there in Hyderabad.

  57. mahesh naudiyal

    Comment *अंशु गुप्ता जी बहुत बहुत बधाई । रेमन मैगसेसे अवार्ड मिलने पर (गूंज)आपके साथ मिलकर काम करने का सौभाग्य हमें भी (2012)में मिला। बहुत खुशी मिलती है गरीबो की सहायता करने मे । आगे भी हम सहयोगी रहेगे।
    General Secretary
    Mahesh Naudiyal
    Uttranchal matri sangh ( Regd.)
    off. address 429 sector 55
    Faridabad 121004
    9810372290

  58. Parmar Swati Vinodbhai

    I want to join goonj.plz reply what procedure I have to follow for becoming part of goonj.plz inform me at my email

  59. mamta sakunia

    Sir may I join the NGO Goonj?

  60. mamta sakunia

    I want to join Goonj.What is the procedure ?Inform in my mail.

  61. pradeep modi

    Respected sir I would like to join yr esteemed organization.

  62. vandana kushwaha

    Sir,
    I really want to join this NGO.
    But I don’t know the processes
    could you tell me?
    please reply me on my email.
    Thanks!

  63. vandana kushwaha

    Sir,
    I really want to join this NGO
    but I don’ t know the processes .
    could you tell me?
    please reply to me on my email .

    Thanks!

  64. Basheer Usman (Kerala)

    Hi, I am from Kerala. Understood that you have no branches here in Kerala. I would like to join in Goonj. Please advise the process. Thanks, Basheer

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