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What a few old clothes can do

“The greatest asset poor people have is their dignity. They will die but they will not beg. So we give against work that people do for themselves, their community and by extension, the entire nation. We fill an important gap – we use discarded material to bring about development where it is stuck due to lack of financial resources. Ultimately, all development is about materials – even with money you buy materials. Now, we are not only giving clothes for development work but also infrastructural materials to build schools and office buildings,” Anshu explained.  More on

India’s ‘waste’ to transform Bharat
Villagers were scared to send their children to school as 13 of them had perished while swimming in a river on their way there. Here too, the ‘Cloth for Work’ initiative worked. But instead of a well, they were motivated to build a bamboo bridge. But where do so many clothes come from? Urban households who discard them. That’s the power of waste. Could you ever have imagined that the junk at home could motivate many to work for their betterment?

Converting rags into necessities
Cloth for work, started by the organisation, is a unique initiative which is attracting many unemployed rural youth. “It demands voluntary labour by villagers and in return for clothes and apparel. It is not charity and keeps a person’s dignity intact, since one is repaid for the service rendered. The success of this concept is inspiring as several villages have come forward for their development. In Vidharbha, villagers built fences around their schools and temples, in return for clothes,” informed Singh.

A piece of cloth and sanitation
In some cases, there are usually two or three women in a household, and they all use the same cloth. In this context of shame, and extreme health-risks, we often overlook this reality and give them lectures on reproductive health and maternity care,” adds Gupta

They are the change they want to see
What started as a single-room, one-man organization has 15 offices, 125 employees and a fleet of volunteers across the country today. Anshu insists, “We never wanted to grow as an organization. We wanted to grow as an idea so that people replicate it.”

GOONJ comes calling to the city
“We have tried our level best to turn waste into a resource, charity into development while keeping in view that the self respect of a needy person is not violated. Anyone who wants to help us can contact us at: 011-41401216 or at or visit”`

2008 best practices database
Goonj featured in 2008 best practices database for its revolutionary initiative of providing cloth sanitary napkins developed out of waste cloth and opening up the taboo subject….

Goonj wins NGO of the year 2007
The Honorable Finance Minister, Shri. P. Chidambaram felicitated Goonj as the ‘NGO of the Year 2007’ at the annual India NGO Awards ceremony. Goonj was the national winner in the category of small NGO’s along with winning the NGO of the year award….

Want not, Waste not
One person’s rags can be someone else’s riches. Goonj follows the modus operandi of ‘Do what you can with whatever excess you have.’ The biggest problem in our country is still food, clothing and shelter. By focusing on clothing, Goonj helps in solving at least one of the basic issues of clothing….

Life today: Clothe the needy this year
Goonj celebrates new years in a unique way. While everyone is busy with New Year’s celebrations on Jan 1, Goonj celebrates Cloth day….

Shed old woollens on new year, clothe the needy
“Our message on New Year’s Day is simple: This new year let’s bring warmth and hope to those in need by giving woollens and clothes you no longer wear,” Anshu Gupta, who heads Goonj, told IANS.

A bank that pays clothes for work
It is a bank with a difference as it does not deal with money but with clothes one of the basic human needs after food and shelter.

Clothes bank for hapless
On the inaugural ceremony of the clothes bank, a Delhi-based NGO Goonj came forward to inform the students about the need of cloth and how people suffer when they do not get it.

Needed: Focused help for Bihar flood victims
Goonj worked in the flood-ravaged districts of the state, reaching out to people with food, clothes, medicines and other necessary items….

Revolutionary initiative taken up by Goonj
An initiative undertaken by Goonj to find a solution for a major health hazard that afflicts our entire nation. This is Goonj’s revolutionary cloth recycling initiative: collecting donated cotton cloth to create sanitary napkins for millions of deprived women across the country…

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