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Governing Body

Anshu Gupta

Anshu Gupta

Founder

The Founder of Goonj and Gram Swabhimaan, Anshu is popularly known as the Clothing Man. He is the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, popularly called the Nobel Prize of Asia. He quit a corporate career in 1999 to initiate Goonj, the world’s first agency working on clothing as a development issue. It disturbed Anshu that despite being a basic human need, cloth was nowhere in the development agenda. This attention to a neglected basic need set him on 24+ years of transforming India’s culture of giving of our unused cloth and other under-utilised material for development work.

Under Anshu’s leadership, Goonj has taken the alarming growth of urban surplus and instrumentalised it to trigger large-scale rural communities-led development work. While creatively and flexibly matching and seamlessly weaving urban surplus into the changing priorities and realities of rural marginalised communities. Anshu has pioneered the genesis of a parallel surplus-based economy of barter between efforts of rural communities and underutilised material as the two new currencies.

The Goonj model has emerged as a worldwide case study around deploying surplus material circularity to mobilise large scale civic-engagement-led material poverty alleviation, community dignity and agency-led rural development and rural wisdom-led climate change mitigation work. 

Meenakshi Gupta

Meenakshi Gupta

Co Founder

Meenakshi juggles different roles in the organisation: from communication, research, strategic internal and external conversations, to ecosystem building.

She is closely involved in embedding and nurturing new ideas and in operationalising Goonj's values. Having contributed significantly to organisation building over the past two decades, she continues to play a vital role in the direction of Goonj's growth. She leads on many firsts in Goonj like the building of a reflective learning and thriving framework and the grounds-up strategic vision conversations.

She is a founding member of Catalyst 2030, a global network of social entrepreneurs. She has been on juries of multiple awards including the Nari Shakti (Women Power) awards. She is a Dance Movement Facilitator with a deep interest in the wellbeing of people doing the difficult last mile work in the development sector.

Meenakshi had an over 15-year-long corporate career before Goonj, which included working with the BBC for eight years. She is a commerce graduate with an advanced degree in communication.

Keshav Chaturvedi

Keshav Chaturvedi

Keshav Chaturvedi is a post graduate in communications and media studies. He's a writer, commentator, photographer and trainer with three decades of experience in print, electronic and online medium. He has been tracking the issue of environment and climate change since the Rio Summit in 1992 and specialises in renewable energy, sustainable development and the impact of technology on society. He has written a book on the history of climate change negotiations published by the Government of India. Keshav has travelled extensively across India and abroad, closely watching the impact of climate change on various societies and their efforts to come to terms with it.

Saloni Malhotra

Saloni Malhotra

A true entrepreneur at heart, Saloni began her career with WebChutney, an interactive media agency after completing her engineering from Pune University. Soon after, she embarked on a journey in the social space and founded Desi Crew, a for-profit BPO focused on creating knowledge-based livelihood opportunities in towns and rural areas. After receiving national and international acclaim for her innovative work with Desi Crew, in March 2012 she stepped down as the CEO, though she continues to be on its Board. After a brief sabbatical where she pursued her academic interests, Saloni became a part of Paytm to build new business units within Paytm.
She also set up Reboot Wellness, an ecosystem for mental health and wellness in Gurgaon. Saloni’s entrepreneurial skills, innovative mindset and generous heart have also meant that she serves as an advisor to startups in different genres like Traveler Kids & Local Community.
Exchange Empowerment Trust (LOKALEX). Saloni is an Aspen India Leadership Initiative Fellow for 2015 and an Aspire Circle Fellow.

Vishal Talreja

Vishal Talreja

Vishal Talreja is an Educator and Social Entrepreneur. He co-founded Dream a Dream (www.dreamadream.org) along with 11 others. Dream a Dream is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21st century using a creative life skills approach. Currently, works with 10,000 young people a year and has trained over 35,000 teachers/educators impacting over 875,000 children and young people and impact over 3+ Million children through various state government partnerships.
Vishal has co-authored 4-research papers with Dr David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy related to Life Skills in the Indian context and has written a host of articles, white papers, policy briefs related to Education Transformation. He has also co-authored a book, ‘When We Thrive, Our World Thrives’ along with Dr Connie K Chung and Dream a Dream staff and participants. He has also published a book of poems called, ‘My Soul Stirring’.
Vishal is an Ashoka Fellow, an Eisenhower Fellow and a Salzburg Global Fellow . He is a Board Member at Goonj. Previously been the Founder Director of Unltd India and Board Member of PYE Global and India Cares Foundation. He is the Executive Committee Member of Karanga – The Global Alliance on Life Skills and SEL and Cofounder of The Weaving Lab. Vishal has been recognized as an “Architect of the Future” by the Waldzell Institut in Austria and as ‘Innovator of the Year’ in 2019 by HundrED. In 2023, Vishal also founded a new initiative called The Cocoon Initiative designed to support civil society leaders in India to take a sabbatical.
He also mentors and advises a host of emerging social entrepreneurs and changemakers while contributing to global education narratives through participation in various steering committees and working groups with the likes of WISE, G20, Catalyst 2030, Big Change and OECD.

Amir Ullah Khan

Amir Ullah Khan

A former civil servant, Development economist and Professor at the MCRHRDI of the Government of Telangana. He is a Visiting Professor at TISS, Indian School of Business, Manipal Institute of Technology and at NALSAR in Hyderabad. Amir is a business columnist for LiveMint. He worked as a Senior Advisor at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has been Adjunct Professor at the Edith Cowan University in Perth in Western Australia. Dr Khan has been Director of the MANUU CSE Academy, Director at the India Development Foundation and Executive Director at Encyclopaedia Britannica. He has consulted with the World Bank, IMF, NCAER, USAID, and Planning Commission among other multilateral and Government organizations. Prof. Khan is a Founder Trustee at the E&H Foundation, whose mission is to ‘enable quality education and health services for the underprivileged in India. He studied Engineering at Osmania University, Rural Management at IRMA and got his PhD from the Jamia Millia Central University in Delhi.

Pavithra YS

Pavithra YS

She is the Founder & MD of Vindhya e-Infomedia - an Impact Sourcing BPO since 2006, sets the strategic direction for the company & its portfolio of services to its customers, while nurturing a strong leadership team to drive her vision of employing & empowering Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Women & People from the BPL families, rural & disadvantaged sections of the society. Vindhya has been able to create employment opportunity for more than 650 people by employing people with disabilities and women from BPL families. Vindhya is catering a wide range of customers spread out across India servicing its customers in the area of Data processing and Voice processing.

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