Anshu Gupta, popularly known as the Clothing Man is the Founder of an Indian based nonprofit – Goonj. One of India’s leading social entrepreneurs Anshu brings to the table an instinctive empathy and connect with people, moving the focus from the conventional - giver’s pride to the unconventional - receiver’s dignity. Asia’s Noble, the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award 2015, conferred to him 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’.
2 decades ago in 1999, Meenakshi Gupta Co-Founder GOONJ, started the award winning nonprofit with her husband Anshu Gupta. A Commerce Graduate with an advanced degree in Advertising and Public from IIMC, Meenakshi largely remained the behind the scenes worker in the initial years of Goonj. In 2005 she joined the work full time, ending her 15 years corporate career, also ending 8-year stint as News Publicity Head at BBC South Asia. With Goonj’s widespread work Meenakshi has focused on serving the people and her team with the foundational values of Goonj. She is especially passionate about giving voice to unheard communities, especially women, on their neglected issues and needs like menstrual hygiene, in far flung villages of India. Often called the backbone of the organization Meenakshi works closely with Anshu and the rest of the team to build pan India civic engagement through powerful communication with the masses. Widely traveled nationally and internationally Meenakshi terms her time with people in the deep interior of India as her biggest learning personally and professionally. A trained Dance Movement Facilitator, she finds it most enriching and inspiring to connect with youth taking initiatives for the country.
Mr. Keshav Chaturvedi is a communications person and a writer with three decades of experience in print, electronic and online. He has been tracking the issue of environment and climate change since the Rio Summit in 1992 and specialises in renewable energy and sustainable development. 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.
Mridula Murgai A teacher, a member of the Delhi Stock Exchange, a registered sub-broker under SEBI, the founder and Editor of the website for Indian Women, and above all a grandmother, mother and wife !! A charming young lady at heart, all of 60+ years and some more. For a long while, in the tough initial years of GOONJ, Milly Ji (as everyone calls her) single handedly took up the responsibility of running its simple yet effective website. Over the years Mridula has played an instrumental role in facilitating many activities for GOONJ.
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- base livelihood opportunities in small towns and rural areas. After receiving national and international acclaim for her innovative work with Desi Crew in March 2012 she stepped down as 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. Her entrepreneurial skills, innovative mindset and a generous heart has also meant that she serves as 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 & an Aspire Circle Fellow.
Vishal 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, we work with 10,000 young people in our Innovation Labs, train over 7000 educators impacting over 175,000 children and young people, impact 1 Million young people through strategic partnerships with governments and other non-profits and are spread across 5 States and 2 Countries through our unique Life Skills Development approach.
Vishal is an Ashoka Fellow (www.ashoka.org), an Eisenhower Fellow (https://www.efworld.org/) and is also a Board Director at Partners for Youth Empowerment (www.partnersforyouth.org). He has previously been a Founder Director of Unltd India (currently advisor) and Board Member of India Cares Foundation. Vishal has been recognized as an “Architect of the Future” by the Waldzell Institut in Austria. He is also an advisor and mentor to Reap Benefit. In 2018, he was awarded the ‘Heroes of Bengaluru’ award.
Vishal believes that if we can re-imagine learning to develop empathy, creative thinking, problem solving and collaborative working skills amongst young people, they will be able to overcome adversity and flourish in this fast-changing world.