Our Mission & Vision
Goonj aims to build an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance, and dignity between the cities and villages, using under-utilized material as a tool to trigger development with dignity. We envision growing as an idea across regions, economies, and countries using urban surplus material as a tool to address basic but neglected issues of the financially and materially poor, involving them in designing and implementing their own solutions, with their own efforts, knowledge, and dignity, and material as a reward for their participation.
Values & Guiding Principles
Human dignity and the world’s surplus are at the core of our idea, ensuring that our actions never undermine the dignity of self, those we work with, and, most importantly, those we stand with. Besides that, we:
- Value localized solutions by engaging local resources, wisdom, and efforts.
- Improve before we Change; always value and explore the potential of what the world already has, focusing on circularity – material, people, relationships, talent or resources.
- Value collaboration in every sphere to increase effectiveness and scale.
- See every entity as a stakeholder in the process of development.
- Focus on the missed-out; people, material, needs, issues, geographies and relationships.
Anshu Gupta is an Indian Social Entrepreneur, awarded Magsaysay Award for his work on transforming the culture of giving in India and for highlighting material as a sustainable development resource for the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Popularly known as the Clothing Man, Anshu founded Goonj, offering a sustainable economic model for eliminating poverty and related issues. Under his leadership, Goonj created a barter between urban surplus and village communities labor, triggering large scale rural development work. Anshu has won many national and international honors like Ashoka and Schwab Fellowship, while Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of India’s most powerful rural entrepreneurs.
Since 1999, Goonj has built a network of communities from urban to village India, channelizing material as a tool to address crucial gaps in rural infrastructure, water, environment, livelihood, education, health, disaster relief and rehabilitation. Its engagement with both the urban and rural population has galvanized a mass civic participation in addressing basic but neglected issues. Goonj’s model of development implemented through its various Initiatives proposes a more inclusive alternative economy where everyone is an equal stakeholder in the process.
Goonj Processing Centers are first point where all material collected from the cities goes through a rigorous process of sorting, segregating, repairing and packing before dispatching it to the remotest villages of India.
Why Processing? Because the dignity of the receiver and giving with dignity is at the center of all that we do.. because when people in remote villages of India work for many days on building a bamboo bridge or digging a well or building a community hall, they deserve a reward… NOT Charity.
Our Design and Strategy Principles
Build a connection of empathy, dignity, and value between the issues of the resourceful and resource-scarce.
Leverage and explore the potential and possibilities of already available resources, wisdom, time, skills, and efforts of people.
Human-centred and community-led approach; Root ideas in the community; built from the context, culture, knowledge, wisdom, resources, needs, and aspirations of people.
Equip and support stakeholders in cities and villages to thrive and evolve sustainably. Facilitate, nudge and empower partners, communities, and nature to evolve solutions that infuse new life and vitality into the world.
Listen with humility and treat all communities with dignity and respect.
Be responsive and open to new ideas; listen, learn and leverage from the changing realities of people and nature and their relationships.
Awards and Recognitions
Over the span of almost 2 decades, Goonj has won both National and International attention and recognition for its extensive work on non-issues and sustainable innovation.