Anshu Gupta, founder of Goonj.org and popularly known as clothing man of India, talks about finding solutions to our perceived ‘non-issues’.
During his budding days as a journalist, Anshu Gupta happened to meet a man called Habib in the streets of Delhi. Habib rode a rickshaw like cart to pick unclaimed dead bodies from around Delhi and take these to crematorium. He used to pick 4 times the usual in winter months. Anshu spent a week along with Habib. He found that the single reason for so many deaths in winter was due to lack of warm clothing. He found that more people died in cold weather due to lack of clothing than in natural disaster. And it was neither the government’s agenda nor anyone else’s to solve this. Thus, started the journey of Goonj in 1998 to solve this ‘non-issue’ of clothing. Over the last 18 years, Goonj has started various programs like ‘cloth for work’ and it innovatively uses cloth as a ‘currency’ to pay for rural people’s labor towards solving ‘local issues’. Be it building roads, wells, tanks or cleaning Sundarbans, Dal lake Goonj does over 2000 such activities a year. This has given genesis to a parallel economy that’s not cash based but trash based. Watch this passionate talk by Anshu that’s sure to give you some goose bumps.