Anshu Gupta, who quit his corporate job in 1998 to establish NGO Goonj, is among the two Indians who have been chosen for the 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who blew the whistle on alleged scam at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences, is the other Indian awardee.
Gupta is being recognised 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.”
Gupta’s NGO, Goonj, collects used clothes and household goods and converts them into resources for the poor. In cities, Goonj has the unique distinction of using anything that’s been discarded, from a stapler pin to industrial generators and everything in between. It annually deals with over 1000 tonnes of material. Goonj has inculcated the habit of mindful regular giving for a cause among urban masses.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The award is given to five Asians for their exemplary work every year. The Magsaysay awards will be given out on August 31 in Manila. Previous awardees have included Kiran Bedi and current Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Anshu has done Mass Communication and Masters in Economics and started his working life as a freelance journalist. He is based in Delhi.