Goonj-“Clothing is shelter”

These days social entrepreneurship is the hot topic in the class and I have been very interested in knowing about them. I believe that social entrepreneurs are very important in today’s world where people are so inclined towards making profits and least bothered about social and environmental conditions in the world. Schwab foundation of social entrepreneurship defines Social Entrepreneurs as people who are driven by their mission to create substantial social change and promote inclusive growth, developing new products and service models that benefit under-served communities. The foundation recently announced Anshu gupta as the social entrepreneur of the year 2012 for his project Goonj. Goonj is a program in which clothing is allocated in such a way so that every person has clothes to wear. For poor people clothing is shelter, and during extreme winters many poor people die because of lack of clothes. What inspired me the most about Anshu Gupta’s journey is the situation that inspired him to start Goonj. One night in the streets in India Anshu met a rickshaw puller named Habib, and the sign on his rickshaw said “disposer of dead bodies”. This made Anshu curious about what Habib does and he joined Habib on his nightly rounds of disposing bodies. Habib told him that ‘in winter he had so much work that he cannot handle it’. Anshu was shocked by the large number of poor people that died every night because of the lack of clothing to protect them from the cold.

 

He realised that in a normal household there are so many clothes which are lying wasted in the wardrobes. This triggered the idea of taking the unused clothes from such households and putting them in use by distributing them to people who need it the most. I am very inspired by his story and how he has been working all these years to fulfill his mission. The article reads that  “Today, Goonj operates collection centers in nine Indian cities and provides about two million pounds of materials, mostly clothes, but also utensils, school supplies, footwear, toys and many other items.”

Such a brilliant idea and such small changes in the working of the society have helped improve the lives of so many needy people. Social entrepreneurs are an asset to the society and they are needed in today’s world where rich are getting richer and the poor is getting poorer.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/clothing-the-poorest-for-survival/?h=B

(the main article)http://www.weforum.org/news/anshu-gupta-honoured-india-s-social-entrepreneur-year-2012

 

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