Anshu Gupta (Class of 2008)
Anshu Gupta, Founder GOONJ, popularly known as the Clothing Man, has created a mass movement of development work across villages in India; using massive quantities of waste material from cities as a powerful and alternative resource. Under Goonj's flagship initiative ‘Cloth for Work’ village communities across India work on their own issues and get the urban material as a reward for their efforts. "Cloth for Work" (CFW) has evolved two new currencies of development – material, and labour. Under this initiative, Goonj works with partners and communities to identify infrastructural improvements that need to be undertaken in the villages. Villagers then work to dig wells, clean ponds, repair roads, and build schools in the community using local resources and their own wisdom, for which they are compensated with material resources like clothing, utensils, furniture, and food grains.
Listed as one of the most powerful rural entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine Anshu Gupta has taken the menacing growth of urban waste and used it effectively and efficiently as a tool to trigger large scale development work on issues like roads, water, environment, education, health etc. while addressing ignored basic needs in some of the poorest pockets of India.