Works in multiple areas of rural development with a focus on transforming discarded urban material into useful resources for villages

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  • Headquarters

    New Delhi, Delhi

  • Since


Goonj's primary focus is on finding useful ways to transform the discard of urban houses into resources for villages. For example, it used 250 tons of Read more discarded cloth to create traditional mattresses and quilts. Goonj uses material from urban schools as incentives to bring rural children to attend school, enhance their learning experience, and allow their parents to use their financial resources for other needs. The organization also works to raise awareness regarding menstrual hygiene and fight against the idea that the topic is too private or dangerous to talk about or make public. Hence, over 4.0 million sanitary pads have been produced out of waste cloth and distributed in villages and slums to address the taboo around the subject. Goonj holds exhibitions that address menstruation and the issues surrounding this taboo topic. Goonj accepts donations for school materials; such as stationery, water bottles, lunch boxes, etc; old sarees; old spectacles and sunglasses; simple food such as rice, pulses, tea leaves, sugar, salt and used paper. Founder Anshu Gupta received the 2015 Ramon Magsaysay award.


Urban surplus and discards form a major chunk of waste that goes unused while rural populations struggle with scarcity and issues.


Goonj uses urban surplus and wastes especially cloth to recycle them into usable garments and other items of daily use. The rural population is fruitfully engaged in social development initiatives for which they are paid in the kits and clothes that Goonj manufactures and recycles.

Vision & Mission

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.

Donor History

Walmart Foundation, HSBC, Oracle, Barclays, Morgan Stanley


  • Green by Goonj

    Green by Goonj is an initiative by the organization to present handicrafts created by women in far-flung remote areas. It consists of a special edition of modern products, showcasing their aesthetics, craftsmanship and design sense created from stuff recycled out of objects and materials considered waste in the urban setting. It maintains a separate website where these products are displayed and are available for purchase through online ordering.

  • Project Rahat

    Project Rahat aims to respond to natural calamities in a fast, efficient manner and mobilize urban and rural citizens to help out with relief materials as required by the disaster struck area. It conducts regular sessions on the merit of giving and donation and draws attention to preventable disasters like death from cold in winter. Rehabilitation tool kits are provided to people affected by disasters to encourage them to stay in their places and not migrate to cities in search of employment.

  • Dignity for Work

    Goonj deals with over 3000 tons of material per year and initiates over 2500 development activities annually under its flagship initiative Dignity for Work earlier known as 'Cloth for work' (CFW), from repairing roads, recharging water ponds, and building bamboo bridges to digging wells besides interventions in sanitation, agriculture and tree plantation.

  • Disaster Management & Relief

    It has developed income generation initiatives like Sujni, school bag making, and Vapsi to bring back the disaster-hit local economy to normalcy. Also, it developed a method to transform disaster wastage into a resource for development work. This waste management method was used in the Gujarat earthquake and the floods in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir. Goonj also collected material to help those affected by the floods in North East India.

  • Cloth for Work

    Cloth for Work (CFW): CFW repositions cities urban discard as development resource for neglected rural India issues. Annually 3000+ tons of material is channelized to remote villages, motivating village communities to work on self identified issues in their areas. Over 3000 development activities every year on issues like water, infrastructure, education, agriculture etc are undertaken in 1700+ villages across India. It fulfills basic material needs of people, dignifies giving as lakhs of people don’t get material as charity but earn it as reward for their efforts. It also fills resource gaps in development work & provides a longer life to massive quantity of discard that would have been an environmental hazard.

  • School to School

    S2S is an attempt to fill the gap of resources in rural schools by providing them basic school material like stationery, sports material etc. On the other hand Goonj motivates urban school children to give their unutilised school material for their rural counterparts. BUT instead of giving this material as charity, it is given as a reward for efforts made by children around issues of learning and behaviour like hygiene, attendance, discipline etc. Goonj reaches recycled school kit (comprising bag, belt, water bottle, pouches, cap, scarf, ball, mat, etc.) to students as a reward for behavioural changes. It supports libraries, computer centres, sports facilities and other education institutions in rural India. In 2016-17 alone, Goonj has dispatched 28,563 school kits in 15 states of India.

Impact Metrics

  • Sanitation Projects Done

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2016-17 700
    • 2017-18 1190
    • 2018-19 2162
    • 2019-20 600
    • 2020-21 3700
  • Sanitation Pads Distributed to Women

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2016-17 453000
    • 2017-18 1041000
    • 2018-19 1240700
    • 2019-20 100000
    • 2020-21 1600000
  • No. of Households Reached

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 245788
    • 2020-21 461449
    • 2021-22 636687
  • No. of Community Led Development Projects

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 7000
    • 2020-21 12700
    • 2021-22 12700
  • Quantity of Material Channelised (Mn Kg)

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 5
    • 2020-21 9
    • 2021-22 4
  • No. of School Kits Channelised

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 68654
    • 2020-21 14566
    • 2021-22 55000
  • No. of Districts Reached in the Country

    Year-wise Metrics
    • 2019-20 134
    • 2020-21 328
    • 2021-22 417

Theory of Change

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.

Milestones & Track Record

In year 2021-22, Case Study on Goonj was published by Harvard Business School

Leadership Team

  • Meenakshi Gupta


  • Anshu Gupta

    Founder Director

  • Imran Khan

    Team Member

  • Anita Patil


  • Abhinav Dutta

    Lead - Strategic Partnerships - CSR & Philanthropies

Demographics & Structure

  • No. of Employees


  • Strength of Governing Body


  • Diversity Metrics

    50% women


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Political & Religious Declarations

  • On Affiliation if any


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Organisation Structure

Organisation Structure


Awards & Recognitions

"Goonj and its rural partnership network – Sanjha recognized among the Top 50 organizations in the Covid Last Mile Responders list by World Economic Forum.
2021 : ‘Safar’ by Mr. Kireet Khurana based on words by Mr. Anshu Gupta, (Founder, Goonj) wins the Best Animation Film Award at LAMPA International Film Festival, Moscow, ’21
Goonj received Mackenzie Scott Gift to continue its work on ground
Jan 2021 : Recognition by Rajasthan Patrika
Oct 2020 : Marico Innovation Awards
2020 : Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice ‘for its phenomenal achievements in easing the lives of countless Indians from the terrors of this pandemic’
Dec 2019 : Lakshmipat Singhania Award-IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award for his Community Service & Social upliftment work
Aug’19: CEO Awards 2019 “Social Stalwart Award” to Mr. Anshu Gupta
April 2019: CFBP Council for Fair Business Practices awarded Goonj for the second time, Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Fair Business Practices
Feb’18: AIMA (All India Management Association) Award to Anshu Gupta
Dec’17: Rahat– Goonj’s disaster relief and rehabilitation effort received iF Social Impact Prize
July’17:Curry Stone Design Prize recognized Anshu Gupta , Founder Goonj as the Social Design Circle honoree
July’15: Ramon Magsaysay Award to Mr. Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj for transforming giving as a developmental approach.
Nov’14: Goonj wins Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award.
Aug’14: Asia’s leading English magazine ‘The Top 10 of Asia’ features Anshu Gupta, Founder Goonj among Asia’s top 10 social entrepreneurs.
July’14: Goonj is one amongst ‘The Purpose Economy 100 Asia’
July’14: Goonj gets chosen among 100 leading Global Green Innovations of the prestigious think tank SUSTAINIA
Feb’14: Goonj gets a place among The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in India in a listing by Fast Company
Nov’12: ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardto Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj by Schwab Foundation
July’12: GOONJ gets chosen as ‘Game Changing Innovation’ by NASA and US State Dept.
June’12: GDN Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project
Feb’12: GOONJ wins Edelgive award in health & wellbeing category.
Nov’10: Anshu Gupta gets listed in international Forbes magazine as one of India’s most powerful rural entrepreneurs.
May’10: Innovation for India award by Marico for developing innovative solution by using old cloth and other material.
March’10: Goonj wins ‘Jamnalal Bajaj CFBP Award’ for Fair Practices
Nov’09: ‘Cloth for Work’ wins international Lien i3 Challenge Award
June’09: ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’ wins GOONJ’s third Changemaker’s Innovation Award
March’09: CNN IBN’s Real Heros Award to Anshu Gupta in women welfare segment.
March’08: GOONJ wins India NGO of the Year Award in a nationwide search & selection by Resource Alliance.
May’07: GOONJ’s sanitary napkin project Not Just a Piece of Clothwins World Bank’s Global Development Market Place Award.
July’07: Vastra Samman recognized as one of The Good Practices by Dubai International Awards.
2006: Wins the prestigious Changemakers Innovation Award,the second time, for Rahat, our disaster relief initiative
2004: Prestigious Ashoka Fellowship to Anshu Gupta for his innovative idea & its mass social impact.
2004: GOONJ wins Changemakers Innovation Award for its School to School initiative.

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  • 2018-19

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  • 2021-22

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