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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 06, 2012
Almost 13 years ago an idea then considered a ‘non-issue’, fructified into an NGO — Goonj, got recognised on Tuesday evening, as its founder Anshu Gupta was adjudged the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012”. The award has been instituted by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. Schwab Foundation is a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum.

“Clothing for development was a non-issue 13 years back, but today this 100% not-for-profit initiative has finally got recognised,” Gupta said, while receiving the award.

The Delhi-based Goonj demonstrated that cloth can be a powerful development resource for India’s last-mile communities.

“We need to make our schemes for the poor more effective, so that the funds should be available to them faster, instead of getting delayed due to bureaucratic functioning,” said Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit.

“The decision for the jury members was difficult as each of the finalists is a winner and they all were selected after a very rigorous process,” said Shyam S Bhartia, chairman and managing director, Jubilant Life Sciences and director, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.

The other two finalists were Sameer Sawarkar and Rajeev Kumar of Neurosynaptic Communications Private Ltd, who are working in the primary healthcare service delivery sector in rural India, and Vanita Vishwanath of Udyogini, who is working in remote districts of five Indian states that are affected by poverty, naxalism and broken ecosystems.