Turning one person’s waste into another person’s resource, the magnificent GOONJ project is setting a truly sustainable mindset in the heart of the Indian capital New Delhi. Taking the idea of recycling would be waste to a whole new level, the GOONJ project has become well established as a distribution network able to reach the poorest areas of India.
Founded in 1998 by Ashoka Fellow Anshu Gupta, the GOONJ project collects unused clothing from all over India to then recycle the materials to provide clothes, sanitary and many other basic amenities to people living in poorer communities across the country.
The 300+ volunteers and mass participation of housewives, professionals, schools, colleges, corporates, exporters, hotels and hospitals behind the recycling and distribution center help to send out over 20,000 kgs of recycled waste materials every single month! A vast network of more than 100 grassroots agencies is also helping GOONJ reach parts of 20 states of India.
Recently declared Indian NGO of the Year, GOONJ has also won the prestigious Development Market place award from the World Bank on making a sanitary napkin out of waste cloth. The Global Oneness Project recently published a short documentary film about the GOONJ project, which wonderfully captures the essence of this inspirational and highly sustainable initiative.
Copyright top image courtesy of The Global Oneness Project
Copyright image courtesy of The Global Oneness Project
Goonj discusses sanitary napkin issue with a self help group. Image courtesy of GOONJ.
Motivating rural people for ‘Cloth for Work’. Image courtesy of GOONJ.
Left: Making use of tsunami wastage. Right: Women converting torn jeans into school bags. Images courtesy of GOONJ.