Anshu Gupta, the founder of Goonj – an NGO that has been helping poor communities by recycling cloth and other waste material – was given the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012’ award here last week.

The award, conferred by Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, was given by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.

The other two finalists for the award this year were Sameer Sawarkar and Rajeev Kumar of Neurosynaptic Communications Pvt Ltd and Vanita Vishwanath of Udyogini.

Giving away the award, Dikhsit said, “We need more social entrepreneurs to come forward and help those still in the growing stage and thus help the community at large.”

“Sourcing its material at collection camps in urban neighbourhoods and corporate offices, Goonj delivers 1,000 tonnes of material every year through an extensive network of 500 volunteers, 200 schools, 200 corporate houses and 250 NGO partners across 21 States,” said a Schwab Foundation release

The finalists were selected from over 180 applicants by a panel of judges, including Sudha Pillai (Member Secretary, Planning Commission), Harish Hande (Managing Director of SELCO Solar Light), Hilde Schwab (Co-founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship), Y.C. Deveshwar (Chairman of ITC Ltd), Neelam Chhiber (Managing Director of Industree Crafts/Mother Earth), Rohini Nilekani (Chairperson of Arghyam Foundation), and Shobhana Bhartia (Editorial Director of HT Media).

(This article was published on November 13, 2012)
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