Goonj wins Indian NGO of the year award

March 10th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) For its constant endeavour to alleviate the agony of the poor and the marginalized, especially in terms of providing material resource, Goonj, a Delhi-based non-profit organisation, has been awarded the Indian NGO of the year award. Anshu Gupta, founder and director of Goonj, said with the award, clothing has finally been recognised as a development issue.

“This award is an acknowledgement of the ignored basic need of clothing as a development issue. This is what Goonj has been continuously working on,” Gupta told IANS.

This, Gupta said, will encourage more people and organisations to provide clothes and other material resources to the poor.

Union finance minister P. Chidambaram and N.R. Narayanmurthy, CEO and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, gave away the award to Gupta in a glittering ceremony in the capital last week.

What started as an endeavour to clothe the needy with a basketful of 67 clothes, nine years ago, has now grown into a full-fledged organisation which functions in 20 states that aims at channelling thousands of kilos of clothes and other unused materials from urban areas to the remote villages of the country, every month.

One of its initiatives is the school-to-school programme in which children of urban and rural schools come together and the former channel material resources such as books, clothes, water bottles and the likes to the latter.

Another of its initiatives, “Not just a piece of cloth”, highlights the ignored need of sanitary napkin as a major health issue for marginalized women. In this programme, the organisation converts unused cotton cloth into clean cloth napkins, which women can use during their menstrual cycle.

This project has won the Development Marketplace award from the World Bank.

The Indian NGO of the year award was instituted in 2006 by Resource Alliance and Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation in recognition of the best practices in resource mobilisation, accountability and transparency among voluntary sectors in India.

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