Saturday, January 17, 2009


Anshu Gupta- the name instills a feeling of respect and gratitude towards him from the deepest of the heart. He’s not only a so-called “Social Worker” or the founder of the NGO called ‘Goonj..’, but he’s also a husband, a son and a father. He’s a common man just like any one of us but yet so special than any one of us. The story that he tells by himself is that of his journalism days when he searched for a story to prove his credibility. This search of a story led him to meet a poor guy dragging a trolley which bore a line in red paint “Police ka laash dhone waala.”(Deadbody carrier for police). As intriguing it might sound to you, it did to Anshu and he thought he got his story. Never did he ever imagine in his wildest dreams that he’s got his life. He went on to ask Hamid about his job and found out that he picked up the unclaimed bodies from across Delhi and carried them to the police crematorium. What he got as a salary was Rs. 20 and 2 yard piece of cloth for every dead body that he brought. But Hamid went on to tell Anshu that in winters, his business reached its peak and often, he’s not able to handle the amount of work he has on-hand. On asking his little daughter’s opinion on his father’s (Hamid) work, she said, “Mujhe thand lagti hai to main laash se lipat kar so jaati hun kyunki laash karvat nahi badalti. Ye mujhe tang nahi karti.” (When I feel cold, I wrap around the dead body because it doesn’t move. It doesn’t disturb me.)
Such was the impact of this thrilling experience on Anshu that he left his job and went on to create a bridge between the two shores of the river. He found it amazing that the city of Delhi that had all the power of the nation was so helpless to serve its own people who came to it for filling up the empty stomachs. The motivation took Anshu to the remotest parts of India only to learn that donating clothes to the shivering farmer is not the solution to the problem. The solution is to enable him to earn his clothes. With this learning, he started many programs of building houses, schools, drainage, toilets and many more projects and made people to proudly earn their clothes. Besides, his organization works towards uplifting the health condition of women in their gynecological problems, esp during menses.
This man never stops inspiring the youth to join him in the efforts to make the society more equitable at the cost of “waste”.

1 comment:

  1. I met Anshu Gupta again a few days back in Singapore. He was here for the Lien3 contest and had obliged to give a small talk on Goonj.. I could see the same passion in his eyes that I saw in January when we visited his facilities in Delhi. This has motivated me even further to contribute to the society as soon as I can.