By Justin Eichenberger, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
In 1999, Anshu Gupta quit his day job to found Goonj, an NGO based in New Delhi, India that highlights clothing as a “basic but unaddressed need” in developing/impoverished communities in India. In its early years, Goonj operated a cloth-for-work model, in which they would identify work that needed to be done in developing villages (i.e. building wells, repairing roads, constructing schools), and provide clothing and other essential material goods to the local peoples in exchange for the labor required to complete these projects. Goonj’s real standout program, however, was their ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’ campaign, which began in 2004.