Helping others is my true calling: Ramon Magsaysay awardee Anshu Gupta

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:22 pm IST

Published - July 30, 2015 02:37 am IST - New Delhi

Goonj-founder Anshu Gupta, chosen for the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for 2015, on Wednesday said helping fellow humans is his “true calling.” Mr. Gupta, who left his corporate job to take up humanitarian issues and community development 16 years ago, said he does not like to be called a “social worker.”

“It feels good to be chosen for such a prestigious award. It is a recognition for the issues I’ve raised over the years. This award is a recognition for the work I have done,” he told IANS.

“I don’t want to call it social service. It is something that attracted me the most and is my true calling.”

“I wanted to find solutions to problems which we identified around us. These things bothered me a lot and, therefore, I chose to take up these issues.

“We initially started with 67 personal clothes and now we convert 2,000 tonnes of used clothes, household goods and other discards into usable resources for the poor each year. We also do disaster relief work,” he said.

Mr. Gupta recounted two incidents which changed his life. He was taken to a government hospital in Dehradun following an accident. The doctor demanded a bribe to treat his fractured leg but his father refused to pay, due to which the doctor deliberately performed a shoddy job.

Basic need In another incident he saw an unclothed unidentified man in old Delhi, who had succumbed to bitter cold on a December night. It was then that he realised that clothing was a basic human need and he wanted to help people access it. — IANS

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