Anshu Gupta, Goonj Awarded as Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012

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Award conferred by Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhiat a ceremony in New Delhi, All the finalists to participate in the World Economic Forum on India held in Gurgaon Nov 7-8, Learn more about the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at www.schwabfound.org

INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI: The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced today that, Anshu Gupta, Goonj has been awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012. The award was conferred by Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit at a ceremony held at New Delhi and attended by the other finalists and eminent personalities from government, business, media and social sector.

Goonj has demonstrated that cloth can be a powerful resource for the development of India’s poorest communities. It channels excess resources lying waste in urban households to impoverished rural and disaster-prone areas. Materials include clothes, furniture, electronic equipment, and medical supplies. Village and slum communities, in exchange of cloth and material, conduct self-organized local development and infrastructure building programs, leading to more than 500 infrastructure projects every year – such as the setting up of schools, concrete roads, bridges, wells, irrigation canals and toilets across 1500 villages.

Sourcing its material at collection camps in urban neighbourhoods and corporate offices, Goonj delivers 1000 tons of material every year through an extensive network of 500 volunteers, 200 schools, 200 corporate houses and 250 NGO partners across 21 states of India. Goonj’s expansive; ‘last-mile’ networks have made it the most efficient channel for large-scale disaster rehabilitation in the country. Its programs have spurred behaviour change on both the demand and supply sides: marginal communities have begun to believe in their own capacity for catalyzing change while urban India is learning to contribute (rather than dispense) material, based on what the poor need.

The other two finalists for the most coveted award for the year were Sameer Sawarkar and Rajeev Kumar of Neurosynaptic Communications Pvt Ltd (NCPL) and Vanita Vishwanath of Udyogini.

Speaking at the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 India Awards ceremony, Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, said, “Social entrepreneurship as a concept has grown over the years from just small entities. Now we have reached a stage where entrepreneurs who are doing great work in the society, need to be recognised for their efforts, but there are very few avenues for this. We need more social entrepreneurs to come forward and help those still in the growing stage and thus help the community at large.”

Congratulating the winner, Shyam S. Bhartia, Chairman and Managing Director and Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Managing Director – Jubilant Life Sciences and Founder Directors of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said, “Anshu Gupta is truly deserving and we congratulate him for his hard work and efforts. The decision for the jury members was difficult as each of the finalists is a winner. They all were selected after a very rigorous process. We would also like to thank the Chief Minister for making the time to award the winner and look forward to her support for recognition and encouragement of social ventures across the country in the future as well.”

“India continues to be one of our strongest countries in putting forth a large number of high quality social enterprises,” says Hilde Schwab, Co-founder & Chairperson, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “This is also the first year in which all Social Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists have impact or activities concentrated in remote regions where the need for healthcare, skills development, and infrastructure remains acute.”

Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Government of NCT of Delhi awarding Anshu Gupta from Goonj, the winner of ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India 2012’

More than 180 applicants entered the eighth annual “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” selection process for India, and three finalists emerged after several stages of rigorous assessment. An independent panel of pre-eminent judges met on 6 November to select the winner. This year’s judges included Sudha Pillai, Former Member Secretary of the Planning Commission; Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media; Harish Hande, Managing Director of SELCO Solar Light and a Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner for year 2011; Hilde Schwab, Co-founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; YC Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC Ltd; Neelam Chhiber, Managing Director of Industree Crafts / Mother Earth and SEOY winner for year 2011; Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson of Arghyam Foundation.

The winner of this year’s India award enters the Schwab Foundation’s global community of 230 social innovators. Social Entrepreneurs are driven by their mission to create substantial social change and promote inclusive growth, developing new products and service models that benefit underserved communities.

The Schwab Foundationfor Social Entrepreneurship, founded in 1998, is a not-for-profit and a sister organization of the World Economic Forum.  With the purpose of advancing social entrepreneurship as an important catalyst for societal progress, the foundation is under the legal supervision of the Swiss Federal Government and is headquartered in Geneva/Cologny, Switzerland.

Jubilant Bhartia Foundation (JBF), the social wing of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, was established in 2007 as a not-for-profit organization. JBF focuses on conceptualizing and implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for the group.

Start Up! is a Delhi-based social enterprise which manages the outreach, due diligence and jury presentation of the SEOY India awards on behalf of the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.

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