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About Goonj

Goonj is a nonprofit organization that works on water, education, health, sanitation, disaster relief, and rehabilitation, livelihood, environment, and infrastructure. It is based in New Delhi, India.

Headquarters Location

Sarita Vihar J-93

New Delhi, 110076,


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Latest Goonj News

That night we sparked a movement. The TEDxHyderabad genesis story

Oct 8, 2022

The TEDxHyderabad genesis story The thunderous waves of applause refused to die down as the young award-winning team of Mitti wrapped up their Talk at TEDxHyderabad 2019. Says curator Viiveck Verma, “It all started at TEDxHyderabad 2015 when young filmmaker and Speaker Anshul Sinha was deeply moved by ‘Poison on your plate’, a talk by agricultural scientist Ramanjaneyulu. That night, we sparked a movement.” Anshul would go on to make the crowd-funded movie, with the support of SAHE as community partner. The Ripple effect When TED started back in 1984, it would go through a series of avatars before embracing its global image as the platform for innovators, thinkers and artists. With an intention of taking the spirit of TED to local communities, TEDx came into being. What makes TEDxHyderabad different is that it is driven by a community and not an organization. Viiveck Verma makes a profound argument about why the TEDxHyderabad brand is a movement about impact. “Our idea is to spark conversations and to bring together Thinkers, Enablers and Doers on the platform, and thereby trigger ripples within their communities”. Long term sustainability goals only happen when an ecosystem is created. “We have built a community of 5000-plus with the ability to lead those initiatives. Our platform is as much about the speakers as it is about the attendees. Each attendee is equally critical to what we hope to achieve and the greatest satisfaction is when we see people networking and taking these ideas to the next level with social impact coming out of it”. How TEDxHyderabad was shaped What makes the Hyderabadi Nuskha successful is the granular research and planning that goes into curating the Speaker panel, based on the Theme which is its linchpin. For instance, when the pandemic shut down the world, TEDxHyderabad 2020 went virtual, featuring an array of 9 speakers, whose life experiences centred on the burning theme of Resilience, in the new world order. The emeritus included WHO Director Dr. Soumya Swaminathan from Geneva, UK Diplomat Andrew Fleming, IIITH Director Dr. P J Narayanan, Chief Economic Adviser Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Atmanirbhar Bharat and the government’s measures to tackle the fallout of Covid-19, among others. Talk about Impact Says Viiveck, “Our crusade is to make the world a better place”. While all TEDxHyderabad events feature plenty of impactful conversations and opportunities to learn, there are some moments of alchemy that have catalyzed into something special. Take for instance, the time when the organizers and TEDx speaker Anshul Sinha joined hands with Anshu Gupta of Goonj to propel the Rahat COVID-19 movement forward. In the education space, Speaker Pradeep Lokhande’s talk triggered a parallel movement in Hyderabad with Deloitte taking on the initiative of setting up 110 Gyan-key rural libraries across Telangana state. Known as the Postcard man of India, Lokhande developed a model of 180 books which was donated to over 6000 libraries across India, with the rider that the student sends him a postcard once he has read the book. SAHE sets the canvas to support the dream “To drive the events, we partnered with a not-for-profit organisation called The Society for the Advancement of Human Endeavour (SAHE), with the premise of harnessing the energy and passions of people in our network”, explains Viiveck. Drawn from all walks of life, the feisty bunch of volunteers are enabling sustainable social Impact by collaborating with their local communities. In the healthcare space, SAHE has trained 15000 first responders like students, drivers, guards, housekeeping staff and corporate employees to treat road accident victims within the Golden Hour. Raahgiri and Car-Free Thursdays are two SAHE-supported campaigns, sustained through social media campaigns that encourage citizens to reduce their carbon footprint, with a nudge to use public transport or carpool to work. “There are multiple small things happening which depend on people taking the lead”, he explains. One Lakh Hands was designed for children to talk to their parents about road safety with their handprints on a pledge. Initiatives like Donate a Chappal jumpstarts dialogue within communities that demonstrate that anyone can be a change-maker. The ‘Plastic Ideathon’ brought together academics, startups, communities & non-profits on ways to manage plastic waste. Whether it is a new pair of blades for India’s Blade-runner Kiran Kanojia, building an e-commerce platform for Huzurabad Weaver’s Association, facilitating grants for rural Innovator Chintakindi Mallesham or disaster and Covid relief efforts for Goonj, the TEDxHyderabad platform has been actively connecting corporates and social entrepreneurs for mutual support and solutions. How TEDxHyderabad worked to create a Water Positive city When TEDxHyderabad Salon panelists Rama Chandrudu and MVRL Murthy spoke about the importance of water positive cities, with focus on sustainable alternatives for smaller communities and citizens using data driven approaches, they were reiterating what a SAHE volunteer was already working on. Architect Kalpana Ramesh who joined as a volunteer in 2016, today leads the discussion on water conservation, with initiatives like the Rainwater Project, Bansilalpet stepwell restoration, Kudikunta lake revival and rainwater harvesting that was lauded by PM Modi on Twitter and Mann ki Baat. From a junkyard to a functional well, it has been a gratifying journey for the SAHE team who have been working on a scientific model for Stepwell restoration and preserving ground water through conservation of existing water bodies. Save10KBores was a low cost (~INR 15K) DIY solution to recharge defunct borewells across Hyderabad. Close to 3000 families successfully implemented the customized RWH solution for homes, apartment buildings and gated communities. Live the Lakes is working towards building awareness, revival and sustenance of the Kudikunta, Gopi Cheruvu and Regulakunta lakes. Phoenix Rising at TEDxHyderabad 2022 The 7th edition of TEDxHyderabad promises to be a heady cocktail of informative and inspiring talks, with a well-curated and diverse panel featuring internationally acclaimed art director Sabu Cyril of Bahubali, RRR and Enthiran fame, and Fielding coach Sridhar Ramakrishnan along with Tinkesh Kaushik, the first Asian Triple Amputee and IAF veteran Sqn Ldr Abhai Pratap Singh, a wheelchair cricketer who will demonstrate how they overcame physical challenges with the power of the mind. Deep dive into Writer Jocelyn C. Zuckerman’s journey into the thrilling intersection of food, environment, human rights and adventure or what makes Dog-whisperer Shirin Merchant special. Cybercrime Investigator Ritesh Bhatia, Internet Addiction Therapist Nirali Bhatia and disaster management expert Emmanuel Raju talk about on-ground challenges and solutions in everyday living. Founder of Recykal Abhay Deshpande rises to the challenge of enabling a circular and sustainable economy, one piece of waste at a time. Cancer Surgeon Dr. Chinnababu Sunkavalli, world record-holder for 300 robotic surgeries will share his story on his NGO Grace Cancer Foundation and their vision to provide cancer care to all segments of society. Converting dreams into Eastman Color “A lot of good things including a few movies have come out of our platform”, summarizes Viiveck. The 2016 edition featured Chintakindi Mallesham who went on to win the Padmashri award. His TEDx talk in chaste Telugu would spark an IT professional in the US to make a feature film – Mallesham with a two-minute tribute to TEDxHyderabad towards the end of the movie. ‘Mitti’ and ‘Gateway to Heaven’ were two other feature films that were seeded at Hyderabad and crowdfunded by the ecosystem in which they were conceived. “We brought these two speakers back to TEDxHyderabad in 2019 to speak about how the community coming together helped to bring about this movie!”, chuckles Viiveck. “People meeting on our platform went on to get married; some came as attendees and went on to become speakers. I believe it is most important to be able to facilitate them, rather than follow the paths set by others. We are proud to be building a community of what we think of TED – Thinkers, Enablers and Doers, one idea at a time, for our dear city of Hyderabad”.

Goonj Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Goonj's headquarters?

    Goonj's headquarters is located at Sarita Vihar, New Delhi.

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