A major part of the Indian economy still lies in the rural areas and villages of the country. Though a huge mass of people are constantly moving to the urban sectors, development of the villages cannot be neglected. With their excellent managerial and entrepreneurial skills, few Indian women have taken up the duty to raise the standard of living in Indian villages and have been really successful at it.
From establishing rural banks for the labors and workers to generating home based businesses for women, these Indian women have setup benchmarks for the younger generation.Naree.com has compiled a list of exemplary women entrepreneurs who have been doing great work at the rural level.
Read on to know more about the women entrepreneurs who are changing the image of our villages.
1. Ela Bhatt
Founder of SEWA
Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) founded by Ela along with late Arvind Buch, the then president of Textile Labor Association, is a major role player in empowering employment among rural women in Bihar. The association, setup in 1972, assists the women to buy solar bulbs with loans from SEWA and sell or rent them to families in the villages and towns of Bihar. Recognising her excellent work in the field of microfinance and labor, Ela Bhatt has been awarded the Padmashri, the Padmabhushan as well as the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
2. Thinlas Chorol
Founder of Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company
Born and brought up in the beautiful valleys of Ladakh, Thinlas is the only Ladakhi woman to be professionally trained in the field of Mountaineering. Thinlas studied in SEMCOL, The Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh. As a guide with Around Ladakh with Students (ALS), Thinlas has been on several mountaineering and expedition trips. With her 2009 found Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company she is trying to attract more and more women to take up mountaineering and allied studies to earn a living.
3. Annie George
Founder of BEDROC
Her organization helps build disaster-resilient, sustainable coastal communities. Disaster management, Participatory Water Resource Management, and Coastal Vulnerability Mapping are some of the key areas of operations of BEDROC. The main objective of this 2008 registered trust is to leverage experiences of the 2004 Asian tsunami to create community-based, community-owned mechanisms for enhanced disaster response, mitigation and preparedness for coastal communities, as reported at the BEDROC website.
4. Chetna Gala Sinha
Founder of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank
Chetna’s foundation established in 1994 governs a regulated co-operative bank that is completely operated by women and serves women customers. The bank was established with help of a group of illiterate women and has now grown into a $562,000 firm by the end of 2011. In collaboration with HSBC, Mann Deshi Bank established the Udyogini Business School in 2007. “There are thousands of girls who drop out of school in Maharashtra every year, and Mann Deshi Udyogini aims at providing vocational training and financial training to these young women to enable them to become entrepreneurs,” reports Naree.com.
5. Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad
Women’s Co-operative Association
The association founded by seven Gujrati housewives is well known for its products launched with the brand name Lijjat. It employs more than 40,000 women and encourages self employment through a number of branches across the country. “The seven women were Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, Parvatiben Ramdas Thodani, Ujamben Narandas Kundalia, Banuben. N. Tanna, Laguben Amritlar Gokani, Jayaben V. Vithalani, and one more lady whose name is not known,” reports Naree.com.