SEWA founder and Gandhian Elaben Bhatt passes away
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Elaben Bhatt, 89, noted Gandhian, leading women’s empowerment activist, and founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) died on 2 November, 2022 in Ahmedabad.
She has been honoured with Padma Bhushan, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Indira Gandhi Peace Prize along with many other national and international awards.
She has been recognized globally as a women leader.
She founded many institutions and carried out pioneering work in organising the informal sector for self-employment and empowerment of women not only in India but across South Asia.
She was the Chairperson of Sabarmati Ashram and recently resigned as the Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi-founded Gujarat Vidhyapith.
In 2007, she became part of a group of world leaders called the Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela to promote human rights and peace around the world.
She was also a member of the Rajya Sabha and the Planning Commission of India in the 1980s.
She also served as an advisor to the World Bank and addressed the United Nations General Assembly.
She founded SEWA in 1972, one of the largest cooperatives working for women, with over two million members from around 18 states and neighbouring countries.
Elaben was born on September 7, 1933 in Ahmedabad in a family that was involved in social work.
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