SEWA founder and Gandhian Elaben Bhatt passes away

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Elaben Bhatt passes away

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. 

Important facts

  • 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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