Ms. Ela Ramesh Bhatt

27th Recipient, 2010, India

Ms. Ela Ramesh Bhatt, a follower of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, is widely recognized as one of the world’s most remarkable pioneers and entrepreneurial forces in grassroots development. Known as the “gentle revolutionary,” she has dedicated her life to improving the lives of India’s poorest and most oppressed women workers. In 1972, she founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a trade union now with more than 1.2 million members. In 1974 she founded the SEWA Cooperative Bank which now has an outreach of 3 million women. She died in 2022.

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