100 Pipers presents 'The Good Crusaders' - Chetna Gala Sinha

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

When we talk about women empowerment it is imperative that we first talk about rural women. We will find many examples of women whose dedication, patience, and perseverance have paved way for groundbreaking developmental work in the rural sector. One such source of inspiration is Mrs. Chetna Gala Sinha who has been doing remarkable work in the field of Banking and Micro Finance that has helped empower thousands of farmers and women.

Mrs. Sinha continues to inspire rural women to become financially independent. It all started during her student days when she got associated with the student moment and met her future husband who happened to be a farmer. She gave her teaching career to be with her husband in a village in Maharashtra. There she helped set up a women’s bank which would allow women to make small savings which regular bank wouldn’t entertain. When she applied for the banking license for the first time it got rejected by the RBI but she persisted and finally it got approved. Hence came into being the first rural women’s bank setup in India in 1997: Mann Deshi Bank. It also became the first bank to do doorstep banking which intended to enable working women to avail the benefits of baking without affecting their daily work routines.

Subsequently, the bank also started the electronic passbook which allowed the women to have a better control over their savings. It was soon followed by an ATM facility that was biometric enabled. Today hundreds and thousands of women are doing banking with Mann Deshi Bank. The bank has enabled women to turn into successful entrepreneurs. The underlying idea is that engagement of women in entrepreneurial activities actually leads to positive growth in communities. Further, in an endeavor to help these women entrepreneurs find a market for their products Mrs. Sinha helped start an FM Radio service called Mann Deshi Tarang--first FM Radio operated by rural women--in Mhaswad village of Satara, Maharashtra. The FM channel not only helps women entrepreneurs in finding conducive markets but it also inspires other women to become entrepreneurs. Thus, the importance of women participation in every economy can never be overemphasized.

I feel really fortunate to have learnt about the remarkable work that Mrs. Sinha has done for farmers and women in the villages of Maharashtra over the last two decades or go. The credit, of course, goes to the 100 Pipers’ brilliant initiative called ‘The Good Crusaders’ that's serving as a showcase for leaders from different walks of life to share their stories of struggle and ultimate success. The show endeavors to inspire people to be the change that’s needed make the lives of their fellow citizens better, and, by the virtue to doing so, be remembered for good. The episodes of ‘The Good Crusaders’ get telecast on Times Now and are also available on the YouTube Channel of 100 Pipers India.

The Good Crusaders - Chetna Gala Sinha (YouTube)

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