We’re deeply saddened by the information of the passing of Ms. Ela Ramesh Bhatt, an iconic chief and a Founding Member of Girls’s World Banking. Elaben (“ben” which means “ sister”), as she was recognized, was a real trailblazer in advancing ladies’s empowerment and monetary inclusion – first in India, and finally around the globe.
Throughout her time as a trainer and a lawyer early in her profession in Ahmedabad, Elaben realized that self-employed ladies have been routinely denied most of the rights that she noticed males exercising to develop their livelihoods. After working with a broad vary of low-income ladies throughout Ahmedabad to assist them safe truthful wages and construct pathways out of poverty, Elaben shaped the Self Employed Girls’s Affiliation (SEWA) in 1972, an iconic group that has labored for 50 years to assist ladies entry the monetary instruments and sources they need to construct safer, affluent, and fulfilling lives. Along with different luminaries together with Michaela Walsh, Esther Ocloo and Mary Okelo, Elaben went on to function a Founding Member of Girls’s World Banking from its creation in 1979, serving as its Board Chair after which as an Honorary Member of the Board for Life.
Elaben’s imaginative and prescient and management within the subject of girls’s empowerment and poverty alleviation is justly famend. Amongst different prestigious recognitions, she was honored with the Ramon Magsasay Award for Group Management ; the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards by the Authorities of India; the 4 Freedoms Award by the Authorities of the Netherlands; the Niwano Peace Prize; the Radcliffe Medal; the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace; and honorary doctorates from Harvard College, Georgetown College, and Brussels College. Elaben was a member of the Indian Parliament (and the primary feminine member of its Planning Fee); of the Board of the Reserve Financial institution of India; and of The Elders, the group of world leaders convened by Nelson Mandela to deal with a few of the world’s most intractable issues, the place she targeted significantly on problems with equality for girls and ladies.
Although Elaben stands as a real legend within the fields of girls’s empowerment and monetary inclusion, she was recognized by her admirers in Girls’s World Banking and past as an exceptionally compassionate chief. As many have famous, Elaben was aptly known as the “Mild Revolutionary” for her distinctive mix of humility and boldness; regardless of her private modesty, she was a real pressure of nature in advancing a extra affluent and equitable world for girls in all places.
There are 14 million extra financially included and empowered ladies on this planet at present since Elaben based Girls’s World Banking. We mourn Elaben’s passing along with the numerous different beneficiaries of her time, management, and knowledge. As we bear in mind Elaben, we have a good time her unbelievable legacy, and look to honor her by persevering with to advance Girls’s World Banking’s mission of empowering low-income ladies with monetary instruments and sources the world over.
We invite you to recollect Elaben in her personal phrases with us by watching these remarks she shared with our World Workforce the final time she visited our headquarters in New York.