Chetna Gala Sinha

Biography

Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha is an Indian social entrepreneur. She is empowering women in drought prone areas of rural India by teaching entrepreneurial skills and providing them training on how to manage access to land and other means of production. She was a leader of the Jayprakash Narayan student activist movement at the end of the 1970s, which fought for the democratic and basic human rights of the rural and marginalized communities of India.

She also founded the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, a micro finance bank which lends to women in rural areas. One of the distinctive qualities of her bank is that it does not confine itself to making loans but also puts into place the infrastructures needed to develop entrepreneurial success and assets among women.

Through her work with the Bank, she has promoted a holistic approach to helping her clients – one that combines economic activity with the educational tools and health care necessary to lead a productive life.

Furthermore, she has founded a second organization, the Mann Sub-district Organization for Societal Progress to carry out campaigns in other areas. To support the further development of female empowerment, the organization has set up training camps on effective government. Additionally, she has organized meetings with village governing bodies to discuss property rights for women. She has succeeded in changing government policy and law regarding property rights for women.

Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha has been honored with the 2005 Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar award for rural entrepreneurship, and has a lifetime membership with Ashoka Innovators for the Public. She aims to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2020.