|Full Name||Ela Ramesh Bhatt|
|Famous For||Founding Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA)|
|Role Model||Mahatma Gandhi|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Hair Colour||Salt and Pepper|
|Date of Birth||7 September 1933|
|Age (as in 2017)||84 Years|
|Birthplace||Ahmedabad, Bombay Presidency, British Raj|
|Zodiac sign/Sun sign||Virgo|
|School||Sarvajanik Girls High School, Surat|
|College/Institute||M.T.B. College, Surat; Sir L. A. Shah Law College; Afro-Asian Institute of Labor and Cooperatives, Tel Aviv|
Diploma of Labor and Cooperatives
|Awards/Honours||1977: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership
1984: Right Livelihood Award
1985: Padma Shri by the Government of India
1986: Honoured with Padma Bhushan
2010: Niwano Peace Prize for her outstanding work in empowering poor women in India
|Boys, Affairs and More|
|Children||Son- Mihir (b. 1959)
Daughter- Amimayi (b. 1958)
|Parents||Father- Sumantrai Bhatt (Lawyer)
Mother- Vanalila Vyas
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ela Bhatt
- Since her college days, she was interested in nation building activities.
- While in college, she became involved in the first census of the independent India, where she was exposed to the hardships faced by people. That was the point where she determined to do something for them.
- She started her career with teaching English at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai.
- Her progressive and dedicated work in the department promoted her to head the women’s wing in 1968.
- In 1971, she went to Israel where she received the International Diploma of Labor and Cooperatives at the Afro-Asian Institute of Labor and Cooperatives.
- In collaboration with Arvind Buch (the then president of TLA), she did an initiative to form a self-employed women’s union under the Women’s wing of the TLA.
- In 1972, SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) was established and Ela worked as a general secretary until 1996 in the organisation.
- The following year, she founded a Cooperative Bank of SEWA.
- She has been named as Gentle Revolutionist due to her unique way of bringing women issues in front of everyone without involving any violence.
- In 2001, she was awarded an honorary degree in Humane Letters by Harvard University.
- Throughout her life, she has worked for the women empowerment and employment and was honoured with the Radcliffe Medal on 27 May 2011 for her phenomenal efforts in uplifting women.
- She received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown University and also an honorary doctorate from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.
- Ela was one of the founding members of the Elders, which is a group consisting of twelve international social activists working together for peace and human rights across the globe.
- In 2012, she travelled to Bihar to led a youth project focusing on preventing child marriage as well as encouraged the state government to have an eye on this issue.
- She was the winner of the first Global Fairness Award i.e. the globally recognised CARE Award.
- Due to her evergreen achievements as an activist, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed her as “one of her heroines.” She stated, “I have a lot of heroes and heroines around the world and one of them is Ela Bhatt, who started an organisation called the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India many years ago.”
- Ela has also written two books named “We are poor but so many: the story of self-employed women in India” and “Anubandh: Building Hundred Mile Communities” published in 20016 and 2015 respectively.
- She has been listed in “India’s 25 Greatest Global Living Legends.”
- Here’s an interview of Ela with NDTV where she has talked about her defining point in life, her vision and mission, and many more things worth-listening:
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