Runa Banerjee is a changemaker. Her effort with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Lucknow has made women the force behind the revival of the city’s embroidery art, Chikankari. Starting out in 1980s, Banerjee has transformed the lives of many women and taken this non-profit organisation from just 30 to over 8000 women. These artisans join SEWA to give them their work and earned five times more than the factories (most of which were run by men) that previously employed them.

Runa Banerjee led SEWA of Lucknow plans ecommerce foray

With SEWA Banerjee has triggered a revolution. She is now aiming to put SEWA’s chikan outfit on an ecommerce portal of their own to keep up with the changing customer needs and the desire to shop on digital. A recipient of the Padma Shri, she is a real inspiration for real women in India.

In conversation with Sakshi Sirari in Lucknow.