Even though a huge number of people move to urban areas each year, over 70% of the population in India still lives in the rural areas and the state of women in most of these regions is far from ideal. However, some women have taken the initiative to improve the conditions of the people around them, helping them sustain a livelihood and lead better and more fulfilling lives. Here are four of these inspiring women.


Kallakuri Katyayani

One of the few women entrepreneurs of rural India, Katyayani earns Rs 70,000 per month by providing banking services to the residents of Gachilbowli village in Telengana. The residents of the village suffered during bank strikes but with Katyayani in the picture, the people get banking services through common service centres (CSCs) even on holidays and during strikes. Through her venture Katyayani has not just helped herself and her family; she is also assisting the villagers.


Ela Bhatt

Founder of SEWA, Self Employed Women Association and the former president of Textile Labour Association, Ela has taken several measures to empower and create employment for people living in villages of Bihar. Honoured with prestigious awards like the Padmashree, the Padmabhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Bhatt’s efforts in the field of microfinance and labour have been recognized worldwide.


Annie George

Even though it has been a decade since the 2014 Tsunami that caused mass destruction of lives and property, many families in India have not been able to recover from the disaster. In an effort to prevent something of this nature in the future, Annie George’s organization, BEDROC, builds disaster resilient, sustainable coastal communities. Founded in 2008, the objective of  her trust is to leverage experiences of the 2004 Asian tsunami.


Chetna Gala sinha

Her foundation was established in 1994 and it currently governs a co-corporative that serves women and is run by female workers. In collaboration with HSBC, the bank launched, ‘Udiyogini Business School ’ in 2007. It aims at providing vocational and financial training for girls who do not or did not have the opportunity to complete their education.


[Featured Picture Courtesy: Outlook Business]