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Hillary Clinton Visits Women Of SEWA In Gujarat After 23-Years, Says She Feels Inspired

Hillary Clinton met a women named Ela Bhatt in 1995 in India who started an organisation called SEWA that provides small loans to women to enable them to earn their own income.

Hillary Clinton Visits Women Of SEWA In Gujarat After 23-Years, Says She Feels Inspired
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Hillary Clinton Visits Women Of SEWA In Gujarat After 23-Years, Says She Feels Inspired
outlookindia.com
2018-12-17T09:19:56+05:30

Former US First Lady who visited India to attend Isha Ambani's wedding function, revisisted Gujarat's Self Employed Women's Assosiation (SEWA) in Ahmedabad after nearly 23 years.

Clinton met a women named Ela Bhatt in 1995 in India who started an organisation in 1972 to give small loans to women in order to help the find fulfillment in their work and contribute to their family's well-being.

"On my first visit to their headquarters in Ahmedabad in 1995, SEWA's 140,000 members included some of the poorest women in India with the least access to education. Some had lived in purdah until their husbands died, became disabled, or left. Many had struggled day to day to support their families," Clinton wrote in an Instagram post.

 
 
 
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Back in 1995, I met a woman named Ela Bhatt in India who was already 20 years in to a revolutionary experiment. In 1972, she started an organization to give women small loans that could help them find fulfillment in their work and contribute to their family’s well-being. It was called the Self-Employed Women's Association, or SEWA.⁣ ⁣ On my first visit to their headquarters in Ahmedabad in 1995, SEWA's 140,000 members included some of the poorest women in India with the least access to education. Some had lived in purdah until their husbands died, became disabled, or left. Many had struggled day to day to support their families. ⁣ ⁣ SEWA offered the women small loans to enable them to earn their own income, taught them how to read, and gave them lessons in running small shops and businesses. We now think of this model as "microloans." Ela and SEWA have always been ahead of their time. ⁣ On that first visit, I'll never forget the sight of thousands of women in every color of sari sharing how SEWA had changed their lives by giving them freedom and opportunity. When we finished talking, the women sang “We Shall Overcome” in Gujarati. ⁣ ⁣ Ela and I stayed in touch, and I've had the chance to see the organization and its impact grow even larger over the years. When I visited SEWA's new retail shop in Mumbai in 2009, the organization had just over a million members. ⁣ ⁣ On a trip to India this week, I had the chance to visit Ela and the women of SEWA in the same place I first visited 23 years ago. Now they're two million members strong and there are two or three generations of SEWA women, all of whom are working to improve not only their own lives but also to lift up their families, their communities, and their country. Once again, when we finished talking, the women sang “We Shall Overcome."⁣ ⁣ Ela’s work is fundamentally about fairness. Every person should have the chance to achieve his or her dreams and make the most of their God-given potential—no matter how rich or poor and no matter whether they work in a factory or a home or on the side of a road. I'm so inspired by these women and I can't wait to see all they continue to overcome and achieve.

A post shared by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on Dec 14, 2018 at 10:24am PST

About her first women to SEWA, Clinton said, "I'll never forget the sight of thousands of women in every color of sari sharing how SEWA had changed their lives by giving them freedom and opportunity. When we finished talking, the women sang “We Shall Overcome” in Gujarati."

Clinton's visit to SEWA after 23 years was nothing but inspiring as the organisation with over a million memebers in 2009 has now grown two to three generations and is now about two million memebers strong.

"Ela’s work is fundamentally about fairness. Every person should have the chance to achieve his or her dreams and make the most of their God-given potential—no matter how rich or poor and no matter whether they work in a factory or a home or on the side of a road. I'm so inspired by these women and I can't wait to see all they continue to overcome and achieve," Clinton wrote.

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