Chetna Sinha

Mann Deshi Foundation

The Mann Deshi Group provides women in drought-prone areas of rural India with support and access to financial services, helping them move from being daily wage laborers to successful businesswomen.

Focus: Education, Microfinance, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development
Geographic Area of Impact: India
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 209,000 (2013)
Annual Budget: US $900,000 (2012)
Percentage Earned Revenue: Bank (100%)

Many regions of rural Maharashtra in the Deccan plateau are dependent on agriculture yet are increasingly drought-prone. Men from the region often migrate to cities or become unemployed and in many households, women are left to provide for their families. In the absence of assets, advice, financial services and market linkages, these women turn to daily wage jobs or activities that earn limited incomes, such as goat herding. To compound the challenges, women are excluded from access to credit.

Innovation and Activities
The Mann Deshi Group consists of three distinct but highly inter-dependant initiatives that together help to create alternate livelihoods and incomes for women in rural Maharashtra: