New Delhi, India, 11 November 2013 – The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced Chetna Vijay Sinha, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation, as the winner of the 2013 India Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards. The awards were conferred in New Delhi at a high-level celebration, in the presence of Palaniappan Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India.
Chetna Vijay Sinha, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation: Mann Deshi Group of Ventures, headquartered in Mhaswad, Maharashtra, aspires to create 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India by 2020. The group manages three institutions that together help create alternate livelihoods and incomes for rural women: a women-owned rural cooperative bank that extends a range of financial services; a rural mobile MBA school that offers skill and entrepreneurship training; and a chamber of commerce that facilitates market and policy linkages.
Over 205 applicants entered the ninth annual Social Entrepreneur of the Year selection process for India, and four finalists emerged after several stages of rigorous assessment. An independent panel of pre-eminent judges met on 11 November to select the winner. This year’s judges included Sudha Pillai, Member Secretary, Planning Commission, India; Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media, India; Harish Hande, Managing Director, SELCO Solar Light, India, and a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner for year 2011; Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Switzerland; Kavita Ramdas, Representative, Ford Foundation, India; Anshu Gupta, Founder and Director, Goonj, India, and last year’s winner of the award; and Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam Foundation, India.
“India remains one of the most dynamic regions for social entrepreneurship and the India awards consistently attract a high quality of social enterprises,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “This year, we were also very excited to see an all-woman finalist pool. They are all working on highly inspiring visions and innovative strategies across critical areas including skills training, livelihoods development, disease control and empowerment of women,” she added.
The winners will be invited to join the Schwab Foundation’s global community of over 250 social innovators. Social Entrepreneurs are driven by their mission to create substantial social change and promote inclusive growth, developing new products and service models that benefit underserved communities.
Mrinalini Kher and Kishor Kher, Yuva Parivartan: Yuva Parivartan is making skills training affordable and accessible to the large segment of India’s BPL youth through its web of Livelihoods Development Centres and mobile training camps that penetrate deep into inaccessible tribal and Naxalite-affected areas. Over four years, Yuva Parivartan has skilled 100,000 youth in 16 states; of those, 60% obtained jobs or set up their own ventures. Yuva Parivartan is now pursuing a rapid scale-up strategy through partnerships and aims to skill 10,00,000 excluded youth by 2015.
Shelly Batra, Operation ASHA: Operation ASHA works on improving the last mile access and efficacy of India’s TB control programme. It offers a low-cost, high-quality doorstep TB detection and treatment service through a network of local entrepreneurs trained as professional TB counsellors. Its portable biometric patient identification system ensures rigorous tracking of patients and reduces default rates.
In eight years, Operation ASHA has reached 6 million TB patients in India and Cambodia, treated patients with a 90% success rate and reduced the cost of treatment by 15 times compared to other treatment initiatives.
Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough Trust: Breakthrough uses media, arts and popular culture to change the attitudes and behaviours that promote gender-based violence and human rights violations. It combines large-scale public service campaigns with local community projects, partnerships and youth training to encourage individuals and communities to act against violence. Over 15 years, Breakthrough campaigns such as Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell) have reached more than 130 million Indian viewers in multiple phases and won international awards, and have been adopted by governments and civil society organizations in six countries.