Open navigation

Chetna Sinha

Chetna Sinha, Founder-Chairperson Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation
Chetna Gala Sinha has been awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar, India’s highest civilian award for women who work in the area of women’s empowerment. She has served as a Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos (2018), Switzerland and as a Co-Chair of Financial Inclusion at the W20 Summit (2018) in Argentina.

In 1996, Chetna Gala Sinha founded the Mann Deshi Foundation in Mhaswad, a drought-stricken area of Maharashtra, with the aim of economically and socially empowering rural women. In 1997, she set up the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank - India’s first bank for and by rural women.

Today, the Mann Deshi Bank has 100,000 account holders, has loaned over $50 million and regularly creates new financial products to support the needs of female micro-entrepreneurs.

Mann Deshi runs Business Schools, a Community Radio and a Chambers of Commerce for rural women micro entrepreneurs. To date, it has supported nearly half a million women.

Visit their website
Mann Deshi Foundation
Contact via
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Fresh Water; Banking and Capital Markets; Entrepreneurship
Areas of Impact
South Asia, India

Mann Deshi Foundation

Mann Deshi is dedicated to economically empowering rural women in India. Headquartered in Maharashtra, it runs the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, India's first bank by and for rural women, and the Mann Deshi Foundation, which provides women with entrepreneurial skills, training, support and access. Many of its Business Schools for Rural Women are run out of buses that travel to remote locations and it has Chambers of Commerce for microentrepreneurs. Its Community Radio has 100,000 listeners. The Foundation runs a community development programme focused on water conservation. It has supported 400,000 women and aims to reach 1 million by 2022.


Our awardees