Economist | Farmer | Activist
An economist, farmer, and activist, Chetna Sinha works for social change in some of the poorest and most drought-stricken areas of rural India. She is the founder and the current president of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, a micro-enterprise development bank. Mann Deshi’s clients are women from low-income groups, averaging INR 40 (USD 1) per day. The Bank currently has seven branches, over 185,000 clients, and conducts 10,000 transactions on a daily basis. Since 2006, Chetna has partnered with global organizations such as HSBC, British Asia Trust, Clinton Global Initiative, Deutsche Bank, Commonwealth of Learning and Global Giving to develop corporate community partnership programs, which allow the corporate sector in the U.S. and Europe to get a unique view of the impact that micro-finance initiatives have on the rural population. She has established a first kind of “Mann Deshi Chamber of Commerce with toll free number” and “Finance Company” for rural women. Chetna aims to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2020. She has also been honoured with the Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar Award for Rural Entrepreneurship in 2005 and was selected for the First Class of Yale University’s World Fellows Program in 2002-2003.