"My name is Chetna Sinha. I am a changemaker."
Today at noon, we took our first dip into an Ashoka Fellow interview series. We had a 30-minute conversation with women's empowerment devotee Chetna Sinha. (For background on Chetna, click here.) Through passionate storytelling, she shared tales of impact and change for impoverished women in Maharashtra, India.
Here are some of the best chat sound bites broadcast in real-time via Twitter:
- "My name is Chetna Sinha. I am a #changemaker."
- Women in Maharashtra didn't want grants or subsidies. They wanted to improve their lives. They were ready to take a risk.
- #Women wanted to improve their lives. They were ready to take a risk. They needed working capital, so we opened a bank.
- We thought: "If it's not affordable for #women to come to the bank, why don’t banks go to the women?"
- "With technology, [Mann Deshi Bank provides] financial services to these rural women."
- "Mann Deshi learned a lot from these rural women. They are our teachers!"
- In order to scale effectively: "You have to have a comprehensive package: financial services AND business training."
- When men respect women, it creates a space for them, for growth, and for development.
- "Entering the @Changemakers competition was like playing cricket. Getting votes was like scoring runs!"
- On poor, rural women: "Their collateral is just their body, their behavior ..."
- If projects are not viable for borrowers (due to high transaction costs), they conflict with the mission.
- On the power of #women: They have patience and the confidence to take risks. I see these things strongly in women.
- #Women have incredible power. If they lead in business, they will grow something very different.
- If we want to change people's lives "Listen to them. We'll find the solutions."
Stay tuned! On Monday, Ashoka Changemakers will be talking to Vineet Rai, founder and the CEO of Aavishkaar Venture Management Services.