Money & Banking

Rural community in India is ready for the development : Mann Deshi Bank founder Chetna Sinha

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 07, 2019 Published on September 07, 2019

(Left to Right) Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company and Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder, Mann Deshi Bank.

“Our community in rural India is ready for their development and also to change the world with their comparison, capability and capital,” said Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder, Mann Deshi Bank.

She was delivering an address at the V Srinivasan Memorial Lecture 2019 on Social Enterprise & Non-profit Leadership organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Friday.

Tracing her journey in rural India, the social activist and farmer shared some of the personal ordeal that she went through after deciding to shift from Mumbai to her husband’s place in rural Maharashtra.

Noting that getting a bank license was a great challenge, Sinha said her initial application for bank license was rejected by the RBI since majority of the women applied as promoters were ‘illiterate’.

“This incident led us to the creation of literacy classes for the rural women 20 years ago and they convinced the RBI that they cannot read or write but they can count money very well,” Sinha said.

Consequently, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank - India’s first bank for and by rural women came into existence in 1997 in the drought-stricken Mhaswad city in Maharashtra. Mann Deshi Bank currently has over one lakh account holders and loaned over $50 million benefiting over four lakh women.

Noting that women in rural India are smart and compassionate, Sinha said, “Never provide poor solutions to the poor people. They are way smarter than you imagine."

In his keynote address, Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Motor Company Venu Srinivasan said non profit organisations are slowly beginning to realise the shortage of professional management and the need for a succession plan.

“Corporates can play a major contributor in bringing professionalism in the social sector by introducing practices such as total quality management (TQM) and six sigma.” , He said.

“Even formal education is coming into social sector space which was not there 5 years ago,” Srinivasan said referring to social impact and philanthropy courses offered by various institutions like Ashoka University, Harvard Business School among others.

“Corporates can be a harbinger in creating a sustainable and progressive society,” Srinivasan said, adding that creating sustainable institutions will empower them to survive even during the slowdown that the world is witnessing right now.

V Srinivasan was the co-founder of WS Group and a leading entrepreneur in South India. The memorial lecture was organised as a tribute to Srinivasan and to celebrate the spirit of service to society.

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Published on September 07, 2019
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