2020 BusinessLine Changemaker Awards to be presented on March 6

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 03, 2020

Nominees for Social Transformation category

It’s that time of the year when BusinessLine celebrates people who have brought about positive changes in the world we live in. On March 6, the winners of the BusinessLine Changemaker Awards will be felicitated at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi.

The winners will be announced across six categories: Changemaker-Social Transformation, Changemaker — Digital Transformation, Changemaker — Financial Transformation, Young Changemaker, Iconic Changemaker and, finally, Changemaker of the Year.

Among hundreds of nominations received for the Social Transformation category, five were short-listed after many rounds of screening and evaluation.

Usha Multipurpose Co-op Society

A first-of-its-kind bank for sex workers, the Usha Multipurpose Co-operative Society was started in Kolkata’s red light area, Sonagachi, in 1995, to empower sex workers and provide them financial stability and independence.

Launched with just ₹30,000 of capital and 13 members, Asia’s largest such co-operative society today handles more than ₹30 crore a year and has a membership base of 30,932 sex workers.

Neelkanth Mishra

While India has 126 million small and marginal farmers, their average holding is just 0.6 hectares, not enough to financially sustain or support their families. In 2013, Neelkanth Mishra started the Centre for Aquatic Livelihood — Jaljeevika to promote entrepreneurship in inland fisheries as an alternative source of livelihood.

The Pune-based NGO has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 men and women farmers across six States.


There are over 7,000 rare diseases worldwide, but treatment is available only for about 500, and mostly in the US. To bring multiple aspects of rare disease treatment — such as detection, drug availability and clinical trials — under one roof, the Organisation for Rare Diseases India (ORDI) was set up by Prasanna Shirol, father of a patient with a rare disease. The NGO serves as an umbrella platform to provide access and resources to patients afflicted by such diseases.

Shanti Raghavan

Shanti Raghavan gave up a lucrative corporate career to focus on her NGO EnAble India. Founded in 1999, the NGO trains, mentors and, most importantly, lays the foundation for people with disabilities to find employment. Through EnAble India, Raghavan has transformed the lives of around 2.2 lakh persons with disabilities, across 28 States and 95 districts.

Subhash Palekar

The Krishi ka Rishi (‘Farming Guru’) is known for introducing Zero Budget Natural Farming, a technique that eschews the use of fertilisers and pesticides while making farming both sustainable and profitable. Subhash Palekar spends 25 days a month conducting seminars, field visits and workshops on his farming technique, which is practised by more than 50 lakh farmers across the country.

The BusinessLine Changemaker awards will be presented by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu this Friday. The Awards ceremony is supported by LIC, Tata Sons, Dell, Qualcomm, PepsiCo, Nestle and a host of other partners.

Published on March 01, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor