Social Enterprise, Non-profit with FCRA Certificate
In 1996, Chetna Sinha decided to set up the first rural bank for women in India to provide a safe space for women to save and to gain affordable and easy access to credit. The Mann Deshi Foundation has since grown to supplement the bank by providing access to financial education, skills and a support network for rural women and their communities. Today, it works in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, and aims to reach 1 million women by 2024.
When the pandemic first hit, Mann Deshi Foundation provided food to 20,000 families and 5,000 migrant workers. It also provided thousands of sanitizers, PPE kits and masks. The non-profit has refurbished and supported two rural hospitals, which has benefited more than 2,500 people.
Its focus now is to ensure families get treatment and support. To do so, it has been working closely with ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers and frontline healthcare workers. It is also working to secure medical equipment and funds for the hospitals it supports.
When the pandemic first arrived in Mann taluka, and words like quarantine and social distancing became part of everyone’s vocabulary, as a community, we realized that even as we isolate, our interconnectedness has never been so evident. At Mann Deshi, we realized that the only way to fight the pandemic is as one family. All of us –women, farmers, and children alike – have to fight COVID-19 together.