Published on: November 4, 2022

Elaben Bhatt

Elaben Bhatt

Why in news?

Gandhian, SEWA founder, and women’s empowerment activist Elaben Bhatt passed away


  • The recipient of several national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize.
  • She was the Chairperson of the Sabarmati Ashram and recently resigned as the Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi founded Gujarat Vidhyapith.
  • she became part of a group of world leaders called the Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela to promote human rights and peace across the world.
  • She was also a member of the Rajya Sabha and the Planning Commission in the 1980s.
  • She served in many international organisations, including Women’s World Banking, a global network of microfinance organisations, which she co-founded.
  • She also served as an Adviser to the World Bank


  • SEWA is the largest organization of informal workers in the world
  • It promotes the rights of low-income, independently employed female workers.
  • Founded in 1972 by Gandhian and civil rights leader Ela Bhatt as a branch of Textile Labour Association (TLA), a labour union founded by Gandhi in 1918.
  • SEWA Mahila Housing Trust, founded by Renana Jhabvala among others, created the Karmika School for Construction Workers in 2003 to help train women in the construction trades