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Gandhian activist Elaben Bhatt passes away at 89: PM Modi, Kharge condole

Gandhian activist Elaben Bhatt passes away at 89: PM Modi, Kharge condole

Gandhian activist Elaben Bhatt passes away at 89: PM Modi, Kharge condole
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 2, 2022 7:08:59 PM IST (Updated)

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had once called Bhatt her “hero”.

Elaben Bhatt, noted Gandhian, activist and Padma Bhushan awardee, passed away today at the age of 89. Known for fighting for women's rights and financial freedom, Bhatt founded the non-profit organisation Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA) in 1972. She died in Ahmedabad.

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She was serving as the chairperson of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and had only recently resigned as the Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi’s Gujarat Vidyapith due to her failing health. Bhatt had worked for years to improve the availability of finance to women.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had once called Bhatt her “hero”. "Her work embodies the principle that every person should have the chance to achieve his or her dreams and make the most of their God-given potential,” Hillary Clinton said in 2012.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who condoled her death.
 
"Sad to know about the death of Elaben Bhatt. She will be remembered long for her work for the promotion of women's empowerment, social service and education among the youth. Condolences to her family members and admirers," he tweeted in Gujarati.
“Extremely saddened by the passing away of renowned Gandhian & founder of SEWA, Ela Bhatt ji. A Padma Bhushan recipient and a pioneer of women's rights, she devoted her life to empowering them through grassroots entrepreneurship. Her exceptional legacy shall always inspire,” said newly crowned Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.
 
“My heartfelt condolences on the passing away of the prestigious Magsaysay award & Padma Bhushan award winner Smt. Elaben Bhatt. She laid a strong foundation for women's empowerment with her SEWA Women's Cooperatives which made an impact on a global scale. May her Soul rest in peace,” said Nationalist Congress Party Vice-President Praful Patel.
 
Bhatt was a recipient of awards like the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. Apart from SEWA, Bhatt co-founded the Women's World Banking and served in the international NGO ‘The Elders’.
 
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