Founder of First Indian Rural Bank Speaks at PBWC in San Francisco

By Carrie Hodousek, KCBS Radio

April 23, 2019
Professional BusinessWomen of California Conference Keynote Speaker Chetna Gala Sinha (Photo credit: Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio)

(Photo credit: Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) — A social activist who created India's first rural bank for women is shared her story with KCBS Radio. Reporter Carrie Hodousek spoke with Chetna Gala Sinha, one of the keynote speakers at the Professional BusinessWomen of California Conference in San Francisco.

Women who live in rural areas of India, often have trouble accessing a bank. Chetna Gala Sinha founded the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank nearly 20-years ago in hopes of closing that gap.

Some couldn't apply for a bank license or account because they couldn't read and write. "I was devastated," Sinha said. "I was crying when I was coming from Mumbai to my village, Mhaswad, I told women couldn't get a license because women couldn't get treat right."

In addition to opening a bank, Sinha established the Mann Deshi Foundation that teaches business skills to young entrepreneurs. "They realize that these women have so much of power and they have so much aspirations and they are so much passionate about it." Sinha adds.

Her message here in San Francisco, is to have the courage to do what's right. "Women can do anything if she decides." Sinha says. "So it's not the financers. What matters is the courage."