A Banker You Can Love

Ela Bhatt walks quietly...

Sat, March 07, 2009

The paper may be in financial straits, but today the New York Times deserves a shout out for featuring the work of humanitarian Ela Bhatt who started the revolutionary labor union SEWA (the Self Employed Women’s Association) decades ago in India. When the AD crew and I met and interviewed her for our India show, she told me, “Poverty is a matter of power, and as long as the poor remain powerless, poverty will never be removed from our country. The poor are not idle, they are all economically very active, otherwise they won’t survive. We don’t have a welfare system, so they have to work. They will work harder and harder, and they try to make any activity productive and try to make money off it so that they can survive.” We were enamored by how such a soft spoken, gentle person was also an extraordinary powerhouse.  Read more about our time with her here, and also check out today’s Times.

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