Sigma, the student wing of XLRI, conducted a two-day social entrepreneurship conclave, from February 9th to February 10th, in Jamshedpur. Titled “women changemakers in social sector”, the conclave aims to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of women who have stepped out of their comfort zones to create social change.
The event saw as many as 18 notable women speakers who have contributed to a range of industries, including environment, trafficking, and rural development.
The chief guest of the event was Chetna Gala Sinha, a Mumbai-based social activist and founder of the Mann Deshi Foundation, who is also a recipient of the Nari Shakti Puraskar award. In addition to this, she is also the founder and chairperson of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, which provides financial assistance to rural women micro-entrepreneurs.
Mrs Sinha said, “I have had the chance to meet some very ordinary women who have done extraordinary things. You may acquire bookish knowledge in academic institutions, but when you need wisdom, you find it in people close to nature and earth.”
Several guest speakers attending the event also spoke about the importance of “restoring disempowered lives”. This included Smarita Sengupta, the founder of NGO Destiny Reflection, Sonal Kapoor, the founder and director of NGO Protsahan India Foundation, and Sohini Bhattacharya, the president and CEO of Breakthrough, a global human rights organisation.
A session on “strengthening the grassroots” was also presented by Sumita Ghose, the founder of Rangasutra, a community-owned craft company, Mala Roy, the programme leader of Child in Need Institute, and the president of Hand in Hand India, a non-profit organisation.
The event also saw many more interactive sessions being conducted on developing the ecosystem for social entrepreneurs, enhancing skill sets for inclusion, and the need for quantifiable initiatives for environmental sustainability.