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Social activist Ela Bhatt to deliver Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration

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Jamshedpur, Sept. 8: Ela Bhatt, eminent social activist and Founder of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) will deliver the 3rd ‘Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development’ in memory of the founder of Amul Dr. Verghese Kurien, otherwise known as “the Milkman of India” on September 24 at XLRI campus.

This year, the oration is to be delivered by Ela Bhatt, eminent social activist and Founder of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association). She would deliver the oration on the topic Living with Anubandh: A Way to Sustainability.

Father E Abraham, director of XLRI commented, “Dr. Verghese Kurien was a thinker, a revolutionary and a social entrepreneur who ideated the world’s biggest agricultural development programme. It was his “billion-litre idea” which made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry, with benefits of employment, incomes, credit, nutrition, education, heath, gender parity and empowerment, breaking down caste barriers and grassroots democracy and leadership. XLRI instituted the oration in his memory with the aim to commemorate his legacy through propagating and disseminating the idea of an empowered, equitable and sustainable society.”

Padma Bhushan Dr. Ela R. Bhatt, a lawyer by training, is a part of the international labour, cooperative, women, and micro-finance movements. She founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) in 1972 – a trade union which now has more than 1,000,000 members.

She served as its general secretary from 1972 to 1996. She is also a member of The Elders, an international group of world leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems, where she has been particularly involved in initiatives on equality for women and girls, including the issue of child marriage.

Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI commented, “We are extremely happy to have Dr. Ela Bhatt to deliver the 3rd ‘Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration’. She is a legend herself and one of the most remarkable visionaries and entrepreneurial forces who dedicated her life’s work for betterment of the poorest and most oppressed women workers in the country.”

“Dr. Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development is our humble initiative to pay tribute to the great visionary,” said Prof. Madhukar Shukla, chairperson of XLRI’s Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology & Sustainability. “With this annual oration, we aim to inspire and inculcate values of entrepreneurial spirit in budding business leaders and social entrepreneurs”, he added.

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