Republic Day 2020: India's front-running women-led ventures addressing social issues
January 26th, 2020 marked India's 71st Republic Day. On this day, the country's constitution came into effect along with its stance as an independent republic. Since then, we have never looked back. Our progress in terms of business, technology, education, etc. has been nothing short of remarkable.
Behind this success, are the enterprising individuals who have contributed to the social and economic growth of the country.
A major aspect that has defined our holistic growth as a country, is that our entrepreneurs do not look at their businesses as just profit-making machines. Instead, they look at entrepreneurship as a way to make a difference in the economy.
This is especially true for our women entrepreneurs who, through their businesses, are trying to promote gender equality, reduce wastage of resources, and create a better society for all. It is fortunate, then, that out of the 58.5 million entrepreneurs in India, nearly 14% are women - and the number is growing.
Our women business-leaders are taking inspiration from trailblazing women across the globe who are contributing to the betterment of society through their words and actions.
For instance, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate change whose campaigning against human activity that is causing climate change has gained international recognition or NirmalaSitharaman, who is India's first full-time female finance minister.
This Republic Day, strong-willed women who are committed to changing the status quo for the greater good of the world and its inhabitants.
Sujata Chatterjee, Founder, Twirl.store - Contributing to the Environment
Sujata Chatterjee started Twirl.store in 2017 as an initiative to reduce cloth wastage, encourage women empowerment, conserve natural resources like water, and meet the clothing needs of the less fortunate. She aims to help the millions of people who struggle to find basic clothing.
Twirl collects unwanted clothes from people and rewards them with points that can be redeemed to buy upcycled products on the website. The clothes that have been collected are then either donated or upcycled to create new products.
The upcycling process is done predominantly by women in rural Kolkata, and the venture has provided clothing to nearly 1,500 needy people across the country, especially children and the elderly. So far, Twirl.store has upcycled over 10,000 products and given new life to over 2,000 pieces of fabric.
Meenal Arora, Founder Director, Shemford Group of Schools- Contributing to education
Coming with over 16 years of rich experience, Meenal Arora is the Founder Director at Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools, India's most innovative senior school chain. At Shemford, she spearheads the Training & Development Department which is responsible for developing intensive training programs for over 5,000 headmistresses and teachers associated with the group.
She has disrupted India's education system by introducing a theme-based curriculum that went on to become the foundation of Shemford and Shemrock schools. She is a key contributor to the ShemEduMAX system which integrates a conducive learning environment, engaging teaching methods and personalized assessment to make learning interesting, engaging and motivating for students.
Meenal is also a celebrated author and parenting expert who has written numerous books and articles related to children, their education and other aspects of parenting. Her articles have been published in leading magazines such as Responsible Parenting, The Progressive Teacher and Women on Top.
Caroline Boudreaux for CSR, Founder, Miracle Foundation - Contributing to CSR
Driven to find every institutionalized child a loving family, America-based social entrepreneur Caroline Boudreaux founded Miracle Foundation, a global non-profit organization working extensively towards empowering children living in institutional care.
While on a trip to India, she came across a local orphanage that changed her whole perception towards life. Since then, she has been dedicated to making the world a better place for children living in institutions by providing them with food, shelter, and education while striving to reunite them with their families or finding them one. Under her leadership, Miracle Foundation has given thousands of children in India, Africa, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and the US the 'miracle' of a happy and fulfilling childhood.
Caroline has been duly recognized for her efforts and bestowed with several awards and media mentions including the Hope Award in 2005, the Impact Award in 2009, the Humanitarian Award by UN's Austin Chapter in 2017, the Global Visionary by the Union Bank of Switzerland in 2017, and a feature in Turk Pipkin's 2009 movie: One Peace at a Time', to name a few.
Dipali Mathur, CEO & Co-Founder of Super Smelly - Contributing to Health & Wellness
The Co-Founder of Super Smelly - India's only 100 per cent toxin-free personal care brand for GenZ in India, Dipali is contributing to the health and wellness sector by addressing the concerns of parents and ensuring the well-being of future generations.
In order to safeguard the younger generation from toxic cosmetics and harsh chemicals, she has introduced the first of its kind deodorants in the Indian market that are IFRA compliant. With pro-active on-ground activities and social media engagements, Dipali spreads awareness around harmful chemicals that are present in personal care products as well as their repercussions such as eczema, hormonal imbalance or cancer.
Dipali has introduced a wide range of toxin-free products like deodorant sprays, moisturizers, face washes, pocket perfumes, lip balms and shower gels which are certified as Made Safe by SCA (Safe Cosmetics Australia), and are free from harmful chemicals like sulphates, parabens, triclosans, PEGs or Silicones.
Tanvi Johri, CEO & Co-Founder, Carmesi - Contributing to Sanitation
A chemistry honors graduate from Hindu College, Delhi, TanviJohri is the co-founder and CEO at Carmesi, a revolutionary brand that manufactures natural and bio-degradable sanitary pads.
Popularly referred to as the 'Pad Woman of India', Tanvi is uplifting the lives of women by offering a safe and natural solution for menstrual care.
She incepted Carmesi after dealing with rashes caused by regular sanitary pads for years. She went on to carry out an in-depth research and created Carmesi sanitary pads that are made with bamboo fiber and corn starch.