Social activist Ela Ramesh Bhatt (born on 7th September 1933, Ahmedabad) has been selected for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2011 for empowering women in India and abroad.
An international jury chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose the founder of NGO Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) for the award instituted by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
Ela Bhatt became a lawyer, then a social worker and founded the now 13-lakh-strong SEWA in 1972. She also founded the SEWA Cooperative Bank, the first women’s bank in India. Bhatt is among a dozen global leaders who constitute ‘The Elders’, which was set up at the initiative of Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote human rights and peace.