Ela Bhatt

Ela Bhatt

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Ela Bhatt

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Ela Ramesh Bhatt (born 7 September 1933) is the founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA). DNA India. 15 Nov. 2009. A lawyer by training, Bhatt is a respected leader of the international labour, cooperative, women, and micro-finance movements who has won several national and international awards.

Early life

Ela Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad in India. Her childhood was spent in the city of Surat. Her father, Sumantrai Bhatt, had a successful law practice. Her mother, Vanalila Vyas, was active in the women's movement. Bhatt attended the Sarvajanik Girls High School in Surat from 1940 to 1948. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the M.T.B. College in Surat in 1952. Following graduation Ela entered the Sir L. A. Shah Law College in Ahmedabad. In 1954 she received her degree in law and a Gold Medal for her work on Hindu Law. She then taught English for a short time at SNDT Women's University, better known as SNDT, in Mumbai. But in 1955 she joined the legal department of the Textile Labour Association (TLA) in Ahmedabad.

Current Life

Ela Bhatt current lives in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with her family.


In 1956, Ela Bhatt married Ramesh Bhatt (now deceased). After working for sometime with the Gujarat government, Ela was asked by the TLA to head its women's wing in 1968. In this connection she went to Israel where she studied at the Afro-Asian Institute of Labor and Cooperatives in Tel Aviv for three months,...
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