The Mann Deshi Mahotsav is an annual community festival that is a platform for more than 90 women entrepreneurs to showcase arts and crafts, culture and cuisine from rural Maharashtra.
Encouraging and empowering women entrepreneurs from rural areas of Maharashtra, Dow India partnered with the Mann Deshi Foundation to conduct the Mann Deshi Mahotsav. Speaking at the inaugural event, Mr. Sudhir Shenoy, CEO, Dow India said, “This festival enables us to see first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit of the women associated. Their passion to create market-centric innovation, with limited resources and often under challenging circumstances, deserves support and recognition. It is great to see the spirit of innovation running deep in our society – be it chemistry, community building or supporting regional arts.”
The festival aims to generate awareness among consumers and entrepreneurs about the use and disposal of plastics. The company advocated the use of recyclable flexible packaging to promote the circular economy of reduce, reuse and recycle with minimum impact on the natural ecosystem.
“By 2022, we aim to provide one million women entrepreneurs with access to knowledge and capital, enabling them to have personal and professional agency in their lives. Synergies are critical for creating sustained value for merit of families of beneficiaries, as well as communities in which programs are run,” said Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder of Mann Deshi Foundation.
Set up in 1996 in Mann taluka, Maharashtra, Mann Deshi Foundation runs a Women’s Bank and an NGO that works closely with women micro-entrepreneurs, as well as small and marginal farmers. It runs a dozen Business Schools for Rural Women, the first Chambers of Commerce for Rural Micro Entrepreneurs, a Community Radio, a Water Conservation programme and a Sports programme. To date, its programmes have supported over 400,000 women and it has built 10 check dams that have impacted over 50,000 people.
The festival was also attended by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Director and Sonali Kulkarni, Actress.
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The CSR Journal Team