INDIA. Gujarat: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Gujarat for a couple of days starting Sunday to take part in programs conducted by the Self-Empowered Women’s Association (SEWA), which was founded by Gandhian and social worker Ela Bhatt.
Clinton will pay tribute to Bhatt on Sunday and engage in a brisk tete-a-tete with the official members at their office in Ahmedabad. Bhatt died in November last year at the age of 89.
On Monday, Clinton would visit Dhrangadhra in the district of Surendranagar to get in touch with the salt pan workers in correlation with SEWA’s rural initiative.
SEWA said in a statement that Clinton is commemorating this event on the occasion of SEWA’s 50th anniversary as a trade union aiding the women workers in the informal sectors.
SEWA mentioned in the statement that Clinton had been very inspirational to them and that her visit would bring together the younger generation to work towards a common cause and carry this movement forward for the next 50 years.
Rashmi Bedi, the event’s program coordinator, said, “Hillary Clinton will visit the SEWA reception centre in Ahmedabad on Sunday and interact with its members. She will also deliver a speech at the reception centre. Before that, on the 50th anniversary of the SEWA foundation in 2022, she will unveil a plaque near a banyan tree planted by Ela Bhatt at Victoria Garden.”
Clinton and Bhatt had known each other since 1995. She described the work of Bhatt as a “revolutionary experiment” in a 2018 social media post.
She also described Bhatt’s extraordinary capabilities, saying, “In 1972, she (Bhatt) started an organisation to give women small loans that could help them find fulfilment in their work and contribute to their family’s well-being. It was called the Self-Employed Women’s Association, or SEWA.”