Nileema Mishra wins 2011 Magsaysay award for emergent leadership

Nileema Mishra was born to a middle-class family in the village of Bahadarpur, Maharashtra. With a master's degree in clinical psychology, she could have gone on to a comfortable life as an urban professional. But even as a child Nileema was sensitive to the crippling poverty in her village.

Five years after finishing her studies in 1995, Nileema Mishra returned to her village to organize Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN), starting with a self-help group of only fourteen women, other self-help groups followed, engaging in microcredit and such income-generating activities as the production of food products and distinctive exportquality quilts.

BNGVN enabled these changes by training women in production, marketing, accounting, and computer literacy. Inspired by Nileema Mishra, the women went on to build a warehouse so they could procure supplies in bulk at better prices, and formed an association that now has outlets for its products in four districts of the state.

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