Mann Deshi Foundation

The organization seeks to improve the quality of life of women and their families living in the rural areas of Maharashtra & Karnataka. Our primary objective is to empower rural women and fight injustices based on gender, caste and class. Our programs are designed to improve our clients' quality of life by promoting education, health, property rights, leadership and technology.
Oct 16, 2011

Business School for Rural Women in India

Ms.Sujata Mane, a long time client of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and B-School.  Sujata got training for fashion designing from B-school.   She took out her first loan to improve her tailoring business, but family problems did not allow her to repay the loan. After some time she applied again for a loan, but given her record the bank was not sure about her ability to repay the debt. In the end the Bank finally decided to allow her to take out a loan, on her name, in the amount of 25,000 INR meant to buy a noodles machine. The Bank suggested her to enter a Self-Help Group so that she could take advantage of useful advice from other women and more easily repay the loan. Her business started to grow, given that in the area where she lives and works, she was the only one making noodles. Soon she was able to repay the loan and take out a new one in the amount of 35,000 INR to buy a chili powder machine. Again, given the lack of competitors, she was able to profit hugely from the business of making chili powder, and soon she was able to repay even this debt. She then decided that, given the lack of grocery stores in the area, she would open her own small shop, besides the business of noodles making and chili powder. To be able to open the grocery shop she needed another loan from the Bank, in the amount of 70,000 INR, this sum would allow her to buy the initial stock of products she would then sell. She is now repaying this last loan, and given the success of her business she expects to be done within one year: her monthly profit exceeds 10,000 INR considering the chili powder, the noodles and the grocery shop. 

Her clients come to her small grocery shop just to buy her chili powder and noodles. She does not have the time to go to the weekly market: with the chili powder and the noodles machine and the grocery shop she is already busy enough, but clients are not missing either. Apart from single clients she also does sell her product to grocery shops in Mhaswad and sends parts of her product to her husband who takes care of selling chili powder and noodles in both Pune and Mumbai.  Sujata is also the owner of a land property

Being such a successful entrepreneur she applied for the 1,000 Deshi Entrepreneurs Program, and has already taken part in the first batch of 2011. The most useful experience drawn from the program has been the exposure visits. Sujata, says that during them she has been able to see how other women engaged in the same business behave, and she has learned a lot of practices she then applied to her own business. The workshops have been useful too, in particular she recalls one of the trainers suggesting her to buy raw materials (chili peppers in her case) in large quantities, wholesale if possible, so that she would be able to get a quite low price and make a higher profit afterward. She currently buys chili peppers from the nearby farmers, always in large quantities.

Her future plans include the buying of an automatic chili powder machine: currently the machine she owns is able to process 5 kg of chili peppers daily, while an automatic machine would allow her to process 15 kg of chili peppers daily. This would make a great difference for her, and she would be able to prepare enough chili powder to be sold outside of Mhaswad and also save time, allowing her to rent the machine to other women to make chili powder. She is also planning to buy a packaging machine (to seal the packages): currently she seals the packages all by hand with the heat of a candle, but a machine would allow her to be faster and more precise. Finally, she is working with Mann Deshi to develop her own brand, so that the packages will be recognizable when sold in Mhaswad but even outside of the city, in Mumbai and Pune. She will probably take out another loan to be able to buy the two machines she needs, but not before having repaid her debt to Mann Deshi.

Her success brought her to become the leader of a Self-Help group, made of 15 women. They have taken out a loan as a group, thus being each responsible of the repayment. She is in charge of collecting the amounts for the group and bringing them to the Bank in Mhaswad once a week. She soon became a model for many women and currently she is also engaged in motivating other entrepreneurs in nearby villages through meetings during which she talks of her own experience and the sources of her success.

This success has allowed her to sustain her family, which comprises 6 members, and to send her 2 children to school. She is indeed very proud of them: one is in the 7th standard and the other in the 3rd standard. The youngest one has passed the examination to get a monthly scholarship of 250 INR.

Like Sujata Mane B-School has been created more than 39000 graduates as on September 2011.

This will not be possible without the support of Mann Deshi’s donor.  Thank you very much to all the donors who have supported B-school for rural women.


Aug 16, 2011

Final report

The Be In Their Shoes – BITs project was designed to run for just 3 weeks: from the 22nd of July to the 10th of August. The managers of the project, two interns at Mann Deshi (Marcel Tavelini and Emilia Galiano), wanted it to end before they left the Foundation and they decided to set the delivery of the shoes for the 14th of August. To avoid misunderstandings about the total final amount (published on the 11th of August) and to stop the donations coming in from Global Giving, the project managers asked to deactivate the project after the 10th of August.


Mann Deshi Foundation has agreed to advance the sum collected through the donations, to allow the managers to buy all the shoes and the sports equipment in time for the delivery event. With the funds advanced by Mann Deshi the managers were able to buy:

   185 pairs of shoes

   189 pairs of socks

   1 punching bag

   8 pairs of boxing gloves

   3 tennis balls

   4 tennis rackets

   6 cricket tennis balls

   4 hockey balls

   6 rubber sports rings

   2 wooden discuses

   6 frisbees

   6 badminton shuttlecocks

   24 shin guards

   2 pairs of goal keeper's gloves

   16 taekwondo dresses

   2 chest guards

   2 double kick pads

   2 head guards

   1 boxing pad

   1 boxing rubber ball

   45 pairs of football socks

   1 goal net

   7 football balls

   5 volleyball balls

   2 baseball bats

   4 baseball balls

   2 cricket bats

   22 hockey bats

   3 pairs of shoes for the trainers

   8 dental shields

   4 hand wraps

   12 leading anklets

   10 knee caps


This sports equipment will be used by the children participating to the Mann Deshi Champions Program: they will keep the shoes and the socks, while the rest will be kept in a storehouse in the practice field.

Jun 20, 2011

Give a Girl a bike; help her go to school

Madhuri Pise with her bike
Madhuri Pise with her bike

Dear Mann Deshi Donors and Supporters,

Mann Deshi is very much thankful for your continued support to Bicycle program.

Madhuri is the oldest sister within her eight member’s family. She applied to the program after Mann Deshi Foundation informed the school she is attending that the foundation would have provided bicycles to girls who found it hard to go to school. She says, “her life has improved for the better: being able to get to school faster avoids any time wasting and gives her the chance to concentrate even more on her studies.”  Her grades have improved considerably since she entered the program and, although she is just in the 7th grade, she has already started to think about her future, considering the option of enrolling into university and pursuing an engineering degree. Her family is very satisfied too. Without Mann Deshi’s donation they would not have been able to provide such means to Madhuri.  She used to spend two hours walking from home to school and then back again. Her father, who is a farmer and occasionally works in constructions, thinks that the program has had a positive effect on his daughter and that in general it is a good program. Her mother, a housewife, while worried for the safety of Madhuri and requiring her to cycle safely, views positively the fact that her daughter spends less time in going to school and can finally use this time to focus on the studies. The two younger sisters of Madhuri, although they are too young for a bicycle now, are considering the idea of applying to Mann Deshi’s program in the future: at this point in time they still walk every morning from home to school, and every evening they walk all the way back.

Mann Deshi greatly appreciates its donors support.




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