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.
Aug 23, 2012

Give a girl a bike: help her go to school

Asha with her bicycle
Asha with her bicycle

Asha´s story (Girl in Mann Deshi Cattle Camp)

One day I was wandering in our Mann Deshi Cattle Camp and saw a little girl with glasses caring for some animals. It was working all alone, cutting sugarcane to feed the cattle, cleaning cow dung away and giving water to the animals. I started wondering: “Why is she doing everything alone? She looks so fragile with her big glasses, so weak”.

I stopped there and started to ask her all questions that came in my mind. I was curious about her situation and wanted to know more.

She told me that her name is Asha. Eleven years old Asha lives in Bonewadi, a small town with her mother, two sisters, and one brother. One sister is married already and the other sister is going to marry tomorrow (28.06.2012). Because of this marriage, the mother is busy and Asha is left alone to care for the cattle. Her Father died some years ago already due to an illness. Asha is still in school, she attends 6 standards in a local village school in Diwad, 3km away from Bonewadi. She dreams of becoming a doctor after she finished her education.

Every day she has to walk the 3 km to school. After school, she has to feed the cattle and give them water in the Mann Deshi Cattle Camp, 7km away from where she lives. Sometimes one of her cousins drives her, sometimes she can pay a rikshaw but if she has no spare money she has to walk the 7km home. Then at home she has to help her mother in the household. This is her daily routine; every day she goes to school first, then cares for the cattle and then works at home. She starts her day at 7am, works during the day and studies until 10pm in the night.

 She wants to become a doctor but how can she do it? How will she have the money to go to university? She does not even have proper time for learning. Why does she have so many problems, why is her live so difficult?

Asha is born in a farmer’s family that own 11 acres of land. Normally from this land they could earn enough money to make a living, but because it did not rain last year and the drought is not new to Mann Taluka, the harvest failed and the family got no income. Her mother works as a wage laborer in Vasai, Thane, and now to earn at least some money for the family. Because both of her sisters are married (or will be tomorrow), young Asha is the only one left to take care of the cattle, the most valuable assets they have left. Asha´s glasses have a power of 8, leaving hear almost blind without them. Having this handicap makes it even harder for her to do all her tasks during the day. Her both sisters married very young; Asha does not like this. She wants to finish her education, become a doctor and only afterwards start a family.

It is a beautiful dream of such a determined young girl.

Looking at her I think:” will it be ever possible for her to become this doctor?”

Mann Deshi Foundation helped Asha by donating bicycle, so that at least she can continue her higher education.  We cannot do everything, but can do something with the help of our partners.

Please click below the links of Mann Deshi Cattle Camp:



Most Sincerely,

Aug 23, 2012

Business School for rural women in India

                                             Journey from B-school to Management Institute

                                  (Unique combination of finance and a rural business school) 


Big thank you to support which enable Mann Deshi to transition from a training school to a management institute.

Story of Kerabai Khandekar: In 2006 Kerabai approach the bank to buy the mobile phone. At that time we felt why is she buying phone? Is her son forcing her to buy the cell phone and just for the sake of showing up? Our bank manger was advising her that why is she wasting her money? Kerabai said, “She is growing pomegranate and for the marketing she needs to contact traders for the market price of Pomegranate.” Kerabai also requested Bank to teach her how to operate cell phone. Business school conducts the course for electronic literacy for a day in which how to operate cell phone and calculator is taught. Bank advised Kerabai to take the course at Business school. After the course Karabai said, “She can contact traders for the sale of pomegranate and get better prices as price variates very fast and it is very necessary to sell the products as soon as possible once the prices are high. Even delay for a day can affect the price you get. It also helps to sale the product in time.” As Kerabai is located in remote village she can contact traders on phone and they can come to her field and buy the pomegranate.  Mann Deshi always grows with its clients like Kerabai.

 In short Mann Deshi bank plays the role of investor with patience and B-school plays the mentorship with understanding the situation.

 2012 year marks a turn in Mann Deshi Udyogini accomplishment. Mann Deshi launched B-School for rural women in December 2006 and reached to 46653 women graduates.   At the beginning, the school was focusing in vocational training such as tailoring, beauty parlor, food processing, veterinary and many other hobby courses. The courses were a success, and the demand was growing every year. Then, Mann Deshi, by observing the work of women entrepreneurs in rural area noticed that a lot of them were missing management tools. Therefore, since January 2010, the business school started to offer managerial training to its students allowing thousands of women to start a business or to extend their already existing one. Today, the managerial training is well established into the School and the business school is now a Management Institution. Mann Deshi is very proud of this program which is by far one of the biggest Mann Deshi’s accomplishments.

 Mann Deshi has been launched the First Chamber of Commerce for rural women in India. This program is the logical continuation of the Business School as hundreds of women are becoming entrepreneurs thanks to the business school and need a constant support to pursue their ambition. Mann Deshi is always trying to adapt its program, as much as it can, to the needs of its clients. The Chamber of Commerce will devote its time to support women entrepreneurs in rural area who face crucial barrier, providing them the necessary network to help them manage their business.

Most Sincerely,

Jul 23, 2012

Mann Deshi Champions (Sports Program)

28 Students Selected for Balewadi national school
28 Students Selected for Balewadi national school

Dear friends, 

It is our pleasure to share that 28 young athletes between 8 and 12, issued from the Mann Deshi Champions program, were chosen to for the Balewadi national sports school, this selection was national level selection, from Maharashtra 270 were selected out of that 28 were selected from Mann Taluka alone. These kids were getting training and coaching and guidance at Mann deshi champions ground. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you the story of Kajal, one of the girls selected from our program. She is only ten years old, but runs 800 meters in less than two minutes and thirty seconds.

 Kajal comes from a very poor family.  For six months out of the year, she lives and goes to school in Mhaswad, but for the six remaining months, she migrates with her parents to the sugarcane plantations six hours away. While her parents work on the fields and cut the sugarcane, she takes care of her younger siblings. While in school, her physical education teacher quickly recognized her talent and wanted to train her year round, requesting that her parents not take her to the fields during their period of migration. She was soon able to train with other kids that were honing their skills with the goal of entering the state selection of athletics.

 For the past five months, 35 children have been staying at the Mann Deshi Champions field, training hard to be selected for the district level. In previous years, children from our area were rarely good enough to make it to the selection. This year, for the first time, 28 out of 30 children participating in the Mann Deshi Champions Program were selected to represent the Satara District. The 28 young athletes are now competing at state level, and will hopefully go on to compete at a national level soon.

We are so proud of all of our Mann Deshi Champions, and they prove to be a continuous source of inspiration. Most of the children are coming from poor backgrounds, and it’s heartwarming to see them accomplish their goals and dreams.

Please feel free to share.

Thank you all.

Chetna Sinha ,

Founder, Mann Deshi Foundation

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