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Ms. Chennupati Vidya

  • 2014
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Development & Welfare of Women And Children

Born: June 5, 1934

Being the daughter of Shri Gora and Smt. Saraswathi Gora, who were social reformers all their lives since the freedom movement, Smt. Chennupati Vidya had a streak of social work since her childhood. Her two-years stay in Gandhiji's Sevagram, when she was just 13, only strengthened her resolve to be a social activist for women empowerment, gender equality, and village development. She chose her native Vijayawada as the place for the developmental work following Gandhian principles.

Smt. Vidya was the first member of the women's co-operative. As two-term Member of Parliament - Lok Sabha, she strove to bridge the gap between politics and social work. Through effective use of various government schemes and funds, she successfully tried to enhance the status and dignity of women. Sensitization, mobilization, education, providing livelihood training and opportunities to earn through vocational activities, and encouraging women participation in politics, were the tools she adopted to achieve results.

In 1969, she founded the NGO - Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM). The three basic principles that have been guiding the organization are VA-SA-VYA; Vastavikata (reality/truthfulness), Sanghadrushti (social concern/social equity) and Vyaktitvam (individuality/bold initiatives). The basic vision of the organization too is based on attainment of holistic social, economic and political development of women and children, especially the vulnerable.

VMM is a women-led secular, non-government organisation working in 12,880 villages and 308 urban slums in 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh.