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MG Motor India & The Better India celebrate Dr. Monisha Behal’s work in the North East

MG Motor India, in collaboration with The Better India, has launched an initiative to highlight and recognize the extraordinary stories of 6 women changemakers who have driven a positive change in society.

MG Motor India, with its emphasis on embracing diversity, has also found synergistic support from UN Women India MCO, which has been championing gender equality across the Subcontinent.

The latest #MGChangemakers story highlights the brilliant initiatives and the work that women’s rights activist and founder of the North East Network (NEN), Monisha Behal, has been doing in the region. Monisha has been planting the seeds of socioeconomic and environmental reform in Chizami, a small village in Nagaland’s Phek district, since the mid-1990s. With the aim of improving women’s health standards in the state, she set up the NEN which has created a unique development model in the region.

The NEN also started skill enhancement programmes such as bamboo craft, food processing, organic farming, rooftop water harvesting and low-cost sanitation, besides organising discourses on topics like governance, women empowerment and human rights issues in Chizami. Taking the spirit of women empowerment further, Behal flagged off Chizami Weaves, a decentralised livelihood project to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the marginalized women in the district as well as to preserve the unique textile tradition of Nagaland. Starting with seven weavers, Chizami Weaves today has a strong network of more than 300 women in Chizami and 10 other villages in Phek district.

Rajeev Chaba, President – MG Motor India, said, “MG Motor has been built on the strong foundations of cultural diversity. It is to reinforce this vision that we are highlighting and recognizing 6 women catalysts of change through the #MGChangemakers campaign. Monisha Behal has made a significant contribution towards the upliftment of communities, inspiring and motivating several others to drive a positive change within society. We salute her resilience and spirit, and laud her commitment to championing the rights of those who find themselves at the margins.”

Dhimant Parekh, Founder-CEO – The Better India, added, “The Better India has always highlighted the stories of individuals who have made a positive impact on the lives of others. We are delighted to partner with MG Motor for the #MGChangemakers initiative and showcase remarkable stories of people such as Monisha Behal. Thanks to her, today, Chizami is at the forefront of championing women’s rights, supporting sustainable livelihoods and restoring traditional food systems and agricultural practices in Nagaland. She has played a vital role in enhancing the way of life of many women in the North East and we are proud to showcase her tenacity and spirit through this campaign.”  

Extending support to the campaign, Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative, UN Women India MCO, added, “UN Women is committed to the cause of gender parity and dignity for every human being. Monisha Behal has done extraordinary service to the people of Chizami and has actually helped many women find their voice in their homes and communities through the initiatives of the NEN. We are pleased to be a part of the commendable #MGChangemakers initiative, which seeks to drive conversations about respect and inclusion for all and celebrates the work of people such as Monisha.”

Speaking on her involvement in the #MGChangemakers campaign, Monisha Behal said, “It is indeed a laudable campaign by The Better India and MG Motor India that brings the fire to the stories of transformation of the entire communities such as, the kind that North East rural women have gone through. North East Network seems to have become the beacon of development and change in the region and I am so grateful to the #MGChangemakers to recognise the work we have done and turned the spotlight on it to inspire others..”

The first #MGChangemakers story featured transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam the second one celebrated the work of Chetna Sinha, who has made massive headway in financially empowering rural women in India. The third story focussed on the work of Padma Shri awardee Sudha Varghese who has shown tireless dedication to the cause of the Mahadalit community of Musahars in Bihar. 

The stories of the other two changemakers under the #MGChangemakers initiative will be launched at an interval of 7 to 10 days and will be supported by strong traditional and digital promotion to further enhance the reach of their message. The video-based stories of these praise-worthy women will also be shared by UN Women India MCO on its social media handles to further amplify awareness.

The campaign will conclude with an on-ground event featuring all 6 changemakers, as well as prominent celebrity-activists, media, and prominent organisations focusing on women empowerment and equality.

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