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“I would like to tell my younger friends who are studying social work or social entrepreneurship. . . [they] should not be scared of finance. They should not be scared of numbers, mathematics, [and] statistics. It’s very easy, not because I have studied that, but I think one can learn it very easy. [W]e cannot solve the problems of human beings only by counseling them, only by giving them advice, but we have to understand that becoming financially self-sustainable is the need and is the basis of becoming any respectable human being.”

Dr. Medha Samant

In this episode, our guest Dr. Medha Samant discusses the history and implementation of Annapurna Pariwar, a group of five developmental organizations working in India since 1993. Its goal and mission is to empower poor women and their families related to their finances, education, and health. Dr. Samant describes how she optimizes social workers’ skill sets in service to the mission and how she overcame institutional resistance to microfinance efforts to empower the poor.

Medha Purao Samant, PhD, is the founder and director of Annapurna Pariwar, a conglomerate of five sister organizations working in the slums of Pune and Mumbai, India, with the objective of empowering the poor by providing a comprehensive solution to poverty. Leaving aside a comfortable job of 13 years at Bank of India, Dr. Samant decided to devote her life to uplifting poor and downtrodden slum women. Dr. Samant has been recognized by many organizations and schools for her work. Some of her most recent awards include the 2017 Women Super Achiever Award by World HRD Congress, sponsored by Femina, and the 2017 Pune NGO’s Leadership Award by World HRD Forum.

Interviewer: Gokul Mandayam, PhD

Show Notes

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The inSocialWork Podcast

The inSocialWork Podcast