About the Founder

Dr. Jaya Arunachalam, President, Working Women's Forum (India) a pioneer in social mobilization-strategy committed to transform women in extreme poverty into powerful and confident leaders of many households, equal partners in community/ neighbourhood. A graduate in Economics and Geography, Diploma in Management, Washington, USA, was awarded 'Padmasri' in 1987 by the President of India for her distinguished services/work among the poor women in Working Women's Forum(India), Stree Shakthi Puraskar by the Tamil Nadu State Government in 2002.

Internationally she was awarded Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lueneburg (Germany) in 1999; International Activist Award by the Glietsman Foundation, USA in 2003; Global Leadership for Economic Development by Vital Voices, USA, in 2005; 12th Mandavelli Award from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2006. Besides she has received several honours/awards from many civilian organizations in India for replication of WWF's model among other poor women entrepreneurs in other parts of India through training/ orientation.
She joined former U.S. President Hon'ble Mr. Bill Clinton for a two day meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Asia Meet, Hong Kong on December 2 & 3, 2008 to share the exemplary work of working Women's Forum (India). She was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj Award 2009 for the welfare/development of women and children on 6 November 2009 in Mumbai and recently she was honoured with Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Social Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 on 11 November 2010. U.S. Secretary of State Madam Hillary Clinton Visited WWF on 20 July 2011. The visit is significant as WWF has been identified due to its unique experiment adopted among the grassroot women.