Chinna Pillai

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Chinna Pillai is from a small village near Madurai. She started a very successful banking system in the villages in Tamil Nadu and is a champion trying to reduce poverty and debt grievances by empowering women.[1] Her intent efforts in leading a savings unit among women in the debt stricken village of Pullucheri became so successful that soon many groups sprung in the region with equal effectiveness. The Kalanjiam, microcredit movement received a huge boost from her dedication and contributions, reaching out to many women living under poverty.[2]


Chinna Pillai was one of five women to receive the Stree Shakti Puraskar in 1999. In a picture perfect moment for the press, then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee bowed down in respect and touched her feet while presenting her with the award.[3] She received Padma Shri for her service in 2019.[4]


  1. ^ Dharmaraj, Vidyashree (23 March 2002). "Woman Achiever". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. ^ Doraisamy, Vani (24 January 2007). "Chinna Pillai to embark on a major mission". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  3. ^ Rajachandrasekaran, Anitha (5 March 2005). "On an EQUAL footing". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Padma Awards 2019 Announced: Full list of awardees". The NEWS Minute. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.