Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came on a two-day Gujarat visit on Sunday and participated in programmes of the Self-Empowered Women's Association (SEWA), founded by social worker and Gandhian Ela Bhatt.
Ms. Clinton paid tributes to Ela Bhatt, who died at the age of 89 in November last year, and interacted with SEWA members at its office in Ahmedabad.
The former U.S. Secretary of State visited on the occasion of the completion of the 50th year of SEWA as a trade union, for the informal sector women workers, SEWA said in a statement.
It said Ms. Clinton has been a "great source of inspiration" to SEWA members and her visit at this time, is a motivation for the younger generation to take forward the movement for another 50 years.
Addressing members of Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in Ahmedabad, Ms. Clinton said, "a group of concerned people has come together to help start the climate resilience fund which will be the first-of-its-kind in the world."
Ms. Clinton also announced the first-of-its-kind climate resilience fund on the first day of her two-day visit to Gujarat.
On Sunday, she said, the heat caused by climate change poses an additional challenge to women workers in informal sectors and a global 'Climate Resilience Fund' will help tackle this challenge.
On Monday, Ms. Clinton will visit Dhrangadhra in Surendranagar district to interact with salt pan workers as part of SEWA's rural initiative, Ms. Bedi said.
Ms. Clinton and Bhatt have known each other since 1995.
In a 2018 social media post, Ms. Clinton described the work of the renowned women's rights activist as a "revolutionary experiment." Ms. Clinton had in the post said, "In 1972, she (Bhatt) started an organisation to give women small loans that could help them find fulfilment in their work and contribute to their family's well-being. It was called the Self-Employed Women's Association, or SEWA."