Fact Box: Jaya Arunachalam

Jaya Arunachalam, Indian social worker and founder of Working Women’s Forum (WWF) died at age of 87 in Chennai. She was also a pioneer of the women’s Self Help group (SHG) movement in the country.

About Dr. Jaya Arunachalam

She was a graduate in Economics and Geography. In 1999 she was awarded honorary doctorate by University of Lueneberg, Germany.

Through WWF she helped lakhs of women from underprivileged background to organise themselves towards becoming financially independent.


She is recipient of Padma Shri (1987), Jamnalal Bajaj Award (2009) for her work towards welfare of women and children.

In 2003 she recieved International Activist Award by Glietsman Foundation and Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Social Lifetime Achievement Award (2010).

About Working Women’s Forum

It is a women’s organisation that was founded Jaya Arunachalam in Madras (Chennai) in 1978.

It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Indian state of Tamil Nadu, working for welfare of marginalized women.

Objective: To empower poor women in southern India by providing them microcredits, a trade union, health care and training.

It works with poor women who work in informal sector like street vendors, silkworm growers and silk weavers, washerwomen, handicraft producers and fisherwomen.

Two Organisations closely related to WWF-

  1. Indian Co-operative Network for Women (ICNW): It provides loans
  2. National Union of Working Women (NUWW): It is a trade union




Latest E-Books


  • Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Respectful farewell to Jaya Arunachalam.