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08-10-2006 1 SEWA Creating Women Entrepreneurs By: Deepika Rao (4 Dennis Koshy (5 Dinu Chacko (5 Ekata Phal Desai (5 Esha Verma (5 Fahd Malik (5 Jairam

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SEWACreating Women Entrepreneurs



By: Deepika Rao (49) Dennis Koshy (50) Dinu Chacko (51) Ekata Phal Desai (53) Esha Verma (54) Fahd Malik (55) Jairam P.

AgendaSEWA-Introduction Governance and Membership The SEWA Tree SEWA support services SEWA Campaigns Methodology to monitor success

Bare Facts Importance of the Informal Sectoro 93 percent of Indias workforce comes from the informal sector

o 60 percent of the informal sector workforce comprises of womeno 40 percent of India's exports emanate from the informal sector o Upto 70% of Indias National Income is contributed by the informal sector

Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA)Seeds of Inception, Growth and the Journey

o Ela was the head of Womens Wing of Textile Labour Association.o Ela was aware that thousands of wives and daughters of textile workers toiled to supplement the family income. o No state laws protected these self-employed women.

o Self-employed women were not even included in the 1971 census as workers!

Ela Bhatt

Founder of SEWA

Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA)o Self-employed women were unorganized, unprotected, economically weak and had no bargaining power. o Ela determined to work for this segment of the population which had a great impact on the economy yet which was virtually forgotten in terms of legal rights or protection of interests.

o Ela, with TLA president Arvind Buch, founded south Asias first labour and trade union for women workers in the informal sector.o The Self-Employed Womens Association (SEWA) was formed in 1972 in Ahmedabad.

SEWA the OrganizationWhat is SEWA now?o o o o An organization of poor, self-employed women workers, who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organized sector. They are the unprotected labour force of our country. A confluence of three movements o o Labour movement Co-operative movement Womens movement

Goals of SEWAFull Employment Self Reliance of women

SEWA iso A social entrepreneurship venture o Caters to a section of society which has not been served o Solving social problems o Primary purpose is to make an impact o Profitable = self-reliant, self monitoring o Wealth creation for the society

Ela s Visiono According to Ela, values are most important to be instilled from childhood. o Transparency, non-violence, equality and communal harmony are very important. o Gandhian thinking is the guiding force for SEWAs poor, selfemployed members in organizing for social change. o They follow the principles of satya (truth), ahimsa (nonviolence), sarvadharma (integrating all faiths, all people) and khadi (propagation of local employment and self reliance) .

More Notable Leaders in SEWAo SEWA attracted many highly qualified women: Mirai Chatterjee, a Masters in public health from John Hopkins University. Reema Nanavaty, a former IAS officer. Jayashree Vyas, former banker with Central Bank.

o They played and continue to play - a crucial role in SEWAs activities and management. o However, 80% of SEWAs Executive Committee consists of self-employed women, and takes decisions in a democratic manner.

SEWA - Governanceo Each SEWA member is a member of a trade group which provide the foundation for SEWAs governance arrangements. o Every three years, the membership of each trade group elects its own trade committee (one for each 400 members of the trade group) to be their Trade Representatives. o The Trade Representatives become members of the Council of Representatives, SEWAs main source of authority and governance. o The Council then elects 25 of its members to an Executive Committee which in turn elects 7 of its members to serve as Officers (a President, 3 Vice Presidents, a General Secretary and 2 Secretaries).

MembershipSelf-employed workersHawkers, vendors, small business women like vegetable, fruit, fish, egg andother vendors of food items Home-based workers like weavers, potters, bidi and agarbatti workers, papad rollers, ready-made garment workers Manual laborers & service providers like construction workers, contract laborers, handcart pullers

Agricultural workers

SEWA-Growtho Rural Initiative started in 1989 and now 2/3 of SEWAs membership is rural

o All India Membership 12,56,944o Gujarat Membership - 6,31,345

Vendor Cooperatives: Kerosene vendors Vegetable suppliers Fish vendors Artisans Coops.: Weavers Bamboo workers Block printers Patchworkers Embroiderers Service Coops. Child care providers Industrial cleaners Wastepaper collectors Community health workers Land & Animal Coops Wasteland and agro-forestry Diary Tree growers08-10-2006

The SEWA Tree - A Women's Support NetworkCooperativesMarkets Raw materials Skills & Management Training Contracts


Social Security Implementation & Trade Groups enforcement Protective Legislation Garment stitches S Policy Support Bidi rollers E Head loaders W Cart pullers Services Banks Used garment dealers A Vendors Savings Child care Domestic workers Credit Training Incense workers Life insurance Communications Scrap collectors Mortgage recovery Construction workers Legal Aid and asset titles Papad rollers Carpenters Smiths Agricultural Labourers Tobacco processors 1 are Leaders" Fuel traders Source: Kalima Rose:" Where Women

Group rallies Establishing nexus Negotiations Lobbying Social security Protests Identity cards Count cases

SEWA Support ServicesSEWA BANKCapacity Building Health care

Video SEWA

SEWA Support Services

Child care

Housing Infrastructure Work Security Insurance

Legal Services

SEWA BANKo The financial services arm of SEWA o Established in 1974 at the initiative of 4,000 self-employed women who contributed share capital of Rs. 10 each o Today a fully regulated cooperative bank with more than 250,000 members o Offers its members a wide range of savings, credit and insurance products. o Though, a majority of its loans are unsecured, it enjoys a repayment rate of more than 96%. o The bank provides loans to its members on market rates, with a three year repayment period, for productive purposes o Now piloting a fourth area of service financial education

Objectives of SEWA BankRecognize/understand in detail financial problems of selfemployed women

ObjectivesDesign procedures and adopt mechanisms which are suitable to them Adopt methods of operation through which they can come out of these financial problems

Rationale- SEWA Bank wants to help its members to be pro-activeand forward-looking, to be able to plan and utilize financial services for a more secure and comfortable future.

Challenges facedIndebtedness (paying high rate of interest) Borrowed working capital (paying high rate of interest ) Hired equipment (paying rent on equipment)

Low income level


Lack of financial planning

SEWA Health CareHealth education Immunizations

SEWA Healthcare Approach

Sanitation activities Family Planning Educational Healthcare Injuries, suicide, cancer, ulcers Promotion of low cost traditional medicines & health centers

SEWA Health- Main Featureso SEWA Health operates as a cooperative consisting of midwives and heath workers-cum-educators o Provides curative care, preventive healthcare, promotes health awareness to women workers and their family. o SEWA's team of mid-wives and health workers serve as health educators-cum-barefoot doctors for women workers o Capacity-building of local women especially traditional midwives, so that they become the barefoot doctors of their communities/villages - emphasising self reliance o Women - centered health care led by local women, including occupational health, reproductive health, maternal health, mental health and nutrition. o Linking health services to insurance, provision of basic amenities like sanitation literacy and other developmental programmes.

Healthcare Impacto An increase in health awareness among women and their families including alcohol and "gutkha. o SEWA's services resulted in no maternal deaths reported no measles deaths in children 65% reported savings due to the low cost drug distribution system o One of SEWAs most popular health initiatives is the sale of medicines at low cost in medical shops at major hospitals in Ahmadabad.

Child Care at SEWAo ChildCare Centers take care of the children, during the working hours for the working women. o SEWA operates 73 such centers o Centers provide healthcare, basic education, meal for the children, and counseling to mothers SEWA Childcare through Cooperatives & Local Organisations: o Sangini Child Care Workers' Cooperative, Ahmedabad Running centres for infants and young children.

Child Care at SEWAo Shaishav Child Care Workers' Cooperatives, Kheda district - Running centres for 0 to 6 year old children of tobacco workers and agricultural labourers. o The Balvikas mandal and local organisation, Surendranagar district - Run Child Care centres for children of salt workers. It is running Balvadis (day care centre) in villages bordering the desert, the little Rann of Kutch and in the desert itself alongside the saltpans. o The Banaskantha DWCRA Mahila Sewa Association (BDMSA), Banaskantha district - Running centres for rural workers' involved in agriculture, dairying, land-based activities like nurseries, gum-collectors and embroidery.

SEWAs Work Security Schemeo VimoSEWA is an integrated insurance program o Aim-To provide social security to members, covering their life cycle needs and the various risks they face in their lives (death, illness, accident, asset loss, etc.). o It operates as a cooperative, and offers the services through SEWA Bank. During 2003, it offered insurance to around 1.1lac members

SEWAs Work Security SchemeLife natural and accidental death Widowhood (optional ) coverage of husband in case of natural & accidental death

Type of Coverage (Premium , Amount Paid)


Flood, Fire, communal riots

Maternity Benefits

Capacity BuildingBrings out the two SEWA newsletters, AnusooyaandAkashganga

SEWA Academy

Conducts research on issues related to self-employed women workers

Training in vocational skills and capability building to the members

Housing and Infrastructureo Gujarat Mahila Housing SEWA Trust provides loans to members to build and repair their houses. o The Trust understands that the house for the home-based workers is also a production unit, and helps them also with their work-related needs. o It also works along with civic authorities to get electricity, water, sanitation, etc., to workers localities.

Legal Serviceso SEWAs Legal Cell helps the members by providing legal protection, negotiating with employers, advocating policy changes, educating members about their legal rights and responsibilities. o In addition, SEWA runs a legal advisory centre which accepts cases and complaints lodged by members.

Video SEWAo Is a separate unit of the Academy that uses the medium and technology to take up issues of self-employed women to national and international level. o Video SEWA has registered itself as a cooperative specializing in communication. In this way it can both expand rapidly, market its video tapes and move towards self reliance.

SEWA Campaignso o o o o o o o o o o Home-based Workers' Campaign Vendors Campaign Forest Workers' Campaign Construction Workers' Campaign The Water Campaign Food Security Campaign Campaign for our Right to Child Care Campaign for Recognition of Midwives Clean Ahmedabad Campaign Minimum Wages Campaign Campaign for Recognition of Unorganised Sector workers

Some Success Stories...o Manek Chowk systematic campaign to remove the vendors from the city by police and municipal corp. SEWA struggling long and hard for vendors appeal to Supreme Court

o Sabina, The Garment Stichers Sabina Patch workers cooperative SEWA organised the quilt makers when they were refused work alternative khol production unit self-reliant women

Conclusion - Is SEWA successful??Methodology to monitor the success of its work and general direction 1. Have our members obtained more employment from ourefforts? 2. Has their income increased? 3. Have they obtained food and nutrition? 4. Have their health been safeguarded? 5. Have they obtained child-care? 6. Have they obtained shelter? 7. Have their assets increased? 8. Have the workers organisation been strengthened? 9. Has workers leadership increased? 10. Have they become self-reliant, both collectively and individually? 11. Are more members educated?

Kamla, Readymade Garment Maker

Geeta, Agarbatti Worker

Sunita, Bangle Worker

Women Entrepreneurs Living with pride Building the nation

Shobha, Vegetable Vendor

Maithri, Bidi Worker

Santokh, Iron Picker