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

SEWA Final.ppt

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Page 1: SEWA Final.ppt

08-10-2006 1

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.

Page 2: SEWA Final.ppt

Governance and Membership


The SEWA Tree


SEWA support services

Methodology to monitor success

SEWA Campaigns

Page 3: SEWA Final.ppt

Bare FactsImportance of the Informal

Sectoro 93 percent of India’s

workforce comes from the informal sector

o 60 percent of the informal sector workforce comprises of women

o 40 percent of India's exports emanate from the informal sector

o Upto 70% of India’s National Income is contributed by the informal sector

Page 4: SEWA Final.ppt

Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)

Ela Bhatt

Founder of SEWA

Seeds of Inception, Growth and the Journey…

o Ela was the head of Women’s 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!

Page 5: SEWA Final.ppt

Self Employed Women’s 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 Asia’s first labour and trade union for women workers in the informal sector.

o The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) was formed in 1972 in Ahmedabad.

Page 6: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA – the OrganizationWhat is SEWA now?o An organization of poor, self-employed women workers, who

earn a living through their own labour or small businesses.o They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare

benefits like workers in the organized sector.o They are the unprotected labour force of our country.o A confluence of three movements

• Labour movement

• Co-operative movement

• Women’s movement

Goals of SEWAo Full Employmento Self Reliance of women

Page 7: SEWA Final.ppt

o 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

SEWA is…

Page 8: SEWA Final.ppt

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 SEWA’s

poor, self-employed members in organizing for social change.

o They follow the principles of satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence), sarvadharma (integrating all faiths, all people) and khadi (propagation of local employment and self reliance).

Page 9: SEWA Final.ppt

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 SEWA’s activities and management.

o However, 80% of SEWA’s Executive Committee consists of self-employed women, and takes decisions in a democratic manner.

Page 10: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA - Governanceo Each SEWA member is a member of a trade group which

provide the foundation for SEWA’s 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, SEWA’s 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).

Page 11: SEWA Final.ppt

Self-employed workersSelf-employed workers

Hawkers, vendors, small business women

like vegetable, fruit, fish, egg and

other vendors of food items

Hawkers, vendors, small business women

like vegetable, fruit, fish, egg and

other vendors of food items

Home-based workers like weavers,

potters, bidi and agarbatti

workers, papad rollers,

ready-made garment workers

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

Manual laborers & service providers

like construction workers,

contract laborers, handcart pullers


Agricultural workersAgricultural workers

Page 12: SEWA Final.ppt


o Rural Initiative started in 1989 and now 2/3 of SEWA’s membership is rural

o All India Membership - 12,56,944

o Gujarat Membership - 6,31,345

Page 13: SEWA Final.ppt

08-10-2006 1

The SEWA Tree - A Women's Support



•Social Security •Implementation & enforcement •Protective Legislation •Policy Support



•Markets •Raw materials •Skills & Management •Training •Contracts


•Savings •Credit •Life insurance •Mortgage recovery

and asset titles

•Child care •Training •Communications •Legal Aid


Vendor Cooperatives:Kerosene vendorsVegetable suppliersFish vendors

Artisans Coops.:WeaversBamboo workersBlock printersPatchworkersEmbroiderers

Service Coops.Child care providersIndustrial cleanersWastepaper collectorsCommunity health workers

Land & Animal CoopsWasteland and agro-forestryDiaryTree growers

Group ralliesEstablishing nexusNegotiationsLobbyingSocial securityProtestsIdentity cardsCount cases

Trade Groups

Garment stitchesBidi rollersHead loadersCart pullersUsed garment dealersVendorsDomestic workersIncense workersScrap collectorsConstruction workersPapad rollersCarpentersSmithsAgricultural LabourersTobacco processorsFuel traders Source: Kalima Rose:" Where Women are Leaders"

Page 14: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA Support Services

SEWA SEWA Support ServicesSupport Services

CapacityCapacity BuildingBuilding Health careHealth care

Video SEWAVideo SEWA


Child careChild care

Legal Services Legal Services

Work SecurityWork Security InsuranceInsurance


Page 15: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA BANKo The financial services arm of SEWAo 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

Page 16: SEWA Final.ppt

Objectives of SEWA Bank

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

Recognize/understand in detail financial problems of self-

employed women

Design procedures and adopt mechanisms which are suitable

to them

Adopt methods of operation through which they can come

out of these financial problems


Page 17: SEWA Final.ppt

Challenges faced…Indebtedness

(paying high rate of interest)

Borrowed working capital (paying high

rate of interest )

Hired equipment (paying rent on


Low income level Assetlessness

Lack of financial planning

Page 18: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA Health Care

SEWA SEWA HealthcareHealthcareApproachApproach

SEWA SEWA HealthcareHealthcareApproachApproach

Health education


Sanitation activities

Family Planning

Educational Healthcare

Injuries, suicide, cancer, ulcers

Promotion of low cost traditional medicines & health centers

Page 19: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA Health- Main Featureso SEWA Health operates as a cooperative consisting of

midwives and heath workers-cum-educatorso 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.

Page 20: SEWA Final.ppt

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 SEWA’s most popular health initiatives is the sale of medicines at low cost in medical shops at major hospitals in Ahmadabad.

Page 21: SEWA Final.ppt

Child Care at SEWA

o ChildCare Centers take care of the children, during the working hours for the working women.

o SEWA operates 73 such centerso 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.

Page 22: SEWA Final.ppt

Child Care at SEWA

o 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.

Page 23: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA’s Work Security Scheme

o 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

Page 24: SEWA Final.ppt

Life natural and accidental death


Widowhood (optional )coverage of husbandin case of natural & accidental death

Flood, Fire, communal riots

Maternity Benefits

Type of CoverageType of Coverage(Premium ,(Premium ,

Amount Paid)Amount Paid)

SEWA’s Work Security Scheme

Page 25: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA Academy

Brings out the two SEWA newsletters,

“Anusooya” and “Akashganga”

Brings out the two SEWA newsletters,

“Anusooya” and “Akashganga”

Training in vocational skills and capability

building to the members

Training in vocational skills and capability

building to the members

Conducts research on issues related to

self-employed women workers

Conducts research on issues related to

self-employed women workers

Capacity Building

Page 26: SEWA Final.ppt

Housing and Infrastructure

o 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.

Page 27: SEWA Final.ppt

Legal Services

o SEWA’s 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.

Page 28: SEWA Final.ppt

Video SEWA

o 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.

Page 29: SEWA Final.ppt

SEWA – Campaignso Home-based Workers' Campaigno Vendors Campaigno Forest Workers' Campaigno Construction Workers' Campaigno The Water Campaigno Food Security Campaigno Campaign for our Right to Child Careo Campaign for Recognition of Midwiveso Clean Ahmedabad Campaigno Minimum Wages Campaigno Campaign for Recognition of Unorganised Sector


Page 30: SEWA Final.ppt

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


Page 31: SEWA Final.ppt

Conclusion - Is SEWA successful??

Methodology to monitor the success of its work and general direction1. Have our members obtained more employment from

our efforts?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?

Page 32: SEWA Final.ppt

Sunita,Bangle Worker


Maithri, Bidi Worker



Santokh,Iron Picker





Women Entrepreneurs…Living with pride…Building the nation…