SEWA to expand its base


Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

To mark its silver jubilee SEWA co-operative federation Ltd will now expand its activities. The federation will include new areas for self employed women. SEWA which is known mainly for associations of rag pickers and labourers will now venture into new areas like physician assistants, elderly care, personal and beauty care and others . Not only that the federation of self employed women association also plans to start a BPO!

The federation which has been working with women in various fields like agriculture, dairy, crafts, construction and domestic works today has 106 co-operatives in the state. There are 3 lakh plus members with a total turnover of more than Rs.400 crore.

With new avenues for employment SEWA has also decided to expand its horizon and form new co-operatives, SEWA chairperson Mirai Chatterjee said. She said that there are many women who have skills in IT but they do not want to work in unknown offices. Then there are women have skills in personal and beauty care. SEWA can help them set up their own beauty parlours.

There are many non-conventional areas like drivers, security guards etc. where women are excelling and SEWA would support them.

After 25 years SEWA would also scale up existing co-operatives and give training to its members. With changing times there would be policy changes in the organization for the benefit of its members, she added.

The Federation also has undertaken important action for policy change. This includes simplifying processes to reach financial services to women’s cooperatives through the National Cooperative Development Corporation, NCDC, she said. It has worked to ensure that the many issues faced by women’s cooperatives reach legislators and policy-makers, which will eventually result in an enabling environment for these decentralised, membership-based economic organisations.

A function was organized here today on the occasion of silver jubilee. Elaben Bhatt, Founder of SEWA and the Cooperative Federation shared her idea for the cooperatives’ and Federation’s development, and suggested that these membership-based and owned organisations are key to ‘anubandh’, her vision for ‘swaraj’ based on ‘roti, kapda, makaan’ and three primary services—financial, health and education—provided locally and in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner, and led by women.

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