To help these and their families overcome such obstacles, we opened eleven community centers (SEWA Shakti Kendras, or SSKs), in Delhi and Bihar. Located in the heart of the most disadvantaged areas of these states, these centers focus on helping poor women--especially those working in India's informal economy as domestic help, construction workers or other informal employment roles.
- Help women and their families obtain ID proofs (especially PAN cards and Aadhaar cards), birth certificates, and other official documents;
- Connect them to the health services and government schemes they need, sometimes by organizing checkups, referrals, and discounted treatments on-site;
- Educate community members about health and hygiene topics like malnutrition and menstrual health,
- Conduct awareness sessions about their rights and entitlements as Indian citizens;
- Mobilize communities to demand ration shops, dustbins, sanitation services, and other basic government functions often missing from these underserved areas; and
- Provide a safe, trusted space for women to seek support
How You Can Help:
- With 2000 rupees ($31 USD), one SSK can run a health camp or a social security camp in its local community. Each health camp connects 80-100 women with needed health services like eye camps, cancer screenings, and general checkups. Each social security camp helps 90-120 women fill out applications for PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, and other basic ID documents which enable her to access government benefits.
- With 10,000 rupees ($154 USD), one SSK can cover its rent costs for a month, or can purchase a multifunction printer. Currently, only one SSK in Delhi has a printer; the six others must ask women seeking application aid to take their orders to a nearby print shop. This significantly delays their applications, and in some cases doubles the amount they must pay to have their papers processed.
- With 20,000 rupees ($309 USD), we can become an authorized PAN authority, significantly reducing our PAN card processing costs.
- With 200,000 rupees ($3088 USD), we can become an authorized Aadhaar card authority, significantly reducing our Aadhaar card processing costs.
- With 220,000 rupees ($3393 USD), we can buy a computer for every SSK.
- With 588,000 rupees ($9068 USD), we can sustain the pay of Delhi’s amazing current SSK staff for the next year.
The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) works to empower poor women working in India’s informal economy by equipping them with both the personal confidence and practical tools necessary to fulfill their needs and exercise their rights. A grassroots organization and empowerment movement developed by women, for women, SEWA’s strength lies in its decades-long personal connections to some of India’s most vulnerable communities. Since its start alongside Gandhi’s Textile Labor Association in 1972, SEWA has spread across 14 states. It now includes 2 million active members, unified across cultural, geographic, and linguistic lines in pursuit of a vision of self-reliance, full employment, and fair treatment.
For more information, please visit sewabharat.org.