At SEWA Bharat we work with people who are engaged in the informal sector workforce as domestic workers, street vendors, home-based workers, agricultural laborers, beedi rollers, financial banking agents, factory workers, rickshaw drivers, daily wage laborers, etc.
We conducted a study across 9 states and interviewed people working in different trades to know how COVID-19 is impacting their income and families. We found that there is limited ability to buy ration for more than a few days and their overall income losses already accumulated are significant.
Who will we help and how?
- We will support those who do not have a ration card, identification cards and are left out by the scope government’s support system.
- Our team has identified 23,000 families across 7 states, who have been impacted by COVID-19 and need immediate support.
- Our field offices (SEWA Shakti Kendra) and local women leaders (Aagewan) will assess on-ground needs and provide immediate support which will consist of;
- Food kits - All non-ration cardholders families who are being left unserved by the PDS system will be provided a standard kit for the family of 5 members, which will serve them for 2 weeks. A kit will consist of wheat, rice, spices, pulses, sugar, oil, vegetables, etc.
- Health Packets - Low-income households are already constrained to support their immediate end needs, and new disease makes it ever crucial in the current scenario to maintain the basic hygiene level. A contextual health kit that will consist of soap, sanitizers, sanitary napkins, hand wash, etc will be provided to families in need.
Where & How are we supporting?
- Our work will be focused across Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
- Our local women leaders (Aagewan) will go door to door and hand ration kits to a woman of each family in need. Areas were door to door service is not possible will be facilitated through our field offices (SEWA Shakti Kendra).
How will we utilize the funds?
- It will be utilized to purchase and prepare food kits, which is costing between Rs. 1000 - 1300 varying according to prices in each state.
- It will be further utilized to prepare Health packets, which will cost between Rs.600 - 800.
Who are we?
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a women’s trade union that was started by women workers in Gujarat under the guidance of Smt. Ela Bhatt in 1972. Originally borne out of the Textile Labor Association (TLA), India’s oldest and largest union of textile workers, SEWA is now a globally recognized trade union of women workers in the informal economy. In order to secure economic, social, and legal rights for women workers, SEWA supports the formation of member-based organizations of poor working-women. The first such organization was the SEWA Bank, followed by diverse cooperatives and producer groups of women with livelihoods as artisans, milk producers, and farmers. Later on, women formed service co-operatives like those around health and child-care. After over 48 years, SEWA has expanded across the country and has become a multistate movement owned by women in the informal economy. By the end of 2019, there were over 1.7 million SEWA members representing 18 states of India. SEWA Bharat’s membership institutions help the movement reach out to vulnerable women working in the informal economy.
What are the other ways in which we are contributing?
- Linkage to Government schemes - The institutions within the SEWA network of different states are working with state and local governments to support families in need by linking them with a government’s schemes for COVID relief.
- Manufacturing essential commodities - SEWA’s social enterprises have been re-directed to prioritize the manufacturing of essential commodities and personal protective equipment like sanitizers, face masks, gowns, etc to fulfill immediate healthcare needs.
- Employment opportunities - All current relief and manufacturing work being undertaken by SEWA will provide employment and remuneration to SEWA members