Self-Empowered Women’s Association

Self-Empowered Women’s Association (SEWA)

#GS 01 Social empowerment

For Prelims

Elaben Bhatt

  • Elaben Bhatt was a renowned Gandhian, social worker and women’s empowerment activist.
  • She was conferred several national and international awards such as the Padma Bhushan, Magsaysay Award and the Indira Gandhi Sadbhavna Award.
  • She served as a Member of Parliament as well as the member of the Planning Commission of India.
  • She joined the Textile Labour Association founded by Anasuya Sarabhai and Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 in 1955.

Self-Empowered Women’s Association (SEWA)

  • The Self-Employed Women’s Association, or SEWA, founded by social worker and Gandhian Elaben Bhatt, grew out of the women wing of Textile Labour Association (TLA).
  • It was incorporated as a trade union in the year 1972.
  • However, it split from TLA in 1981 after the anti-reservation riots in which the Bhatts were targeted for supporting quotas for Dalits in medical education.
  • SEWA is a trade union made up of poor and self-employed female workers that earn a living through self-run small businesses or their personal labour.
  • SEWA aims to organize women so that they can attain full employment and all its benefits including social security, which is defined as health care, child care and shelter.
  • SEWA offers a number of services including health care, child care, banking through the Sewa Bank (a cooperative bank with credit and finance services), insurance via VimoSEWA (SEWA insurance), legal services and housing.

Source “Hillary Clinton pays tribute to Ela Bhatt

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