Self Employed Women’s Association
- The Urban Union
- Jeevika
- Jeevan Shala
- The Federation of Co-operatives
- SEWA Social Security Net
- SEWA Marketing Support
- SEWA Bank
- SEWA Academy
- SEWA Bharat
- SEWA Accounts
  2 The Rural Union
  2.1 Introduction
  SEWA began organizing workers in the villages of Ahmedabad district from 1979. At that time, the Gujarat government had announced minimum wages for agricultural labourers.

Initially, rural workers of SEWA were organized to execute traditional union strategies; which were nothing but struggle for minimum wages. The organizers of this union were attacked in fields and legal cases followed. As a result of the union action the village women who constituted 50% of the total village work force lost whatever low-paid work they had, forget about getting minimum wages.

From these experiences, we learned some hard lessons that basis for obtaining higher wages is the capacity and power to bargain. However, the workers in these areas had neither the capacity nor the power to bargain. The workers in this area were weak and vulnerable due to their lack of employment as well as were unorganised. In this situation there was almost unending supply of labour and limited employment opportunities, the workers are unable to bargain for higher wages.

SEWA’s approach to rural organizing is area-specific and demand driven. Under the leadership of SEWA’s members the community itself designs and implements all community-based activities. SEWA helps women members in rural communities to build and operate their own organizations, by forming cooperatives and district level federations, as a result of which the members develop collective bargaining power and create alternative sources of employment, and thereby, livelihood security for their families.

Livelihood activities are structured according to local needs and regional characteristics. SEWA members have formed cooperatives or producer groups for variety of activities like water conservation, dairy production, craftwork, reforestation and salt farming, with involvement tailored to local conditions. SEWA believes in the primacy of local ownership and knowledge. Village women are trained to augment the skills necessary to competently administer their own organizations and cooperatives. Spearhead teams which comprise of local organizers are formed, who take charge of all of SEWA’s activities and lead each cooperative. The spearhead team consists of 80% local leaders and 20% SEWA organizers. The team leaders (aagewans) are selected on the criteria of their long experience in working with SEWA. Spearhead team members, or ‘barefoot managers’ undergo intensive training in administration, financial management and the technical aspects of their activity or trade.
  2.2 Rural Organisation
  SEWA movement has grown into a family of organizations. The members, depending on the need, form their own economic organizations like groups of artisan, salt workers, forest producers, agriculture workers, tobacco workers etc. These are all registered, democratic, member based organizations. They are registered either as co-operatives, associations, federations or trusts.

1. Banaskantha DWCRA Mahila SEWA Association
2. Kutch Craft Association
3. Kheda District Women’s Savings and Credit Association
4. Ahmedabad District Women’s Savings and Credit Association
5. Gandhinagar District Women’s Savings and Credit Association
6. Sukhi Mahila Mandal
7. Sabarkantha Khedu Mandal
8. Surendranagar Mahila and Bal Vikas Mandal (SMVM), Dhrangadhra
9. SEWA Gram Mahila Haat
10. SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (STFC)
  Districts of Gujarat
  Currently SEWA has 2,19,631 members in 11 districts of Gujarat.
Sr. No. District Taluka No of villages District organizer District spearhead team Number of members
1 Surendranagar 3 85 35 35 17,546
2 Vadodara 3 300 13 40 29,883
3 Ahmedabad 5 150 10 28 33,657
4 Gandhinagar 4 143 3 28 13,131
5 Kheda / Anand 16 600 50 111 1,01,548
6 Mehsana 5 300 15 16 25,237
7 Sabarkantha 4 150 13 50 29,329
8 Kutch 6 250 52 26 20,066
9 Banaskantha / Patan 2 70 58 70 50,782
  2.3 Districts And Sewa
  2.3.1 Banaskantha / Patan
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Banaskantha/Patan 50,782 67,230 1,00,361 44,610 34,534
  Banaskantha is arid, drought prone district in north-western Gujarat; water is scarce and so are employment opportunities and has experienced 3 successive years of drought from 1985 to 1987. Hence, since in 1989, SEWA started getting involved in organizing rural development programs in Banaskantha. Excessive groundwater exploitation during the last two decades has aggravated the present drought conditions in the district. There used to be a mass migration because of unemployment and lack of marketing facility to market traditional skill. The journey of SEWA, started from Vauva village by organizing women artisans involved in embroidery work.
  The Banaskantha DWCRA Mahila SEWA Association (BDMSA)
  BDMSA was formed in 1992 in response to the fact that individual DWCRA groups were too isolated & vulnerable, to easily reach markets, to obtain the raw materials as well as the credit they required. SEWA began organizing in close coordination with the government and an action- research organization Foundation for Public Interest (FPI). SEWA was invited to work with Water Supply Board, Government of Gujarat, on water related issues. In response to the request from the GoG SEWA undertook the task of promoting new cooperatives as well as helping them to build their capacities & linking them with the government. BDMSA covers the widest range of activities of the district. The economic activities are craft, watershed development, dairy co-operatives, gum collection, nursery/plantation. The social activities cover health, childcare, housing, mobile ration van and functional literacy class and other activities.

Since 1995, the Integrated Watershed Development Program is being implemented with a focus on rainwater harvesting, soil moisture conservation, and a forestation and pasture development.
Questions Member Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 8,246 3,33,50,108 Nursery, milk co-operatives, training
Assets/ Ownership   1,35,07,137 Savings, agriculture instruments, live-stocks
Nutritious Food 17,039   Health training, nutritious food for adolescent girls, training through visits at homes.
HealthCare 20,172   In 55 villages 20,172 patients were treated.
Child Care 707   Snacks were distributed amongst the children.
Housing 1,219   Houses were constructed thus providing shelter to the members.
Organised Strength 50,782    
Leadership 5,838   Different activity spearhead team members, training to members,
Education 1,120   Capacity building training, member education, computer training.
  - 4300 members were given education training. SEWA movement training was given to 450 members.
- This year health care facility covered 20,172 patients were treated in 55 villages. As a result of mobile health van services, women got medical services at their doorsteps and could economise their time and earn more income. These health care trainings were organised to emphasize the importance of health care in adolescent girls with they were made aware of the primary health care needs and sanitation at the same time.
- Under the Balvadi programme 707 children were distributed snacks and nutritious food worth Rs. 2,64,600.
- Under the watershed activity, 36 members were given training. The activities covered under watershed include levelling, farm pond, recharging and repairing of well, check dam, construction of water tanks, plantation, distribution of masonry kit and agricultural kit, seed bank, grain bank, fodder distribution also distribution of quality seeds.
- Water campaign had developed awareness in women regarding water conservation, cleanliness and best usage of water by which they have been able to have water harvesting tanks at their door steps and have been benefited in terms of utilising saved time for livelihood ultimately resulting in better health and less seasonal migration.
  2.3.2 Kheda / Anand
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Kheda-Anand 1,01,548 1,00,332 1,00,000 58,368 44,177
  SEWA has being organizing workers of this district since 1985. More than 50% of the workers are tobacco processors. 80% of the tobacco of country is produced in this region. Most of the people are engaged in agriculture and agro/tobacco processing units. The other occupations in which the poor communities of both the districts are mainly engaged include small marginal work, animal husbandry, plantation, stonework, gruhudhyog, fishing work, farming etc
Question Member Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 111 14,49,644 Tobacco farming, health, childcare, savings, insurance, nursery, weaving, campaigns, housing, training, research, education, Shanta, scientific support
Assets/ Ownership 26,954 85,48,244  
Housing 86   3 new houses were built and 83 repairing of houses
Nutritious Food 2,535   2209 children and 326 pregnant women.
Health Care 1,41,718   Polio vaccination for 33,912 children, distribution of medicines worth Rs.3,02,278 and vitamins
Child Care 840   Felicitated passed students of class 10 7 12, conducted picnics and meetings of various clubs.
Organised Strength 1,01,548   Along with other activities conducted meetings, training programmes, Co-operation with NDDB and Amul
Leadership 13,500   Leaders who deal with government and for development, expansion and regulations.
Self-reliance   14,90,244 Tobacco farming, savings, child care
Education 390   Members are attending Jeevan Shala running in 26 villages.
  During the year 1,00,000 members joined SEWA & 20,609 members took insurance.

1500 adolescent girls prearranged a fair for the adolescent girls in which they were given education about health awareness. This health care campaign undertaken helped the adolescent girls to learn the importance of primary health care and sanitation.

As a part of social security of women members they are encouraged to take different kind of insurance. Thus, under organised security funds 4162 members collected a fund of Rs.2,07,496/-. Also 3 new houses were built and 83 houses were repaired

Community Learning Centre (CLC) were started at 2 villages and computers were given at 4 schools. Under the CLC, activities like water campaign, livelihood security, disaster mitigation, savings and credit, insurance, health care, childcare, Jeevan Shala, rallies, awareness programs and exhibitions are carried out.

Skill Up gradation Centre imparted weaving training to the daughters of the weaver women so that they could also learn the skills and be independent. Women member were also given training for gas repairing and plumbing. Also 30 mid-wives were given scientific training, and R.C.H officials undertook examinations for them.

Child Care group felicitated passed out students of class 10 & 12 who were brought up at the Balseva Kendra and also arranged picnics for the children. Polio vaccination was given to 33,912 children, medicines and vitamins worth Rs.3,02,278/- were distributed.
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Ahmedabad 33,657 30,183 40,342 16947 12486
  SEWA stepped in Ahmedabad District by taking survey of marginal farmers and agricultural labourer. Cattle and land-based activities are the foundation of this district. SEWA is actively working in the talukas of Dholka, Dehgam, Viramgam, Sanand and Daskroi in Ahmedabad district with 29000 women members. Members are associated with dairy co-operatives, activity of land development, milk co-operatives. In the district there are 20 women dairy co-operatives and around 3500 women members are engaged in this activity.
Questions Member Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 5,026 9,83,708 Nursery, milk co-operatives, training, water campaign, agricultural campaign, united security team, farming.
Assets/ ownership   2,24,57,765 Savings, equipments, houses, livestock, land, shops, shelter for cattle.
Housing 4   4 members constructed their houses.
Organised Strength 33,657    
Leadership 150   Representing themselves to government, society, and gram panchayat.
Education 7,461   115 training secessions were organised.
Social Security 73   By joining the organization, training and through attending meetings they became capable to claim insurance for the houses collapsed during rains
  101 member education-training sessions were conducted in which 2,825 members took part. 9 SEWA movement trainings covered 287 members. 49 members participated in Kadam training.

Adolescent girls were provided different vocational trainings like food preservation, stitching, computer and embroidery. - 73 members were benefited by trainings imparted to them and attending meetings as they became capable to claim insurance for the houses collapsed during rains.

Under forestry campaign 17 members received employment and earned income of Rs.56,757/- through plantation of saplings.
  2.3.4 Gandhinagar
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Gandhinagar 13,131 12,562 12,051 ,075 3,112
  Members in this district are mainly associated with agricultural labour and animal husbandry. 1/3 of them belong to BPL category. Many of them belong to families of small and marginal farmers. In Gandhinagar District total members of SEWA are 12308 out of which 2250 members are engaged dairy activity. They have total 11milk dairy co-operatives. The Pethapur and Raipur cooperatives are considered the best milk producers’ cooperatives in this District. SEWA conducts training programs for her members.

Through a Survey conducted by SEWA and the Foundation for Public Interest (FPI) in 1993 it was revealed that even in the villages of semi-urban Gandhinagar district, midwives carry out more than 70 % of childbirths. SEWA organized the midwives in this district and they were given intensive scientific training in childbirth and neo natal care. The co-operative was formed to organize the midwives so that they get recognition as service providers. SEWA with her interventions has helped midwives in getting identity cards, which makes them eligible for the benefits as per government regulations.
Questions Member Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 2,393 1,09,07,428 Nursery, milk co-operatives, training, cleaning work, embroidery, mid-wives, polio campaign
Assets / ownership 8,190 4,08,81,195 Computer, savings, milk co-operative, live stock
HealthCare 53,260   Training to adolescent girls, midwives, health awareness training, AIDS awareness, vaccination, conducting health awareness campaigns.
Housing 3   Claims from insurance were granted
Organised Strength 13,131    
Leadership 135   Training to members, Work of village development
Self reliance 4,015   Financial independence and development of society.
Education   Training was imparted under various heads such as farming, health, forestry, water campaign, and adolescent girls.  
  175 adolescent girls were given nutritious food.2600 members participated in health training programs.
- As a part of the health care Health awareness was imparted amongst 52,560 members by visits at homes.
- Health awareness training was given to 550 members and 150 adolescent girls were also given training.
- There are total 12 Milk Co operatives in the district. 2769 members are engaged with the milk co-operatives and they earned income of Rs.1,88,110/- by selling milk in the dairy cooperatives during the year
  2.3.5 Vadodara
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Vadodara 29,883 20,215 20,080 8,040 4,660
  Sukhi Mahila SEWA Mandal (SMSM) is an association of poor women who are affected by Sukhi dam in the District. In 1990, SEWA took up a three years rehabilitation project of villages, which were affected by Sukhi dam. At the end of three years, SEWA felt the need of expansion and development of activities done for tribal so SEWA formed an association named SMSM and got it registered in 1995.

In 1984, all their dreams flowed away with the water of the Sukhi River. Government decided to build Sukhi dam on the Sukhi river. Due to construction of Sukhi reservoir project, 25 villages were adversely affected. Out of that 9 villages were submerged while 16 villages were partly submerged. About 469 families had been settled in six new Government rehabilitation sites in Sunkheda taluka and rest of families had self settled themselves in 60 villages of Pavi Jetpur and Chota Udaipur Talukas. Tribal who had been driven out from their homes were given rocky and infertile lands in Sankheda taluka as compensation. Ironically, no irrigation facilities were provided to them although they had been ousted from their homes to provide irrigation facilities for other farmers. Worse, there was scarcity of drinking water, as most of the villages had saline water and high concentration of fluorides, chloride, magnesium or nitrates. There were no other occupations in the villages on which they could rely upon to get survived. Infrastructure facilities such as school, building, transportation, street lights and roads were also needed in some of the villages. ;
Question Members No. Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 16,158 1,16,49,278 Forestry campaign, poultry farming, income through different agriculture activities, Shanta, spearhead team.
Ownership 7,106 14,18,757 Savings, land release, jewellery, construction of well, equipments, winning gifts in competition
17,283   Insurance, immunization to children and women family planning operation, adolescent and midwife’s training, eye operations and other operations, drug distribution.  
Leadership 251   Savings group leader,
Education 209   Trainings, stitching, nursing, computer, varmi compost, plantation of saplings
  Sukhi Mahila SEWA Mandal (SMSM) is an association of poor women who are affected by Sukhi dam in the district. The association has taken up the work of rehabilitation of the tribal people who have been affected.

During year 2004, Sukhi Mahila Mandal helped members in generating alternate employment opportunities and they are also continuing Forestry Campaign since last 10 years with the aim to cultivate the environmental conditions in the district.

Under health care services members were given training on primary health education, adolescent girls training, midwives training. Activities such as immunization to children, family planning operation, adolescent and midwife’s training, eye and other operations, drug distributions were carried through out the year.
  2.3.6 Sabarkantha
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Sabarkantha 29,329 19,923 20,042 5,995 6,125
  SEWA started organizing women farmers for watershed development in the district from 1992. The main intervention was for the small and marginal farmers affected by soil erosion in the villages at the Vatrak river bank. In 1997 Swashrayi Mahila Khedu Mandal, a district level woman farmers association was established to help farmers to improve yield of crops as well as to build capacity of members, through trainings for continues implementation of economic program on a sustainable basis.
Questions Member Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 2,393 1,09,07,428 Nursery, milk co-operatives, training, cleaning work, embroidery, mid-wives, polio campaign
Assets/ Ownership 8,190 4,08,81,195 Computer, savings, milk co-operative, live stock
Nutritious Food 6,273   Health training, nutritious food for adolescent girls, training through visits at homes.
Health 5,317   Medicines were distributed, 3 camps were organised, training was imparted to mid-wives
Insurance 5,697 14,00,801 25 Village meetings were conducted in which members were given information about benefits of insurance.
Housing 3   Claims from insurance.
Organised Strength 29,329    
Leadership 135   Training to members, Work of village development
Self reliance 4,015   Financial independence and development of society.
Education 31,266   Training was imparted for farming, health, forestry, water campaign and adolescent girls.
  - 77 training sessions were conducted in which 2102 members took part. 3 SEWA movement training was given to 71 members. 7 SATCOM trainings were   given to 390 members.
- This year there was sale of medicines worth Rs.21,700/- under the health care activity. 3 Medical camps were organised wherein 740 members were   treated.
- 25 village meetings were organised. 5071 new insurance policies were taken. In all 412 claims were sanctioned amounting to Rs.7,36,176/-.
- 200 hand pumps were sanctioned. Organising team was given technical training. Water committee was formed in 35 villages. 22 lakes were deepened, and   10 wells were recharged.
- Under Shanta Programme, 15 children were given Rs.19,451.- for their education purpose. 7 new admissions took place.
- Plantation of 70,000 saplings was done for nursery. 4000 saplings were sold and distribution of 7000 saplings was done.
- 3 camps were organised in which training was imparted to midwives.
- Training was imparted to members on how to improve financial status, information about insurance and also details regarding claims in which 70 villages of 3   talukas participated.
  2.3.7 Surendranagar
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Surendranagar 17,546 25,123 33,034 13,622 7,000
  Surendranagar is a severe drought prone area. The severity of drought not only depends on rainfall deficiency in a single year but also upon continued occurrence of deficient rain for successive years. One such sequential drought covering 9,449 villages occurred during the period from 1975-76 to 1977-78. An update on the last century in terms of the percentage of drought years for the Surendranagar is 30 percent. 25,000 women members are organised in the district engaged for different activities like Salt farming, farm labourer and animal husbandry.
  2.3.8 Mehsana
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Mehsana 25,237 20,274 20,037 8,440 5,840
  Mehsana is rapidly becoming industrializing by utilizing natural resources like oil and natural gas. To facilitate this industrial growth, land has been bought at low rates from small and marginal farmers converting them into waged agricultural labourers. Some are employed in the newly created industries or else they have to migrate. As a result of this unplanned industrialization, the ecological balance of the area is facing serious distortions. Women have to struggle to get fuel, fodder and water as procurement of these needs is becoming more and more difficult.

SEWA has initiated her activities in Mehsana district by organizing one village; to restore its environment in 1986. She is now working in Kalol, Bahicharaji and Kadi talukas of this district.

The major activities of Mehsana district are:

1. Nursery and plantation
2. Mobilizing the village communities to address their water problems through ‘water campaign’.
3. Needs assessment of below poverty line families and linking them with various government schemes, to provide supplementary sources of income.

Initially, women working as agricultural labourers were organised to tackle the issues related to environment. Excessive withdrawal of groundwater for agricultural purposes had reduced the quality of groundwater in this area with water in this area containing harmful salts such as fluoride and is not potable. Nursery-raising activity is also emphasized as an income generating activity. Ganeshpura Vanlaxmi Tree Grower’s Association has been developed as a model association. Besides this, land development activity, midwives’ trainings, health care, insurance training and savings activities were also carried out in the district.
Question Member Amt. Activity
Employment + Income 342 8,05,493 Land development, savings, health, forestry campaign, water campaign, training, insurance, agriculture campaign, research, Shanta
Assets/ Ownership   70,64,603 Land development, savings, health, forestry, water campaign, research, insurance, agriculture campaign
Nutritious Food 9,356   Land development, health, water campaign, training, research, agriculture campaign
Health 14,034   Health awareness through training and organizing camps, water campaign, training, Shanta
Housing 50   Savings, 23 by Sardar Awas Scheme, 19 with insurance money claimed for damages, 3 by Relief Committee
Organised Strength 25,237    
Leadership 544    Major leadership is taken under savings, health, training and other activities.
Self-reliance 595 2,87,085 Through various activities carried out in the district.
Education 34,580    
  With the help of Savers Association women members availed land release loan of Rs.30,000 and released their assets thus building confidence in themselves. - During the year, 23 houses were built under the Sardar Awas Scheme and 19 houses with the insurance money claimed for damages whereas 3 houses were built by funds provided by the Relief Committee. - SEWA in co-ordination with Mehsana D.R.D.A filled-up 1,378 social-economic survey of land forms for 7 villages of Kadi taluka. - Under the Sujlam Suflam Yojana, 10 ponds were constructed in 4 villages of Kadi taluka. - 4000 women were provided nutritious food also 3,297 men and women were imparted health awareness training. - In co-operation with officials of Mehsana district, 2005 agricultural labourers received their identity cards.
  2.3.9 Kutch
District 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
Mehsana 20,066 20,036 23,839 14,718 8,974
  The district of Kutch, known for its deserts and handicrafts, is located in the north of Gujarat. SEWA’s entry in the western region of Kutch was in response to the outcome of a study carried out by ‘Foundation for Public Interest (FPI)’. Considering SEWA’s experience in organizing artisans for income generating opportunities, as well as the Kutch artisan’s for income generating opportunities, as well as the Kutch artisan’s special abilities; structuring the development activities of the district around craft production groups was a logical beginning. At the invitation of the State Rural Development Department, SEWA undertook the task of building what was to become the Kutch Craft Association. The exploitation and high commercialisation of the local embroidery skills, low wages and the deskilling due to these reason, led SEWA to organize women artisans into SHG groups who have been federated in to District Level Association i.e. Kutch Craft Association.

The association preserves and promotes the high-quality traditional embroidery among local women to enable them to achieve socio-economic self-reliance and means of livelihood. The association, a direct outlet for the poor craftswomen of Kutch, was launched by SEWA with the following objectives:

- Establish a market with the brand name Kutchcraft to cater to the national and international market.
< - Organize craftswomen into village-level groups and then graduate them into primary co-operatives at a block level, which in turn could be supported by district level supply and marketing services.
- Provide sustained, round-the-year work and match it with social security, health security, training and other Government Schemes intended to benefit the poor women.

SEWA members in Kutch are traditional embroiderers, sewing exquisite patterns with a variety of stitches. SEWA has been organizing these workers in the western most blocks: Lakhpat, Abdasa and Nakhatrana. Out come of FPI studies showed that despite artisans have their special embroidery skills; craftswomen neither have regular work nor income. They were also unaware of the market value for their products and were wholly dependent on middlemen and traders. During drought, which is frequent phenomena, women would sell their crafts for next to nothing, for survival.
 Questions Member Amt. Rs. Activity
Employment + Income 1,807 24,20,784 Embroidery, training, making sample, animal husbandry, nursery, water road work, masonry work
Assets / ownership 9,036 20,49,684 Purchase of income-generating equipments.
Nutritious Food 540   3032 Kgs. of nutritious food was distributed amongst children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Health 1,927   Training to adolescent girls, midwives, distributions of medicines and conducting health awareness campaigns.
Child Care 493   8 new centres were started amounting to total 12 centre
Housing 30   Work sheds were constructed, generating employment for 15 workers.
Organised Strength 20,066    
Leadership 445   Women were appointed at childcare centres
Self reliance 612 3,966 Collectively women have raised Security fund
Education 1,905   Various trainings were imparted and also to trainers.
  During the year 2004, craft was a major livelihood activity of the district and its 1200 members earned Rs.18,69,500/-, 142 members earned Rs.1,80,184/- as a stipend during skill up-gradation training.

Masonry training was given to 10 members through which whey got regular employment and stipend of Rs.2,500/- was paid.

Animal Husbandry provided livelihood to 368 members, wherein they generated income by selling milk to dairy cooperatives.

47 members are organised in nursery activity to earn livelihood. By raising 1,00,000 saplings members earned Rs. 1,00,000/-.

Currently there are 12 Balseva Kendra with 642 children. Various child development activities are carried out at these centres. At these centres the mothers are also taught how they can take good of their children.

Under health care different kinds of trainings and camps were organised. 574 adolescent girls were covered under 12 villages for adolescent girls training.642 members were benefited from health awareness camps.

3032 Kgs. of nutritious food was distributed amongst children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

30 work sheds have been completed which has generated employment for 15 workers which generated and income of Rs.2,70,000/-.

20,000 members are have raised assets for themselves in form of Association Funds, vehicle, fixed deposits and purchase of income generation equipments. Great confidence is developed amongst the women as they have assets in their own name and can raise her voice in the society.

Employment Security Fund was raised in 18 villages with 612 members participating and the fund amounting to Rs.3,966/-.

64 education training were given to 1,525 members.4 SEWA movement training was given to 110 members. 4 SATCOM trainings were given to 255 members. 1 TOT training was given to 3 members.
  2.4 Rural Campaigns
  2.4.1 Introduction
  While SEWA was organising women and supporting them in building their own workers’ organisations, the need for mass mobilisation through campaigns became evident in order to create awareness among the community. This mass mobilisation strengthens the SEWA movement and at the same time highlights their own pressing issues.

All mobilisations are done as part of a campaign around a clearly identified issue. The women and local leaders as one identify the issue, which affects large numbers of people, which affects them deeply or is felt as unjust or intolerable and is continually called for attention. Mobilisation involves continuous meetings at the village or community level. The meetings included as large a representation as possible, for example an all-village meeting – ‘gram sabha’.
  2.4.2 Agricultural Campaign
  The members also comprise of marginal farmers or landless labourers who face lot of challenges on account of poverty, their unorganised status, as also on account of policies that although meant for them ultimately tend to benefit the rich and the land owners. These marginal farmers belong to dry arid regions of Kutch, Patan and Surendranagar districts of Gujarat, India.

The climate and quality of soil both are not very conducive to farming, added to which agriculture is mostly rain fed. The natural conditions of the region make fodder a scarce commodity also the poor cannot afford food grains when the prices jump upwards during the dry season. The tools and equipment of the poor are old outdated and worn out and they are unable to afford new, better tools. Also, SEWA’s rural members were unorganised, therefore lacked bargaining power and capacity to access and benefit from government schemes for them. All these problems lead to death of cattle, loss of life and assets, decrease in income and finally migration in search of better opportunities. However migration only exacerbated the existing problems putting more stress on women.

SEWA initiated agriculture campaign to understand the issues, educate and aware the agriculture workers-technical skill, costing and pricing, link them with technical, research and marketing organizations to strengthen their productivity, yield and income. Thereby, increase their bargaining power; identify the areas of interventions or types of safeguards needed to provide economic security to agriculture workers.

At the grassroots level, SEWA focused on organizing agriculture workers into forming their own organizations in the form of cooperatives that would federate at the regional level. These organizations aimed to increase productivity, yield, bargaining power and income of the members through awareness generation, capacity building and diversification of activities. The following were the outcomes of the initiatives taken through the campaign.

-SEWA encouraged women farmers to form their own organizations in the form of cooperatives that would federate at the regional level. In the process several cooperatives were formed comprising landless women farmers who were able to get land on lease from their village Panchayat. SEWA then provided trainings on nursery raising to these women who were then able to use the leased lands to raise and sell saplings, grow fruit trees and vegetables and sell them to earn a living. Soon, the women also demanded training in processing the fruits and vegetables and thus earn from selling that too.

SEWA initiated Integrated Land And Water Management (ILWM) activities were initiated covering 40,000 small and marginal farmers across 400 villages. This activity gives much emphasis to land treatments, watershed development and harvesting,

Fodder Bank, Grain Bank, Seed Bank, tools and equipment libraries were set up. The resource banks and libraries (fodder, grain, seed and tools and equipment) are all run by local communities themselves and provide the respective resources at rates affordable to the poor.

- For facilitating marketing of the products of rural producers, SEWA along with the government of India established SEWA Gram Mahila Haat (SGMH). SGMH enables marketing of rural agricultural produce, salt, gum and handloom products of SEWA’s members. It also tries to link poor women’s organizations to private sector for enabling poor to access not only larger markets at the national and international level but also modern technical skills.

For ensuring the livelihood security of its members SEWA has also initiated the concept of a work security fund that is built up by regular contribution of SEWA’s members themselves. The fund helps members in face of natural and manmade disasters by acting as a safety net that will help them restart their businesses or learn new skills without depending on aid or charity.

SEWA is also working towards providing agriculture insurance that is affordable, to its members. The latter would effectively protect the members from the financial impact on their household income from the vagaries of the monsoon.
  Activities Undertaken
  Agriculture Campaigns were organised through out the year in all the districts to discuss the ongoing activities in agriculture along with the recent developments in the field of agriculture. The seasonal problems faced were also discussed at these meetings, to cope with these problems monthly action plans and trainings were conducted on specific issues.

Training on production of vermi compost was provided to different groups at Mehsana, Surendranagar, Radhanpur, Anand and Ahmedabad. The produced vermi compost was marketed by direct linkage with corporates.

Seed is one of the primary inputs in the agricultural production system. So it becomes imperative to get the right quality of seeds at the right time to get better output. The farmers’ demand for seeds is assed across each district. Seeds are procured either from State Seed Corporation or from reliable seed agencies to the districts as per their requirement

Training at NIOH was organised to increase awareness about consequences due to over usage of pesticides and the importance of bio-agents and how its conservation can reduce the application of pesticides and increase crop production.

A special workshop was organised on Crop insurance to better understand the technicalities involved and how farmers can avail it.

SEWA’s concentrated efforts in agriculture have lead to a noticeable increase in income, health and capabilities of the women farmers as also in a decrease in the levels of migration. In this manner SEWA tries to secure the livelihoods of more than 300,000 women farmers by making agriculture a sustainable livelihood option.
  Price of Ignorance
  Vikram Seeds, a local company in Sabarkantha district had provided 3 bigha of seed plot to the small and marginal farmers for the purpose of multiplication of seeds. The seed, ‘Ockra’ (Bhindi) was also provided by the company for the same. The soil was not tested before sowing the seeds. Due to heavy rains the crop failed and the entire loss had to be borne by the farmers and they had to repay the cost of the seeds to the company. Thus the farmers had been exploited due to their lack of knowledge of seeds and soil. Had the soil been tested before sowing, the moisture content would have been known and there would not have been any problem with regards to the desired output in case of heavy rainfall.
  In Sabarkantha district, agricultural labourers from one family approached a big farmer having large land for the purpose of multiplication of cotton seed; provided by one of the private companies of the area; on a sub plot. They were given approx. 2 Vigha of land and other facilities like water, fertilizers and equipments. They were also provided technical support from the private company for the purpose. The output was very good and the labourers got a profit of Rs. 10,000/- after payment of rent to the big farmer and the private company. Small farmers and agricultural labourers lack knowledge about the soil and cannot afford expensive inputs. But, by taking help from bigger farmers and private parties, they can get the relevant inputs as well as the desired output. Thus, they must be encouraged for partnership with big farmers and private companies for taking the benefit of globalisation.
  2.4.3 Water Campaign
  Water remains the primary responsibility of women for household needs, for cattle and for work when required. In dry and arid regions such as where SEWA members live, irregularity in the supply of water or its scarcity has a direct effect on a woman’s productivity. When she spends six to eight hours of day collecting water on account of its scarcity or negligence towards maintenance of water supply, it translates into loss of income. And for the poor, loss of income means insecurity regarding food, health, work and increased vulnerability to disasters and risk. And this was exactly the scenario faced by SEWA’s members in Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts of Gujarat, India.

SEWA started its water campaign in 1994 on the demand of its members who consider water scarcity the major factor affecting their lives. The campaign seeks to give poor women access to reliable and safe water supply and to build their capacity to become owners and managers of the local water supply. It also promotes local level awareness about water resources, their use and management for drinking and irrigation purposes. In its activities, SEWA targeted poor women since they bore the primary responsibility for meeting the household need for water. SEWA initiated participatory micro-watershed development projects through its Watershed Development Teams (WDTs), SEWA worked directly with the Watershed Committees (WCs) to plan and implement village-level soil and water conservation activities.

Among the activities undertaken by the Water Campaign are: (i) organizing village meetings to identify village water needs, technology choices, locations and cost-sharing for maintenance; (ii) construction of community and private roof rainwater harvesting tanks, hand pump repairing, distillation of ponds, construction of new ponds including impervious layer ponds for saline areas; (iii) advocacy through direct action by organizing the villagers, particularly women, to work with different government offices to build new sources or repair old ones.

For water harvesting SEWA sought to focus on reviving traditional community water harvestings structures such as village and farm ponds. These ponds provide drinking water for people and livestock. They also facilitate in recharging nearby wells. In the last decade SEWA has repaired and constructed 190 village ponds 105 wells and 6 plastic lined ponds.

As a compliment to traditional water harvesting methods, SEWA has been working with communities to implement roof rainwater harvesting. This technology is simple to set up, easy to maintain and can be built with local resources. To date, SEWA and its members have built over 2,000-roof rainwater harvesting systems.

In areas like Sabarkantha district where hand pumps and pipelines are major sources of water supply, SEWA members were troubled with the negligent attitude of the government and private contractors towards maintenance of the same. In order to shift the agency from the state government to the communities themselves, SEWA has set out to create a cadre of ‘barefoot’ water technicians.

As of now, SEWA has trained over 971 barefoot technicians who are now responsible for the maintenance and repair of over 1,500 hand pumps. In 2000, women hand-pump technicians trained by SEWA bagged the hand-pumps operation and maintenance contract from the Government after a long struggle. This assignment is for four districts of Gujarat namely: Kheda, Anand, Sabarkantha and Vadodara. Handing over the maintenance of hand-pumps to grass-roots women is one of the initiatives in SEWA’s campaign to improve the access to safe drinking water in the rural areas of Gujarat. Today, grass-roots women play a leading role in the maintenance of more than 470 hand-pumps in three districts

To re-energize to communities to fight for their water rights and take their water problems into their own hands, the third component of the Water Campaign is an intensive women-led approach to community education. Although SEWA’s members use posters and meetings in their “Save Water” and “Hygiene Awareness” campaigns, they rely equally on songs and community theatre to get their messages heard.

SEWA also regularly takes the help of leading state and national level institutes for capacity building trainings for grassroots workers and organizers in the area of and operations and management of water supply systems.

180 training sessions were conducted in which 4500 members participated. In these training sessions they were given training for hand pump repairing, plumbing which provides temporary income generating opportunities for many villagers. They were also given knowledge about making judicious usage of water, which lead to water conservation.

Thus, SEWA has not only revived efficient traditional methods of water harvesting but also enabled it to become source of sustainable livelihood for its users themselves.

The various activities undertaken by SEWA in the water sector are summarized in the following table. These activities are supplemented by its forestry and fodder campaigns.

SEWA's Activities in the Rural Water Sector
Sr.No. Area Collaborating Agency Water Sector – Activities
1. Ahmedabad District (rural) District Panchayat Taluka Panchyat Augmenting water resources Tanker supply in scarcity
2. Banaskantha District RNE Activating Pani Samitis Augmenting water sources Water harvesting structures Watershed Development
3. Kheda District District Authorities Drainage systems Augmenting water sources
4. Kutch District District Authorities, DRDA Augmenting water sources
5. Mehsana District GWSSB District Authorities Assessment of fluoride affected villages Augmenting water sources
6. Sabarkantha District District Authorities GLDC Reviving Hand pumps Recharging wells Watershed development
7. Surendranagar District GWSSB Reviving defunct water pumps
8. Baroda District GWSSB District Authorities, DRDA Resettlement Commissioner Reviving hand pumps Water harvesting structures
  Source: SEWA: Managing water for the people by the people, Ahmedabad, June 1997 p 25. SEWA’s water campaign is carried out through a process of mass mobilisation in gram sabhas and community participation under women’s leadership through awareness and technical training on water related issues.

SEWA organized the rehabilitation and relocation of workers into their own local association who were affected by the Construction of Sukhi dam near Vadodara district. Sukhi Mahila SEWA Mandal initiated economic rehabilitation with help of SEWA. Under the women agriculture workers' leadership, they implemented land development interventions and installed irrigation facilities. Today 2000 hectares of land is treated and converted into productive land. 18 bore wells have been made. They also started alternative income generation programs for the suddenly unemployed, including sapling nurseries, poultry units, animal husbandry, mushroom cultivation, and social forestry initiatives. Now the women farmer borrow loan from their savings & credit groups and raise nurseries. Hence combination of agriculture & forestry is proving as a viable economic activity.
  My village has three neighbouring villages – Amrapur, Hansnagar and Patigam. This is desert area and if there is no water in the village pond, the local community and cattle do not get drinking water throughout the year. In the Watershed Development Programme, three community wells are dug in our village, one for irrigation purpose in private land and two for drinking purpose on community land. The community private landowner Bhanbai Manek donated her land for a community well. This is now programme run by the people themselves and they are leading the way to sustainable use of water. They also decided rules and regulations for the use of water and responsibility of maintenance. The availability of drinking water has checked migration of families and cattle. ;
  Ranjanben Joshi, Amrapur
  Dhuliben KHANT - Grass roots engineer

Dhuliben (45) a semi-literate farm labourer, is currently active as the spearhead of a water campaign. The economic condition of her family was extremely difficult, as it was engaged in rain dependant agriculture. Water was the major problem of her community. After meetings and discussions, it was found that existing hand pumps could be repaired and recharged. After only three days training in water management, and as many in hand pump repairing, she organized 14 women in her village and the neighboring community. First, they repaired 10 old hand pumps. Then she and her team undertook the complex oiling of 200 hand pumps which technicians had given up as not feasible. This was a major achievement in her life. “It was not easy for me when I started”. What an understatement! One can imagine the challenge: questioning the monopoly of technical specialists, working in front of a group of men making ironical comments on “women engineers” and laughing sarcastically, while refusing to help. A highly versatile person, a respected community leader and an active SEWA (Self- Employed Women’s Association), leader at the grass roots, she is also the leader of a savings group. She tirelessly moves from village to village, motivated by her dream that all villages have access to the most fundamental of all human needs: clean drinking water.
  2.4.4 Forestry Campaign
  “Feminine Our Forests” is a slogan of the SEWA’s eco-regeneration activist. SEWA launched this activity on campaign basis in 1995. Though, forests plays a vital role in our lives, the usage; benefits and contribution of informal sector workers in forestry is invisible and is unnoticed among general masses. Thus reorganization and knowledge of forestation was important. The campaign blends beneficiaries from all the sectors right form the grassroot level to the top most campaign coordinator following the bottom – top system approach. Creation of single viewpoint and ideology related to these activities is possible through campaign approach. Thus all development efforts will be united and go in harmony.
  Issues of Forestry Campaign
  Despite agriculture being major occupation in rural areas throughout the country hardly any need-based emphasis is given to agriculture development. There are several agriculture land research institutions but most of them work in isolation. Further more only little transfer of research or technology from laboratory to rural areas takes place. As a result the agriculture development of the country is far below its potentiality, this affects both productivity and income of farmer particularly for marginal and poor farmers. Accordingly their last resort is migrating or running into casual labours.

The situation of female agriculture workers is even worse. There exists unemployment, unfulfilled household demands of water, fuel and other NTFPS, which escalates due to severe environmental conditions. To tackle these unfavourable circumstances “SEWA” undertook and still continues a lengthy struggle for the rights of rural poor women considering forestry related income generating and re-generating activates.
  Activities Undertaken
  1. Environmental awareness was propagated amongst 62,825 women by conducting 336 rallies.
2. Plantation of 16,59,860 saplings and monitoring of the same was done.
3. 391 women in 99 villages planted 14,79,000 saplings with which income of Rs. 16,07,476 was generated.
4. On 5th June - Environment Day was celebrated in 9 districts where rallies, dramas and Aksharmela were conducted in 13 villages where 7632 women, children and villagers participated.
5. 1458 women were given technical training, which generated employment opportunity in the area of forestry.
6. 150 women of 16 villages in 9 districts were imparted vermi-compost training and
7. 2450 Kgs of vermi-compost worth Rs. 12,250 was sold.
8. In Vadodara district seeds were collected and sold which generated profit of Rs. 3,032, also in Anand district collection and sale of seeds generated a profit of Rs. 28,517.
The ongoing activities under the “Feminize our Forest” campaign, includes rallies gathering, slogans, posters, written material, audio visual aids, souvenirs, reports, documentations, advertisement etc. The material for the campaign is also modified as per the stage of the campaign based on the development achieved in different districts.

• Workshops/Meetings: Local as well as National level workshops are organized with address to specific themes and ensuring participation form each region. Regular meetings are conducted for comparison of the development in different regions. Need are identified form such meetings
• Demonstrations: Demonstration is held for opposing some reluctant bodies to show unwillingness for certain unequal laws/practices/rules etc.
• Rallies: Rallies were organized as part of regular activities where awareness was generated amongst the villagers regarding the forestry activities and environmental protection. They were also came to know about the importance of plantation.
• Presentations: Presentation plays a major role in dissemination of information, especially to Government bodies/concerned parties. This is performed, showing existing problems and suggesting appropriate rules with direct and appropriate needs.
The SEWA promoted Shri Vanlaxmi Mahila SEWA Tree Growers’ Cooperative is actively involved in wasteland development activities. These members have developed nursery training cum development centre in Ganeshpura village. Laxmiben, a member of this group says “We raise lemon saplings in our own kitchen garden also. This gives us an additional income of Rs 5000 to 6000 per annum. I use this money for the education of my children.
  Activities Undertaken During the campaign
  1. Rallies / Celebration
  Rallies were organized in 162 villages of 11 districts of Gujarat; to create awareness about tree plantation, water conservation, nurturing saplings and also to make the village self sufficient by making their people understand their environment. During these rallies the young children, women and elderly people participated actively in the spreading the awareness. SEWA members also celebrated 5th June as Environment Day.

The Collector, D.D.O (District Development Officer), D.R.D.A (District Research Development Authority), Director, D.F.O (District Forest Officer), Principal of the School, Sarpanch and many others attended these rallies.

Details of the rallies are in the table as follows:
Sr. No. District Activities conducted in villages No. of  Members Members who were Present
1 Mehsana Public Awareness plays and Rallies were organized in the Indraj and Vidaj Villages 366 R.F.O, District Administrator and Sarpanch
2 Surendranagar Rallies were organized and Akshara Fair was held in Sedla village 438 Jeevika Help Group, Sarpanch, Principal  & teachers of the school
3 Vadodara Rallies were organized in Aniyatri, Achali, Vanki, Coliyari, Vadeshya, Kadila, Simaliya, Gajipura, Lotan, Sithol villages 587 R.F.O and Sarpanch
4 Anand Rally was organized in Anand City , Raasnol. The Rally was commended by the Collector 532 Collector, D.D.O, D.R.D.A, Director, D.F.O, R.F.O
5 Sabarkantha Rally was organized in Jumatra village 432 Sarpanch, Principal, R.F.O, and other fellow residents
6 Ahmedabad  & Gandhinagar Women from both the districts carried out many rallies on a large scale 5 Sarpanch, Principal, R.F.O
7 Banaskantha Rally was organized in Najupura village 408 Jeevika Help Group, Jeevan Shala, Principal and fellow residents.
    TOTAL 3292  
   Kamlaben and Manjulaben say that, “On 5\8\04 the spearhead team of the forestry campaign went to Fagli village in Anand district to impart women primary training. When they reached the village an old lady had passed away and nearby was the primary school. We went to the primary school and talked with the teachers about activities of the forestry campaign and made them understand the same. The teachers questioned that since we were already in the village wouldn’t we teach at least one lesson of the primer? This made us very happy since imparting education regarding the forestation campaign was our responsibility. Secondly when does one get an opportunity to become a teacher and spread education? We taught the students of 5th grade a lesson on the “van davi”. The students and the teachers both were very happy because we demonstrated the lesson through a play. When they asked us to come there at least once a month we informed them that there were many women in the village who were linked to the forestry campaign. All of you can surely understand the work if we all work together. Thus we got an unforgettable opportunity to educate children about forestation.”
  Through campaign we arrange educational tour in Radhanpur district. On the 2nd Saturday in June the children of a primary school of Radhanpur in Banaskantha District came to the nursery centre for an educational tour. In this tour the raising nursery, along with importance of tree plantation etc were explained. 68 children participated in this educational tour.

Thus, the activities for Eco– regeneration were carried out with co-operation of the women, children and the elders of the villages. 42 women from the Anand district, 37 from Patan District and 28 from Surendranagar District While raising nursery and nurturing the plants, studied in Jeevan Shala and now can read and write.

In order to create forestry awareness, facility in understanding and make the forestation information accessible to the youngest children of the village, posters, brochures as well as training material have been prepared by forestry core –team.

National level round table discussion was organised from 1st to 3rd June 2004. Ministry of agriculture, environment, forestry and water jointly participated for policy advocacy, which is part of the campaign. During these presentations the activities of the campaign since last 15 years and the details of the members who joined the main stream successfully were presented. Core team of campaign and the spearhead team women presented the work they were pursuing.
  Menaben is a member of SEWA’s spearhead team for forestry. She now works in the village DWCRA nursery from 8 a.m. to noon. She prunes the trees, applies fertilizers, water, and organic insecticides. She also plants and grows fodder in the aisles between the trees. In 1998, she raised Zizyphus nummularia (ber), grafted them and then planted 200 saplings in her field. Out of these 200 saplings, 17 saplings dired and 183 were raised nicely. The tree started bearing fruits after 3 years in 2001. Menaben sold the fruits in the nearby villages and earned a profit of Rs. 15,000. She earned a profit of 12,000 in 2002. In the year 2003, she got 1400 kgs of berries and sold them at the rate of Rs. 15 per kg. She received Rs. 21,000 for this. After deducting her expenses of fertilizers, etc. she earned a net profit of Rs. 17,000. Menaben says that now we have realized that one tree has many benefits.
  Revaben BARIYA - Barefoot Forester
  46 year old Revaben, from Bangapura village, Vadodara district in the state of Gujarat, the eldest daughter of her family, passed her childhood working hard and shouldering responsibility for her younger brothers. Married at 12, she had to take on the dual responsibilities of field- and housework. When her son was born, due to a dispute, she returned to her father’s home. Soon after, her father died, and she was once more saddled with the responsibility of the family. Having heard of the SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), Revaben immediately grasped its value in helping her organize the village women. She first organized a savings group, then joined a forestry campaign, having grasped the vital importance of this activity for the environment and for the prosperity of the farmers. She took a series of trainings where she learned the basics of forestry techniques. Revaben quickly started moving with a team from village to village with saplings for sale, explaining – through songs, posters and rallies – the importance of this activity. With the profits she created a revolving fund with the view of helping women interested in nursery raising to take loans. Having mastered the demands of local markets, Revaben now grows medicinal plants as well as fruits such as mangoes and lemons. Above all, she campaigns to organize other women, and as the leader of a forestry campaign, moves from village to village, initiating women farmers to make them aware of nursery raising, vermin composting, mushroom cultivation and other related activities. She has developed an exceptional ability recognized by all. “SEWA is my inspiration and mentor”, she repeats often of the organisation that gave her initial training and became a springboard for her later activities.
  3. Capacity building Trainings
  Capacity building trainings are fundamental focus of the forestry campaign. Traditional knowledge integrated with technical knowledge generated alternative employment opportunities for the members.
  Thus 1458 members of the Forestry Campaign support their livelihood with the help of such trainings and earn their income after learning from the training.
  4. Nursery Raising
  The activity of nursery raising generates alternative employment for the women. Ten years ago women were growing only non-fruit trees plants. At present 70 per cent of the plants, which they grow, are fruit bearing plants. Earlier they used to only grow saplings; however they have now expanded to sale of these saplings as well. They also carry out grafting on the fruit bearing plants. This year members of SEWA thought that instead of waiting for help from any quarter it would be advisable to take the help from DWCRA Group and saving group and started the nursery raising and nurturing the saplings.
Sr. No. District No Of Participants Village Saplings Grown Income
1 Ahmedabad 22 10 91,000 1,02,000
2 Anand 89 11 5,00,000 5,46,812
3 Vadodara 50 27 25,00,00 2,93,000
4 Sabarkantha 18 9 75,000 80,000
5 Mehsana 10 10 120,000 1,26,200
6 Banaskantha 99 14 2,41,000 2,55,829
7 Surendranagar 55 9 10,2000 1,03,305
8   48 9 1,00,000 1,00,330
  TOTAL 391 99 14,97,000 16,07,476
  Thus it is apparent from the table that 14,97,000 saplings were grown by 319 members during the year. In addition to this, they earned 16,07,476 rupees.
  5. Plantation Monitoring
  Plantation monitoring is important for eco – regeneration so during the year 2004, tree plantation was carried out under the campaign in the month of June and February. The monitoring of this plantation was done by the spearhead team inter districts.

Plantations made during the year 2004.
  In the year 2004 a total of 2,88,432 saplings were planted in backyards, wasteland, fields, land, and boundaries of the fields of the member. This goes to prove that the women of campaign not only carry out sapling plantations but also take the responsibility of making sure that these saplings grow into trees.

District : Anand
Member’s Name : Madhuben
Village : Khambolaj
This is the story of Madhuben of Khambolaj village of Anand district Since the last 5 years she has been running growing a nursery and has been growing eucalyptus in her nursery. She planted her left out 100 eucalyptus sappling in her own back ground in1997 to day her family got income by selling eucalyptus trees like that many Madhuben’s Family got income form nursery plantation for Today Madhuben is no more. But her family members earn through sale of such wood of eucalyptus about Rs. 95000.
  Nursery raising activities carried out by the SEWA members
  Rewaben From tribal area of Gujarat
  Rewaben was born in Bangapura village of Sankheda Taluka. She was the eldest daughter of her parents. Her father worked in her uncle’s fields as a labourer. After her uncle’s death his son took up the responsibility of cultivating the fields and her father started working there as bonded labourer. Rewaben was married at the age of 13 to Jatanbhai of Gajipura Village. Being the eldest in her in-laws family s well she had to undertake the household responsibilities. When she came to her father’s place to deliver her first child her relationship with her husband strained which led to their divorce. After some time she lost her father and the responsibilities of the house came on her shoulders. She reared a buffalo and by selling milk every morning she started earning money and during the day she worked as a casual labourer. Rewaben’s younger sister was a member of SEWA. She informed Rewaben of SEWA and advised her to become a member of the organization. She became the leader of Savings and also joined the organizing team of. After that in the first year she developed a tribal nursery and earned 3500/- rupees. With forestry campaign this money she was able to construct roof of her hut. Next year she also gave their application to the nursery raising but because of forest department rules she did not allotted the nursery work so she took a loan of 3000/- rupees and sold the saplings which she had grown in the nursery and got good income. A part of this income was spent in household affairs. In the third and the fourth year with the help of a loan from SEWA she planted 5000 saplings and earned 6000/- rupees. Rewaben started vermiculture along with nursery and by selling those she earned money. Rewaben says with the co-operation and involvement of SEWA she is experiencing a lot of power and confidence in her. Now with the help of posters and songs she can convince people about the importance of growing trees and she can speak impressively in these meetings.
  6. Seed collection
  Under the work of sapling plantation the nursery raising is alternative employ for agriculture labour. So the member who raise nursery the also started to calculate as to how the expenses can be minimized so the work of collecting seeds in all the districts was done according to the season. Under this activity in the districts of Anand, Baroda and Mehsana, collection of the seeds of Amla, Chikoo and other such fruit bearing seeds was initiated. Because of seed collecting they able to identity the seeds and also take training about processing and they make a candy pickle and mouth freshener and sale it.
  Seed collection activities conducted during the year 2004:
1 Amount of Amla Purchased 1,754 Kgs. 83 Kgs
2 Cost of Procurement 26,175/-R 1,254/- Rs
Amount of Amla Purchased 1,754 Kgs. 83 Kgs
2 Cost of Procurement 26,175/-Rs 1,254/- Rs
3 Sale of greens Sale of greens 1,329 Kgs
4 Sale of candy 54 Kgs 1500 Kgs
5 Sale of pickle 2,250 Kgs ---
6 of mouth freshener --- 1,500 Kgs
7 Seeds collected 10 Kgs 900 gms
8 Sale 25,485 3,400
  Total Sale 28,885 ---
  Total Profit 1,465  
In the districts of Anand, Vadodara and Mehsana the seed collection group obtained seeds with 90 percent survival rate. Apart from this, other varieties of Amla and chikoo were developed to earn a profit of 1,465/- rupees.
  7. Vermin compost
  In addition of women earning through sapling plantation, they also increase their incomes, have a good understanding of their fields, work on their fields and employ others as well. This in turn increases the fertility of the soil and decreases the number of pests and diseases. Keeping this aim in mind in the year 2004 vermin compost was introduced. The details of which are listed below.
Details Vadodara Anand Mehsana Ahmedabad Bayad Banaskantha Surendranagar Kutch
Starting of vermin compost related work 22/5/04 03/5/04 24/5/04 --- 6/11/04 1/10/04 3/9/04  
No. of women undertaking the training 12 15 12 10 10 35 25  
Bangapura Devpura- Demonstration center middle Ganeshpura tree cooperatives – north Gujarat Chekhla Abaliyara Jhanjansarghadsai Mithaghoda    
Initiation in Village 4 village 3 village 3 village 2 village 1 village 3 village 4 village 2 village
  In this way as a part of the forestry campaign to create awareness and providing employment under the environment protection program was undertaken by 76 barefoot foresters of SEWA working in the 9 districts of Gujarat state. These foresters are moving barefoot from village to village to pursuing activities of environment protection, which is indeed praiseworthy.
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