Self Employed Women’s Association  
Self Employed Women’s Association
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Swashrayi Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank is SEWA members' largest cooperative, the first of its kind in india. The bank is owned by the self-employed women as share holders; policies are formulated by their own elected Board of women workers. The Bank is professionally run by qualified managers accountable to the Board.

SEWA Bank was established in 1974 with 4000 members each contributed Rs.10 as share capital. Today there are 93,000 active depositers. In 1999, SEWA Bank celebrated 25 years of providing financial services to poor, self-employed women. Always in debt, our members initially raised the issue of their need for credit so as to free them from the clutches of money-lenders and traders, to enhance their businesses, build up assets in their own name, for children's education, for the several emergencies including illness that they face and many other purposes.

Swashrayi Mahila Sewa Cooperative was the first of its kind. In fact, obtaining Reserve Bank of India clearance for this women's bank was itself a long struggle. But women were determined. They persevered. They created banking
  systems suited to their own needs and have steered their bank wisely for over two decades. They own their bank and run it themselves through their Board. It has always been financially sound and viable, earning surpluses and dividends for its share-holders.
» Banking with Women - 1999
Activities No.of Women Amount (in lakhs of Rupees)
Savings accounts 93,000 1187.32
Loans 33,778 937.62
Fixed Deposits 4,375 724.14
Share Capital 27,980 107.86
Total Working Capital - 38.28
Surplus - 3,059
» SEWA Bank's Schemes to Promote Capitalization
  Crisis Mitigation Scheme
  Housing Finance Scheme
  Women Farmers Credit Scheme
  Savings for Special Events
  'Sunrise Scheme' for Developing Women's Businesses
  Sanjeevani Programme
  "I feel strong today...."
  Chanchalben is from Kosam village of Kheda District. She was married at 7, widowed at the age of 18. She had two small children at the time.

"i didn't know how would i ever raise my two children, how I would survive....I began working in the home of a landlord of my village. I did all the house work and also helped in the construction work of his home. I earned Rs.4 per day and a meal for this labour. I would pour water over the cement construction till my body ached. My stomach would hurt too. But then i thought of my children and kept going.

One day, SEWA organisers came to my village. they organised a meeting and spoke of joining the Union. After the meeting, the organisers invited one of us to visit SEWA's office at Anand. I volunteered to go. I met many women like myself at the office and learnt about savings groups. I decided to form one such in my own village. I held a meeting and slowly it took shape.

Then i participated in many meetings at SEWA. I became more involved, learned new things. I felt stronger. I shared whatever i learned with the women of my village. After joining the Union, i felt secured. We saved, we joined the insurance scheme. I feel strong today....."
  For furthur details visit us at :
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Self Employed Women's Association
SEWA Reception Centre, Opp. Victoria Garden, Bhadra, Ahmedabad - 380 001. India.
Phone : 91-79-25506444 / 25506477 / 25506441, Fax : 91 - 79 - 25506446, Email
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