SEWA
Self Employed Women’s Association
 
 
PART – B
 
  SEWA’S UNITS
 
- The Urban Union
- The Rural Union
- Jeevan Shala
- The Federation of Co-operatives
- SEWA Social Security Net
- SEWA Marketing Support
- SEWA Bank
- SEWA Academy
- SEWA Bharat
- SEWA Accounts
   
  3 Jeevika
  3.1 Introduction
   
  The ‘Livelihood Security Project for Earthquake Affected Rural Households in Gujarat,’ known as Jeevika, was launched in October 2002. The project is a seven-year collaborative effort between the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), the Government of India, the Government of Gujarat, the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), with SEWA acting as the facilitating agency. Overall responsibility for Jeevika belongs to the Rural Development Department of the Government of Gujarat, with IFAD providing a loan through the Government of India, and the WFP providing food assistance.

Earthquake destroyed our houses not our morale. We do not require charity-but we need employment-Jeevika will fulfill our demand of sustainable livelihood
   
  Monghiben Koli –Adhoi village Kutch district of Gujarat State

Now we don’t want to live on the mercy of others after each calamity. If we get proper training then we can also fight any disaster efficiently Gauriben of Kuda village, Surendranagar
   
  SEWA’s Integrated Approach in Jeevika
   
  SEWA adheres to Gandhian philosophy of guiding the poor, self employed members to organize for social change, following the principles of truth, non-violence, integrating all faiths and propagation of local employment and self-reliance.

SEWA’s philosophy embraces a holistic approach to development. SEWA believes that multiple inputs and interventions are essential for women to emerge from poverty, vulnerability and years of deprivation. SEWA’s integrated approach to poverty eradication comprises of :
 
- Organising for collective strength, bargaining power and representation in committees and boards at district, state, national and international levels;
- Capital formation at the household level through access to financial services (savings, credit and insurance) to build up and create assets in women’s name (land, house, work shed, equipment, cattle, bank balance);
- Capacity building to stand firm in the competitive market i.e. access to market infrastructure, access to technology information, education, knowledge, relevant skills (like financial management and planning). Capacity building is also essential for women to run their own organisations.
- Social security in terms of health care, child care, shelter and insurance should be provided to combat the chronic and acute risks faced by members and their families; to enhance their well-being and productivity and to ensure that sickness or sudden crises are not a drain on their fragile household economies.
   
  All these four components are required simultaneously and in a combination that is viable and manageable by the workers themselves. One without the other does not yield results. ;
   
  Organisation Structure of Jeevika
   
 
Project Review Committee
Project Steering Committee
Project Implementation Committee
Kutch Craft Association
Banaskantha DWCRA Mahila SEWA Association Surendranagar Mahila and Bal Vikas Mandal
   
  We do all the hard work of producing salt but entire earnings from it is taken over by the trader. Hence it is better that we sell the salt ourselves directly in the market. Jasuben Thakore of Garamdi village, Patan
   
  So far, we tolerated all the disasters thinking that they were nature’s anger on us, but trainings taken by us after earthquake taught us that if we make preparations beforehand we can mitigate the effect of disaster. Laxmiben Dahyabhai from Barara, Patan
   
  In very short and blunt way, I would like to state that if our livelihood is secured, then we will face any disaster efficiently. Sarojba Sodha from Pithoranagar of Kutch district.
   
  3.2 Progress During The Year
   
 
- Project became effective in November 2002.
- 123 villages identified for implementation in the first year with intensive focus in 32 villages on land and water management.
- Micro-plans prepared in 38 villages
- Convergence of resources being done in close coordination with government, hence avoiding duplication of resources.
- Project Management Unit is formed and is closely coordinating with Government of Gujarat. They meet twice in a month, i.e. every second and third Saturday with the Joint Secretary and Commissioner Rural Development.
- Selection of agency for baseline survey, process documentation, management and information system and review of financial systems is in process and the final selection will soon be done.
- Hired Technical consultants for land and water management, livestock and agriculture, forestry, water, childcare and Jeevanshala.
- Held series of four workshops at the central level by the PMU and SEWA Academy.
- Workshop held on Fund Flow and Accounting System and on accounting procedures and systems.
- Gram Sabhas were held in 110 first year selected villages. Prepared detailed micro-plans for 34 villages and the rest are in process.
- Annual Work Plan and Budget prepared at district level.
- Formed Village Development Committees. VDC is the focal implementation unit in every village. VDC will take the lead in bringing out the village needs, planning executions of work.
- Trainings for village development committee members held - 29 VDCs participated in the training programme. - One talk back programme through satellite communication was also organized where about 400 members from 32 VDCs participated. Government of Gujarat officials also remained present.
- Preparation of training modules is in process
- Capacity building and capability needs assessment process is being done
- Capacity building trainings were held at the district and village level. Three workshops have been organized with the VDCs, spearhead teams, district association organization and SEWA sister organization teams to assess their level of understanding of the programme.
   
  3.3 Community Learning Centre (CLC)
   
  For SEWA members, disaster is not an event separated from normal life but simply the exacerbation of an underlying vulnerability. The rural area is prone to a wide range of natural calamities – droughts, floods, cyclones, epidemics and earthquakes. After experiencing continuous disasters, SEWA has realized that there is a need for creating awareness among the poor rural members about disaster mitigation and preparedness. As a strategy, SEWA has established community-learning centres (CLC), which serves as the hub for the community disaster preparedness. All of the activities, planning, administration, and equipment that forms a part of disaster strategies are originated from these centres. Coordinating activities from one central location is not only lead to efficiency, but more importantly, maintain SEWA’s commitment to local ownership and a holistic approach to community development. The CLC is also equipped with the Tools and Equipment Library. Poor and tribal are facing lots of livelihood problems as they have lost their equipments in disaster or they are not equipped as they are poor and cannot afford to buy tools and equipments. Their livelihood suffers because of non-availability of equipments. SEWA’s experience says that livelihood is the best solution for the mental health problems, trauma that could be a result of disaster like earthquake, drought, flood etc. Thus, SEWA started tools and equipment library to help members to earn livelihood, which in turn help them to get out from trauma and shock.
   
  3.4 Grain Bank In Aantarnesh Village
   
  Aantarnesh, a village situated on the boarder of India is now on the world map because of its Grain Bank. Aantarnesh is a remote village in the Patan district of Gujarat state. The popularly known Little Rann of Kutch starts from this village. During the monsoon, access to this village becomes impossible because of the overflowing of Banas River. These are difficult times for the village people as all modes of transportation are stopped. Subsequently, they have to face acute shortage of food grains.

The people who suffer the most during the monsoon crisis are the poorest of the poor in the village. To facilitate the provision of quality food grains at affordable rates to the poorest of the poor, a grain bank has been started in Aantarnesh under the Jeevika Project of SEWA Rural Development. The Aantarnesh Grain Bank is a joint enterprise of Jeevika SEWA Mandal and the people of Aantarnesh. Eighty families that have been identified as the poorest of the poor through village meetings in Aantarnesh have contributed Rs.1600 to the Aantarnesh Grain Bank. They are the main beneficiaries of the grain bank too.

According to the village people, the prices of food grains at the Aantarnesh Grain Bank is lower than the market price, hence it is affordable. In the beginning, 2400 kgs of wheat at Rs.6 per kg, 400 kgs of rice at Rs.7 per kg, and 500 kgs of split Bengal Grams at Rs.5 per kg were sold. Within two months the entire stock was sold with a resultant income of Rs.10,800. Later, the people of Aantarnesh demanded Bajri, as wheat proves to be costlier because of the use of oil with it. Hence, Bajri worth Rs. 10,000 was bought from a nearby village called Varahi Gunj. Within a month the entire stock of Bajri was sold at Rs.7 per kg with a profit of Rs.600.

The development of the Aantarnesh Grain Bank has prompted people from other villages of Gujarat to visit the bank and understand its functioning. They have also asked SEWA for an intermediate initiation of a Grain Bank in their respective villages.

Babiben Thakor on Antarnesh Grain Bank

I became a member of the Aantarnesh Grain Bank by contributing Rs.20. Originally, I am a gum collector but now I am into coal labor. I get a daily wage of Rs.25 from this work. The presence of the Antarnesh Grain Bank has made food grains easily accessible and available in the village itself. Earlier, when there was no grain bank, I had to go to Varahi for buying grains. This meant that I had to incur the loss of wages, as I had to be away for a day and take leave from my daily labor. It also meant that I had to pay daily for transportation and also buy grains at higher prices. Now, due to the grain bank my day is not spoilt, I can buy quality grains at lower prices and save some money
   
 
   
  SEWA members at Jeevika SEWA Mandal (JSM) monthly district meeting
 
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 :mail@sewa.org
     
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