Millions of workers in independent India are yet to enjoy Poorna Swaraj meaning full Freedom. At SEWA, we believe that freedom is enjoying self-reliance both economic and mental, in thinking and in decision-making. In our experience, this is not possible without full employment.
Full-employment means that every household enjoys basic food security, has access to clean water, clothing and shelter. They should be able to afford these from their own earnings. They should also obtain social security, including health care, child care, insurance and pension.
SEWA has been working over the past 47 years and will continue to work to assist her members till they achieve full-employment by organising, and through non-violent struggle and constructive action.
SEWA’s core values are and will continue to be integrity, communal harmony, social justice and simplicity. SEWA’s strategy is to organise women workers into unions and cooperatives or collectives for self-reliance. Through organising, women workers will have voice and her work be more visible. Their contribution to the nation’s economy will be valued. Full freedom will be achieved when women workers lead their families and communities.
Our goal is to ensure that every SEWA member can achieve full employment and self-reliance.
Full employment consists of work security, income security, food security, and social security, which includes healthcare, childcare, insurance, pension, and housing at the household level.
Self-reliance is the ability to work individually and collectively to achieve economic freedom, and have decision-making power over matters that concern our lives and livelihoods.
Work without fair wages is incomplete, just as a worker without decent housing, good health, childcare, cannot work to the best of her ability. Asset formation for women in the form of savings, land, house, licenses, or cattle is crucial to reduce vulnerability and come out of poverty.
In order to ensure that we are on the right track to achieve these twin goals, we ask ourselves some key self-evaluating questions to guide us towards fuller accountability to our members and to our mission. They help us evaluate our progress, and ensure that members’ realities and priorities are well-aligned with organizational goals and progress. These are our questions:
The questions are overlapping and interconnected. Any member, group leader, committee-member, or organizer, can use this set of questions to mark our progress or lack of it. It is an easy and transparent way to stay true to our members and to our mission.