namely 'Self Employed Women's Association' (SEWA) has been formed. SEWA has derived its inspiration as well as its strength from the developmental extension work that TLA has always done. It is ideologically as well as financially dependent on T.L.A. The membership of SEWA has already crossed 6.000. It covers women from various walks of life and professions such as garments stitching, sewing, cutting, drawing fibres, knitting, embroidery, vendors of vegetables, fruits, milk, curds, eggs, domestic work, maids, midwives, washerwomen, baby-sitters, cotton blowers, junk-smith workers, second-hand cloth sellers, head loaders, spinners, printers, incense-stick-makers, medicine pounders, basket-jnakers, rope makers, bidi workers, hand cart drawers, casual workers etc. The work of SEWA got momentum from 1974. On 9th June 1975 Mahila Sewa Trust wys formed. The objective of the trust is to make service available for health and nutrition programmes, production of goods, fostering co-operatives amongst women following similar occupations.
The success of SEWA must be measured in terms of the various hurdles it had to surmount. Its basic function was to organize tradition bound, superstitious, illiterate women. It needed much spale work. SEWA's devoted General Secretary Mrs. Ela Bhatt had to organize about 1000 meetings at various places. Local leaders in various mohallas were entrusted with th? work of mobilising these women. A new system was to be generated, new values were to be taught. With the objectives of economic regeneration and social uplift of economically and socially oppressed women, SEWA had an uphill task. In the initial stages the institution of money-lenders was the main obstruction to its activities. Yet SEWA has successfully meet all the challenges and has passed the take-off stage within a span of three years. Credit for this must go to the indefatigable faith, hope and hardwork of Shri A. N. Buch, the trustees and Smt. Ela Bhatt.
Mahila Sewa Sahkari Bank run by SEWA is a unique bank. It not only acts as bank for women in various vocations but also serves a useful purpose in inculcating ideas of thrift and banking habits in these women. Whenever a loan is sanctioned, payment is made directly to the suppliers of the equipment, instead of the borrower. This ensures that the ignorant is not fleeced by any of the exploiters. Under a scheme both nationalised and private banks advanced monies to these women through Mahila Sewa Sahkari Bank.
SEWA has now field workers to contract and help the women indeed. These workers are qualified in sociology and allied sciences. Therefore they are able to understand and communicate properly with these women. SEWA has a representative board of 153 selected group leaders from different vocational groups from among his membership. There are 782