MIKA photographer films for VIDEO SEWA
posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 05:42 PM
Author: Prakash Omari, Bangalore
MIKA PR in partnership with the Shri Mahila Anasooya Trust is to develop and coordinate a long term fundraising strategy in aid of the VIDEO SEWA project in India.
MIKA PR will be organising fundraising events in London, Leicester, Brick Lane; Glasgow, Birmingham and Crawley. The fundraising efforts will include raising awareness among the British Asian community on the work of SEWA and the challenges and opportunities for India’s self employed women in India’s informal economy.
SEWA (Self Employed Womens Association) is an India-based trade union registered in 1972. It is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organised sector. They are the unprotected labour force of modern India. Constituting 93% of the labour force, these are the workers of the unorganised sector. Of the female labour force in India, more than 94% are in the unorganised sector. Their work is not counted and hence remains invisible. In fact, women workers themselves remain uncounted, undercounted, undervalued, invisible and ignored.
VIDEO SEWA is a powerful medium and one that is effective in bringing information about the world outside to SEWA members and their communities. It also honestly and directly conveys women’s hopes, struggles and achievements to a wide audience: policy makers, planners, legislators, politicians, educators, academics and society in general.
In 1999, VIDEO SEWA organised a festival of it films in Delhi. A number of leading film producers, directors, those running TV channels and members of national and international organisations attended the festivals. Not only did VIDEO SEWA get visibility at the national level but it also obtained orders for video production.
The fundraising efforts will enable SEWA to purchase new equipment in keeping with the fast paced changes in India's communication technology and to set rural communication & information resource centres in India. In 2006 VIDEO SEWA went ahead with registering itself as a cooperative specialising in media communications. In this way SEWA can expand rapidly; market its video tapes and move towards self reliance.
For further information please contact Thomas Murphy
Notes to Editors
1. Elaben Bhatt, SEWA’s founder, was nominated as a member of the newly constituted National commission of labour.
2. SEWA’s monsoon and disaster proofing proposal "Paaki Bheeth" (solid Walls) was accepted by the Gujarat government. 1300 rural families will now obtain housing.
3. Fodder Banks were started and managed by SEWA’s rural ‘aagewans’ a drought proofing measure to protect cattle and safeguard their nutrition. Four such fodder banks are in operation in the desert district of Banaskantha.
4. SEWA’s Health Team started two community based tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment centres, in part nerships, with the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
5. Radhaben Rathwa ‘aagewan’ of Vadodara district was awarded the Rural Women’s Prize for her leadership.
6. Artisans of Banaskantha and Kutch exhibited and sold their textile products in Paris and three other cities of France, our first international exhibition.
7. Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands and the Dutch Development cooperation Minister, Ms. Evelyn Havkerns visited SEWA at Banaskantha.
8. SEWA movement spread to Yemen and Turkey, as home based workers began to organise there.