The author describes eight goals
of SEWA for rural development. The first is access to
employment, upon which depends the success of other listed
goals, namely increased income, better access to health
services, increased self-reliance and improved housing, water
and sanitation circumstances.
Embedding the text
with brief biographies, the author deals with a wide range of
demand-driven and need-based activities ranging from dairy
farming, handicrafts, micro-finance, health and nutrition to
forestry and water harvesting, around which women were
organised. Water harvesting was identified as the core activity
to integrate women and other activities, which resulted in
better-assured water supply, improved access to work, capital,
and marked social security.
The book focuses
on the remarkable success of poor self-employed women in
achieving self-reliance despite isolated, drought-prone and
resource-poor environments. This organising process has created
space for women, brought community spirit and shifted the
balance of power between men and women, as they became earners.
integrated approach to fighting poverty has generated
sustainable employment for women.
has proclivity towards sustainable rural development. It has
reached a stage where it has penetrated government’s
development policies and strategies.
(commonly known as the informal sector), based on
labour-intensive economy, is responsible for at least a third of
the national production. Up to 93 per cent of the Indian
population works in this sector, which is often under estimated
and misunderstood. The author describes SEWA’s recognition of
legitimacy of the informal sector and its appeal to the
mainstream economy to integrate people’s sector in its fold.
unconventional methodology, the book encapsulates brief life
histories of poor rural women.
the book does not critically assess SEWA’s work and strategy.
The author explores only excellence and standing of SEWA.
References from similar works have not been consulted to bring
out a logical account, nor has any attempt been made to compare
or correlate SEWA’s work with similar attempts made by groups
in other parts of India.