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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 48 November 19, 2022

Audio: Self-Employed Women’s Association - Ela Bhatt’s Legacy

Saturday 19 November 2022


In Gandhi’s birthplace, in 1972, a labor lawyer named Ela Bhatt gave birth to a union comprised of home-based workers, market vendors, cart-pullers and head-load carriers, agricultural and construction laborers, and other unrecognized forms of low-paid work done by women. Ela Bhatt died November 2, 2022, but her legacy lives on. The horizontally-organized Self-Employed Women’s Association is reported to have more than 2 million members today, helping each other negotiate for wages and benefits, taking cases to court, offering training, making loans,and more.

Smita Ramanathan and Manju Venkat interviewed 14 women for this 2-part series.

Interviewees in Part 1: Manali Shah, Vice President of SEWA; Pratibha
Pandya, Administrative Officer; Kapila ben*, President; Jyoti Macwan,
general secretary; Rajiben, Trade representative for the ragpickers; Anisa
Sheikh, Representative for the Incense stick rollers; Jayashree Vyas,
Managing Director of SEWA’s Cooperative Bank

SEWA - Ela Bhatt’s Legacy (WINGS #31-22)
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