Sewa Delhi Trust (SDT)

Project Theme

Urban Poverty

Target Group


Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2015

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It has been observed that women in the informal sector are economically active in contributing to the national economy but fall back when it comes to accessibility of finance, regularity of income, formation of assets and livelihood tools. Despite of their hard work, they remain poor, vulnerable, asset less, indebted and trapped in the continuous process of de-capitalization. According to the “Ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation” which drafted the Bill, shows that number of Street vendors in Delhi are 200,000. According to a conservative estimate their sales turnover in Delhi would be about Rs 1590 crores. . Weighed down by a life of hard work and meager income, many street vendors are migrants displaced by the destitution of their native area. Fleeing from the poverty of their villages, they make their homes in the shanties of cities and earn a living by selling their wares on pavements. Frequent targets of harassment and extortion by police and municipal officials, often evicted without prior notice from the place where they have been hawking for years, they are occasionally seen as eyesores by ambitious town planners, particularly so when cities wish to beautify themselves into world-class cities. But street vendors in Delhi have to deal with hostile surroundings and a very competitive market. Although the central government has adopted the National Policy on Street Vendors in January 2004, so far the implementation has been a major problem. Similar plight is of construction workers, whose numbers have recently multiplied in the capital city of Delhi because of the rush to complete a large number of new projects (at the various Games sites, for the expanding Delhi Metro, extensions to the airport, new hotels and malls and so on) before the Commonwealth Games to be held in October 2010. The case of the domestic workers is evident to the fact that despite the guaranteed constitutional rights their struggle for equality and survival continues. It is disheartening to note that domestic workers as a part of unorganized work force remain the most exploited ones even after five decades of independence. These women who are occupied in domestic work sector belong to the lowest stratum of society and are often considered as cheap labour. In the recent past the trend shows that all big cities of country have become the centers to recruit poor women as domestic workers, Delhi being no exception

Impact by partner
  • Strengthening of SEWA union - SEWA Delhi successfully reached out to new members unionised 41000 informal sector workers in the last year.
  • Enhanced capacity of grass root leaders to articulate their issues – Grass root leaders participated in “Aagyewan Divas” to celebrate themselves.
  • Women workers aware about their rights and entitlements & enhanced knowledge and confidence on effective use of laws -19,528 women accessed information through the information desks in the last one year.
  • Women have increased recognition of their rights and entitlements -8463 forms for various schemes were submitted out of which over. 6000 members accessed entitlements through the desk.
  • Increased employability of domestic workers – 2000 domestic workers were mobilised and 281 ID cards were issued. Next year focus will be to push for accessing a sizeable number of ID cards.
  • Database of women workers developed – The database is being developed and will be leading to a significant policy bargaining process for the workers.
  • Proper documentation of experiences – Through Anusuya SEWA Delhi will continue to take the journey forward and share experience with all stakeholders.