Sewa Delhi Trust (SDT)

Project Theme

Urban Poverty

Target Group


Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 01 Mar 2016

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A staggering 96% percent of women workers in India earn their livelihood by being self-employed in the informal sector. As defined by ILO, the informal sector is broadly characterised as consisting of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and incomes to the persons concerned.   While the informal sector is instrumental in generating employment and entrepreneurship, their work is majorly unorganized, isolated and often pays poor dividends leading them to a life of extreme poverty. Around 30 million work at home, many trying to make a living from sewing and hand embroidery for domestic and international markets.

These women embroidery workers battle against inequality, domestic violence, lack of knowledge and awareness, poor health conditions and unfair wages due to corruption in the supply chain. The locales are dominant with poor infrastructure and dominant by bureaucratic issues which hinder development process and accentuate issues below:

1. Lack of sufficient food, access to basic services, credit and education for their children. 

2. Exploitation and very low or late pay which gives them no benefits or social protection

3. Lack of regular work and lack of access to domestic and international markets

4. Lack of training, proper equipment and materials to improve their skills and raise their income

5. Health problems from poor working conditions

6. Isolation: they are usually unorganized and unrepresented

7. Lack of political voice and power within their communities


About the Project:

The project reaches out to the urban poor women artisans from selected slum settlements in Delhi. These areas suffer from high levels of poverty, poor housing, inadequate sanitation, lack of affordable health facilities and severe unemployment. School dropout rates are very high. The proposed model addresses the complex problems that women home-workers face in North India whilst also tackling the social and family barriers that women experience in trying to improve their skills, and become economically independent – such as household and childcare responsibilities, restrictions placed on their mobility from male family members, and a lack of training and education. The rationale is to enable women break out of structural barriers to compete in the market. Ruaab has already established an infrastructure to mobilize women, voice their collective concerns, and develop sustainable assets such as financial, skills and awareness. The experience testifies that there are relatively few opportunities for work for the female population.  Low-levels of economic activity coupled with poor health, low education, and limited access to technology, vocational trainings, and credit facilities make the economic situation of these women all the more vulnerable.  Social and gender biases against women further contribute to this problem.  This is only more pronounced in the intensely competitive cities like Delhi, in which foreign labour market, factory closings and strict regulations exacerbate these issues.


Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

Through the project we seek to achieve-

•Enhanced livelihood opportunities of women artisans

•Enhanced capacity of Women owned Producer Company 

•Improved skills of 350 women workers

•Robust quality monitoring systems through software 

•1080 women with enhanced knowledge on their rights and entitlements

•4000 women and their families are able to access for information through Empowerment Centre (Shakti Kendra) 


Outcomes: What we have so far achieved (Achievements):

Project has just been initiated & the section will be updated soon