The Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Lucknow is an outcome from an UNICEF study in 1979 that reveled, that 40000 traditional chikankari (hand embroider) Artisans were being exploited by middleman resulting in:
a) Loss of interest by the artisans for working with this traditional craft
b) The availability of the crafted products were slowly becoming extint
c) The artisans were migrating to other cities in want of daily labors jobs
d) The artisan families lived in hazards conditions, children were dragged in to child labor and had no access to education.
SEWA Lucknow came into existence in 1984 for proving:
1. The artisans their own legal platform within which they would collectively produce and market their products directly to buyers by doing away with the middleman.
2. Develop their skills through regular training and come up with a varied range of textile product mix.
3. Address their social needs - Women's rights and entitlements
4. Provide education for their children
5. Be able to get access to basic minimum requirements of life
Their efforts of last 33 years has brought about many remarkable changes in the chiankari craft sector, one of which is - Revival of chikankari, as well as, their own life style.
Through direct marketing of its products by self-organizing its exhibitions over last 3 decades in all major cities as well as smaller cities in India, it has has established its Brand Image as well have created a huge brand loyal customer base. Today these customers look forward for the organisation's exhibitions.
SEWA Lucknow has been purchasing its basic raw materials on credit from the market till now. But, with the growing demand of its products made from different fabrics like- Georgette, Silk, Kota etc. which is not available on credit in the market, the organisation is loosing very good opportunity of catering to the customers with their choice of products.
Assistance of Rs.50,00,000/- that is @ Rs.1429/- per artisan will enable 3500 artisans access self employment and for them to come up with the products that the customers are looking for.