About Us

The Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) is a registered trade union of 12.56 lakh women workers of the informal economy. Founded in 1972 by Elaben Bhatt, a lawyer and union organizer, today SEWA is a national union with members from nine states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, West Bengal and Uttarakhand. It is an organization of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organised sector. They are the unprotected labour force of our country, constituting 93% of the labour force. Of the female labour force in India, more than 94% are in this unorganised sector, currently termed ' the informal economy'. Their work is not counted and hence remains invisible. In fact, women workers themselves remain uncounted and invisible.

Starting Insurance :-

SEWA's Insurance Program started in the early 1990's in response to our members' continuing quest for social protection and self-reliance. Initially, life insurance was offered to SEWA members through the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, a public sector insurance company. However, it was clear that SEWA members required a more comprehensive and integrated insurance package as a buffer against the multiple risks and crises they face in their everyday lives.

Starting the integrated social security scheme :-

In 1992, SEWA's Integrated Social Security Scheme was initiated with coverage for life, asset loss, widowhood, personal accident, sickness and maternity benefits. In 2002,medical insurance for husbands of members was added to the scheme, and in 2003, the scheme extended health insurance cover to children of members.

National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd -Ahmedabad :-

In September 2009, the Government of India's Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, registered VimoSEWA as the National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd, Ahmedabad - a Multi State Cooperative Society with areas of operation extended to the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar.

As of January 2013, 1,19,477 individuals (62060 women, 36258 husbands and 21159 children) are insured under National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd., in both urban and rural areas. All insured members contribute premium to the scheme. Between 1992 and 2008, 65953 claimants have received benefits during the crises in their lives with a total pay out of Rs. 12,62,27,627 or Rs 126 million.

Insurance membership 2001-2013 :-

Year Total Insured
2013 92345
2012 101061
2011 99117
2010 119477
2009 107398
2008 195449
2007 214181
2006 178202
2005 129279
2004 106479
2003 112112
2002 92928
2001 90259