Over the years, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) has found that communication plays a very crucial role in the lives and struggles of poor women workers. These women communicate in their own way and with various groups in society. Thus there is a great need for communication between groups of self-employed women and between them and the public, policy planners, and other government officials.
IASEW utilizes several different print and electronic mediums to satisfy this need. These include Anasooya, Akashganga, an e-newsletter, and electronic mediums such as Video SEWA and Rudi no Radio.
Anasooya was started in 1982 as a forum to present the experiences, ideas and work of informal sector women workers. It is a fortnightly newsletter for SEWA members published in Gujarati. Anasooya serves as a link between SEWA members and other self-employed workers across various geographical, social, and cultural boundaries. The reality of self-employed women workers are published in this newsletter, thus bringing women’s issues to the macro level.
For further details please visit www.anasooya.org
Since its inception in 1984, Video SEWA has been working to deliver technology into the hands of the common people and to use video as a tool for development communication. Video SEWA has produced countless tapes and more than a hundred programmes on organising, training and advocacy. These tapes reach villagers and slum dwellers in Gujarat as well as policy makers in Delhi and Washington. Gradually, video has become an integral part of SEWA’s activities. For women workers and the members of SEWA, Video SEWA is a source of information as well as inspiration. Video SEWA was registered as the cooperative Shri Gujarat Mahila Video SEWA Mahiti Communication Sahakari Mandali Ltd. in 2000.
For further details please visit www.videosewa.org
Akashganga, the SEWA members’ daughter's print magazine, was initiated in 1996. It is published monthly in the Gujarati language to ensure the holistic development of adolescent girls. The girls themselves are the writers, artists, and editors. They contribute their own artwork, stories, quizzes, puzzles, poems and articles covering a wide variety of subjects, including information on health, history, and science.
SEWA Radio's research has shown that the medium of radio is an untapped source for education and communication that reaches even the remotest of villages in India. Moreover, SEWA has observed that many of its home-based worker members avidly listen to the radio while they work. The combination of low cost and wide reach makes radio an ideal medium for communication in developing countries. Therefore, SEWA utilizes various radio programmes to widen its reach, give women a place where they can talk about themselves and their issues, to educate members on government schemes, health and hygiene, and so on, and to raise awareness of the SEWA organization.
In April 2005, SEWA began its first community radio programme, entitled Rudi no Radio (Rudi’s Radio). The programme is symbolically named after SEWA’s first member who worked to spread the association’s wings to rural areas. The first programme was a weekly 15-minute show that was produced and broadcast by the employees of SEWA for a rural audience. In each episode, the host, Rudiben, talks informally with members of her village about things that affect them as women and as labourers. In that spirit, the programme has extended to the Ahmedabad-Vadodara area on All India Radio-Ahmedabad (AIR-Ahm.). Based on listener responses, we estimate that 500,000 listeners tune in weekly for the show.
For further details please visit www.radiosewa.org