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Social Security and Health

The risk of illness for marginalized families is irreversible health damage, inescapable debt, and even early death. Poor working women’s health issues become neglected because of high costs, administrative barriers, overwhelming workloads, and domestic responsibilities.

SEWA Delhi runs an urban model of SEWA Bharat’s health and social security program to ensure the well-being of its members. The main social security and health activities aim to provide access to information and health education, strengthen public service linkages, and reduce health expenditure through referrals. Based on the Government of Delhi’s Gender Resource Centers, SEWA Shakti Kendras are the key outlet for delivering the Delhi social security and health program.

Achievements in 2015 and 2016

-Occupational Health: 6 sessions held, with 249 people seen by an orthopedic doctor and gynecologist

-Health camps: 14 camps held with attendance by 1564 SEWA Delhi members. Topics covered range from nutrition, hygiene, mental health to communicable disease prevention.

-Community influence: 98 area meetings held with 1892 women members, with various sessions focused on nutrition, health, ration card issues, role of the angawandi

-Community events: 2 community events held in Rajiv Nagar and Ragubir Nagar celebrating World Health Day in April 2016, attended by 550 community members.

-Reached a total of 8116 people across Delhi

Main Social Security and Health Activities:

SEWA Shakti Kendra

In 2007, SEWA Delhi was appointed as the manager of a Delhi government initiative called the ‘Gender Resource Center’ in Sundernagari, a resettlement colony in northeast Delhi. The GRC project aims to bring social, economy and legal empowerment to women particularly those belonging to the underprivileged section of society. 

Adapting the GRC model, SEWA now runs its own empowerment centers called SEWA Shakti Kendra (Empowerment Centers) across 7 areas of Delhi, and across all SEWA Bharat supported districts.

SEWA Shakti Kendras are convergence and coordination centers for SEWA in order to empower communities by strengthening members’ capacities to access entitlements – through mobilization, building awareness, initial support and hand-holding and nurturing grassroots leadership. At SSKs, community members can get information on SEWA initiatives, government departments and schemes, and application support.


Jagriti sessions: educating for preventive care

SEWA believes that tragic outcomes can be avoided with preventive health awareness. Jagriti (awareness) sessions empower women with major topics listed below. Jagriti sessions work with both men and women of all ages.

  • Maternal and infant healthcare
  • Sexual health and reproductive rights
  • Occupational health hazards
  • Relevant social security entitlements

Referrals: increasing access to healthcare

To promote access to healthcare, overcome administrative barriers and help women reduce expenditure, SEWA health saathis directly refer women to government and private healthcare centers. Health saathis pass on the skills and experience to women members to lead others to medical centers to ensure sustainability.

Social security linkages

The government of India offers a vast number of schemes to promote social security for the marginalized, but the benefits rarely reach those in need. At SEWA Shakti Kendras, local health workers help poor women learn about government schemes, fill out and process forms, and access their social security entitlements.

Kishori Sessions

Similar to the Jagriti Sessions, the Kishori sessions are community-based health outreach and awareness groups, but they work exclusively with young women ages 11-21. The Kishori sessions place emphasis on the importance of small group discussions and one-on-one counseling sessions. In the sessions, groups of about ten young women come together to discuss health issues ranging from wash, hygiene, nutrition, mental health and menstrual health.


13 Year Annual Report Annual Report