About Ourselves

The Self Employed Women's Association, Lucknow, an autonomous association of chikan workers was registered in February 1984 under the Societies Registration Act. It came into existence following a study conducted by UNICEF and Literacy House, Lucknow in 1979 which revealed that women and children working in the Chikan Industry were more cruelly exploited than in any other craft of the unorganized sector in U.P. To break out of the stranglehold of middlemen, they needed a viable and sustainable production system with direct access to ready markets. SEWA, Lucknow thus incrementally grew in corporate strength in response to this need. . With the elimination of middlemen, higher, direct and regular wages directly benefited SEWA members, whose total earnings wages have dramatically increased over the years.

Our Objectives

  • To ensure that crafts women engaged in this embroidery get sufficient and regular work at fair wages without exploitation by middlemen, manufacturers and other entrepreneurs. 
  • To identify and develop promising new markets for Chikan products.
  • To organise Chikan workers by developing their confidence, leadership potential and sense of security
  • To train members in purchase, production, management, marketing and accounting
  • To upgrade the skills of artisans through training programmes which improve the quality and range of their work
  • To revive and revitalise the traditional craft and take it to its original level of refinement
  • To provide a strong platform from which artisans can bargain for higher wages from traders and middlemen
  • To ensure social benefits like educational, health and other Right’s based  facilities for member artisans and their children

Our Vision

To value and promote an egalitarian and gender just Society within a framework of Women's Rights and Sustainable Human Development.

Our Mission

To empower marginalized women by developing their capacities to make informed choices and enhance the overall quality of their lives.

Our Strategy

Skill up gradation for overcoming exploitation of middlemen through self-marketing. Developing leadership and enhancing the self-esteem of SEWA Lucknow members is a jointly identified basic strategy. Some key features of this are...

  • Excellent quality of Skill Training
  • Networking in urban Lucknow and outreaching rural areas through organisational spread as well as through other appropriate partnerships/alliances.
  • Support services such as provision of raw material, transport facilities and continuous marketing initiatives for consolidation as well as expansion.
  • Adoption of participatory methodologies for Joint Needs Assessment, Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Achievement
  • Assessment at all levels with the involvement of artisan members themselves.
  • Emphasis on life skills, problem solving, group strength and individual growth are constant underlying concerns.
  • Strengthening women through knowledge building to fight for their rights and Violence against Women.
  • Looking in to artisan’s family health and education for artisan as well as for the children in the community.