SEWA Cooperative Federation, in association with the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) and SEWA Bharat jointly organised a webinar titled ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Lessons from Women’s Cooperatives’ in the past week moderated by our chairperson Ms. Mirai Chatterjee (Director, SEWA Social Security).
Through this webinar, we were able to share the experiences of our SEWA sisters and their collective enterprises across the country. Our sisters spoke of their challenges in mobilising raw materials, managing financial resources, accessing appropriate markets and adapting to digital platforms during the nationwide lockdown. Ms. Pushpa Bhatt (SEWA Ekta, Uttarakhand), Ms. Sunlit Ruphus (Bamboo and Reed Artisan Federation, Kerala), Ms. Shalini Tomar (Indore Credit Cooperative, Madhya Pradesh), Ms. Vecholou Kanuo (Chakhesang Women Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Nagaland) and Ms. Sadhna Parmar (SEWA Saundarya, Gujarat) were the sisters who spoke about their challenges during the webinar.
This panel session was followed by a discussion with Mr. N. Satyanarayana (Chief Executive, NCUI), Dr. K.T. Channeshappa (Executive Director, National Cooperative Development Corporation), and Ms. Lalita Kumaramangalam (Director, India Foundation and Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women). They discussed means to enable market support and linkages, investment in capacity building of women, bridging the digital divide, increasing access to social security and partnerships to promote women’s cooperatives.
The report ‘Women’s Cooperatives & COVID-19: Learnings and The Way Forward’ which talks about the effects of COVID-19 on women’s cooperatives, across trades, and outlines several recommendations on the way forward was released during the session and can be accessed here.