"ANANTA, THE ETERNAL STITCH" A BRIEF NOTE ON THE EVENT To Be Jointly Organized By: SEWA, SEWA TRADE FACILITATION CENTRE AND ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE AHMEDABAD
SEWA and the SEWA Trade facilitation Centre are jointly hosting a event with the Alliance Française Ahmedabad (French cultural centre) on December 18th and 19th 2009. This event called “Ananta‟ will have a fashion show, an exhibition, Films, folk music, dance and rural cuisine made by the rural women themselves. The present note attempts to provide a brief on the organizations and the event. SEWA SEWA is a member-based organization of poor self-employed women workers from the informal sector of the economy. It has a membership of more than 1.1 million women workers in 11 states of India. Founded from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the maximum membership (6,09,946) is from this State only. These women work in the informal sector of the economy and do not have a fixed employer-employee relationship. SEWA‟s main goal is to organize the women worker‟s for full employment and self reliance. Full employment means employment whereby workers obtain work security, income security, food security and social security (at least health care, child care and shelter). By self reliance we mean that women should be self reliant, individually and collectively, both economically and in terms of decision making ability. SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (STFC) In response to the demand for creating sustainable livelihood strategies for the poorest of the poor women producers, The SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (STFC) was established in May 2003 as the commercial arm of SEWA by more than 15000 women artisans in the textiles and handicrafts sector. The vision of STFC was to ensure that craftswomen in the informal sector have socio-economic security and full employment, by building a grassroots‟ business enterprise of the artisans. STFC achieves this by sustained, profitable, and efficient coordination of the design, production, and marketing of their products and services in mainstream national and global markets. STFC is a unique company where artisans themselves are the suppliers and shareholders. It plays a facilitator role by providing a whole range of business development inputs ranging from market readiness, market linkages, market intelligence, product development, quality standardization, R & D, Information systems, access to capital, state
of the art technology, to its member-producers to help them become „Market Ready‟. 15,000 artisans who are the members of the company are also the shareholders of STFC. STFC has transformed the grassroots craft activity into a full fledge commercial enterprise. Erstwhile the artisan women though skilled in hand embroidery had to forcibly migrate in search of work, or undertake earth-digging work. The trade of their old valuable embroidered trousseau would typically occur during distressed time. This would occur with traders and middlemen since the artisans had access to a very limited market. Moreover they only had their traditional skills but still required products which they could sell in the market. Lack of market information hindered artisans from building a strong relationship with the buyers. With the inception of STFC, integrated supply chain mechanism was created and the production became organized. Currently STFC has 3500 artisan shareholders in 80 villages across 3 Districts in Gujarat The product range produced by shareholders of STFC and marketed by STFC includes Apparels, Home furnishings Accessories, Stationary & Gifts STFC has also launched its own brand “Hansiba” in the market. STFC has also set-up Vastralaya where SEWA members from different fields – embroidery, stitching, etc. come together and make ready to wear garments. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF STFC Share Capital of Company: Income of the Company: Total asset of the Company: Rs. 1,41,75,800 Rs. 3,01,75,956 Rs. 3,79,57,992
Alliance Française Ahmedabad The Alliance Française is an educational organization with a nonprofit cultural goal. For over a century, it has been offering opportunities for people all around the world to discover French culture. Since a knowledge of the language is instrumental in understanding French culture, the Alliance Française's primary focus is to teach French. But if it is a school for learning French, it also functions as a cultural center.
The Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad is registred under the Societies Registration Act since 1991 and under the Public Charitable Trust Act since 1994. It is headed by a committee and managed by a director appointed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad organises, with the support of the Délégation Française de l'Alliance Française de Paris en Inde, the Embassy of France in New Delhi and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prestigious cultural events which attract the best in the world of music, dance, theatre, science, etc.
Ananta In the beginning of 2009, with the support of Alliance Française Ahmedabad two designers of international repute - Graham Hollick - a British textile and fashion designer and Corine Forget, French sculptor and designer worked with the women artisans through the year. Their collaborative collection "Ananta, The eternal stitch" - will be presented at a grand finale in Ahmedabad on 18th and 19th December 2009. The main objective of organizing this event is to highlight the skill and talent of the rural poor artisans at the national and international level. This will help the women convert their traditional skills into means of livelihood. This will help promote secure livelihood for the poor women and will also provide them market access through their own organization STFC. As a result of secure livelihood the women will have increased income which will also lead to better education of their children and will check migration.