Waste Pickers and Domestic Workers Celebrate International Women’s Day and 10th Anniversary of "Sarvoday Sramik Mahila Cooperative Society" at Janvikas in Indore

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By: Roy Thomas, SVD
International Women’s Day and 10th anniversary of women’s “Sarvoday Sramik Mahila Cooperative Society” were celebrated by women from the slums of Indore city with pomp and show at Janvikas, Palda, Indore on 8th March 2015. Over 400 women belonging to unorganized sector from different slums gathered at Janvikas for the celebration.

The occasion was graced with the presence of Ms. Usha Thakur-Vidhayak (MLA – Member of Legislative Assembly, ward no.3, Indore), Ms. Seema Kailash Virag-ward member (ward no. 64, Indore municipal corporation) and Ms. Pushpa Pargi – ward member (ward no. 75, Indore municipal corporation).
“Janvikas Society” is an NGO started in the year 2001 by Divine Word Society ( SVD) as an organ for social action in Indore. Janvikas pays special attention to the welfare of the unorganized labourers namely waste picking women and children, domestic workers and unemployed youth.

With the concern for women-empowerment, Janvikas started to organize waste picking women. This led to the formation of a cooperative society of unorganized women laborers called “Sarvodya Sramik Mahila Cooperative Society Ltd” in 2004 which has today over 2100 women waste pickers and domestic workers as members. The cooperative Society has designed welfare schemes for the benefits of its members, like emergency loan at low rate of interest, Group insurance, Social security schemes, Small saving schemes with attractive interest and guidance for better Entrepreneurship etc.

Women leaders were honoured during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the women’s cooperative society. Certificates were given away to those women who completed three months’ training in Beautician’s course and Tailoring and Embroidery. Mr. Krishnarjun, the manager of the cooperative briefed about the growth and benefits of the cooperative society from its inception till date. Women members of the cooperative society and children from the non-formal education centres danced to the tune of traditional and patriotic songs.

Fr. Roy (Director), Fr. Jomon (Vice President), Fr. Nicholas (Member) of Janvikas Society and Fr. George, the founder and former Director of Janvikas and Cooperative Society appreciated women for their courage, determination, hard work and wished them all the best.

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