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A celebration of womanhood

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DISPLAY OF TALENT: An exhibition held as part of 2007 “Sewa Mahotsav” celebrations.
DISPLAY OF TALENT: An exhibition held as part of 2007 “Sewa Mahotsav” celebrations.

Madhur Tankha

Three-day festival, “Sewa Mahotsav”, begins in the Capital today

NEW DELHI: Women from diverse communities, regions and areas from across the country will come together on a common platform at a special three-day festival at Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan here beginning this Tuesday.

Organised by Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Bharat, the “Sewa Mahotsav” festival will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken. This time round, a large number of women from Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Kerala will attend the festival.

To be marked by colourful and lively performances, the festival will enable women to share their work experience in a congenial atmosphere. It re-affirms their identity as self-sufficient women workers and will go a long way in making them understand their strengths at a larger platform.

The second day will see a sports event that will provide an opportunity to the women to take part in various activities like breaking of earthen pot, jalebi race, three-legged race, sack race and musical chair.

Day Three will see a peaceful rally from the Ramlila Grounds to Parliament Street demanding a social security Bill for workers of the informal sector. A large number of members of SEWA Bharat from across the country are expected to part in the rally. After the long rally, there will be a dharna on Parliament Street.

Through this rally and dharna, SEWA Bharat will call upon the Government to ensure registration and identity cards for all unorganised workers, life and disability insurance, health insurance, maternity benefits, old-age pension and adequate financial provision from the Union Budget to the National Social Security Fund that will be set up for the purpose.

The last day will mark the closing ceremony of the festival that would include some cultural performances. Prizes would be handed over to the winners of various competitions. Colourful hand-made products will be showcased in an exhibition on all the three days of the festival. A wide assortment of products like incense, spices, handicrafts, silk saris, bamboo flower, jute product and candles will be on sale.

Working for empowerment of women engaged in the informal sector since 1982, SEWA Bharat has provided a platform to women workers to come together not only to raise their voice for their demands and rights but also to celebrate themselves as workers. It is part of the much bigger SEWA movement for empowerment of women.

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