SEWA Bharat’s History in Nagaland

SEWA has been working in Nagaland through the North East Network (NEN), a local women’s rights organization in the region that addresses the issues of gender-based discrimination and violence against women.

NEN had started the mobilization and collectivization of unorganized women workers in 2012. This ultimately led to the initiation of SEWA in 2013 and that got affiliated with the movement of informal women workers. In Nagaland, above 4000 women workers from 5 districts have taken membership with SEWA since then. With the aim to secure full employment and self-reliance for all SEWA members, SEWA Nagaland has been undertaking various activities such as skills development training, leadership building training, facilitating marketing linkages, and access to social security schemes. SEWA Bharat in Nagaland also forged networking, and collaboration with the various government departments, i.e., Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) under Urban Development, Labour and Employment Directorate, etc.

During the pandemic-induced lockdown, our grassroots women leaders supported the communities by raising health awareness, distributing ration kits to the most marginalized members, facilitating rations for non-ration cardholders, connecting farmers and vendors with agricultural produce, finding employment for wage workers, and securing vending spaces for members in Dimapur, Shamator and Kohima.

With the support of SEWA Bharat Delhi and North East Network (NEN), 3 SEWA Shakti Kendras (SSKs) were set up in January 2021 in Kohima, Pfutsero, and Dimapur to provide information and services related to livelihoods and social security for SEWA members.

Major Trade Groups

Home-based Workers

Street Vendors

Agricultural Workers

Grassroots Women Leaders
SEWA Members
Women Linked With Social Security Schemes
Health Referrals

Our Approach

Aagewan Vikas

Capacity building of grassroots women leaders to enhance their organizational capacities and lead the change within communities


Enabling women entrepreneurs and women-run collective social enterprises to become resilient beyond COVID-19

Organizing trade groups

During the pandemic-induced lockdown, the street vendors were unable to earn a living and as a consequence faced huge challenges in purchasing essential commodities or paying the rent.

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They were not granted a vendor’s permit to sell their goods, were even chased away by the authorities on certain occasions when they reached the market. The convenor of SEWA Nagaland wrote an application to the Administrator of the Municipal Corporation, the Deputy Commissioner, and members of a local Youth Organisation to get the matter resolved.
Following this, more than 100 street vendors received official permits to sell their products. After the permits were distributed and the market arenas were assigned, other non-registered vendors came forward requesting the same. SEWA Nagaland also worked with the KMC in the local bazaars to ensure that all vendors were following the COVID guidelines such as maintaining social distancing, and not manipulating the price of products.

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Major Advocacy initiatives

The Street Vendors Act was finally implemented in Nagaland in February 2019, following five years of local advocacy work with the government of Nagaland.

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Around 14 SEWA members from 3 districts became part of the Town Vending Committee (TVC). They helped vendors get access to street vendors’ ID cards, credit linkages on the street vendors’ loans, attend the meetings and represent them during the TVC meetings.

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Addressing Community Issues

The sub-centre at Tsupfume village remained non-functional for the longest period of time due to the lack of staff, thus making it difficult for the villagers to meet their healthcare needs.

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The local aagewans brought this issue to the attention of the Village Council, who appointed two working staff at the sub-centre and ensured that the latter became operational.

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Capacity Building

SEWA Nagaland works on training grassroots women leaders who represent and lead their communities, thus acting as the last mile responder to address the issues faced by the informal women workers.

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In order to promote diverse forms of livelihood among women, training sessions are held on mushroom farming, basket weaving, dish-washing detergent making, food processing at home, and pickle making for the members through its various networks and partners.

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