For 24 years, Namrata Bali has organised urban and rural women into handicraft cooperatives in Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) where she now serves as its Director and also is the Treasurer. She was the Secretary of SEWA from 2001 to 2003 and General Secretary of SEWA from 2003 to 2005. She is a member of SEWA’s Executive Committee, Chair & editor of SEWA’s fortnightly magazine Anasooya, Editor of Aakashganga (girl’s magazine and the Chair of Video SEWA Cooperative). She is the Director of the SEWA Academy since 19 years, the main training centre of SEWA in training, research and communications. She continues to give training on documentary work & other issues related to the informal economy and now also the Managing Trustee of Indian Academy for Self Employed Women. Bali specializes in textile design and studies in labour and cooperatives and has presented papers nationally and internationally on several issues involving working class women. She also sits as a board member of International Federation of Workers’ Education Associations (IFWEA).
I can server as a representative on behalf of SEWA – The Self Employed Women Association Trade union of women in the informal economy since 1972 with a membership of almost 2 million women. I also represent as a managing trustee and director of IASEW (Indian Academy for Self Employed Women) a training centre initiated by SEWA since 1991, which is autonomous and a registered Body at the National (India) level. We feel our experience of working with the women in the informal centre – involved in education, research and communication would be an opportunity to share as well as learn from other institutes in IFWEA. It would be a platform to mainstream the issues to informal economy education and what works and what does not work. At the same time it would help to take back the knowledge available back to our sisters and brothers in our region.