The History of Streevani

The origins of Streevani are bound up with the fierce conviction of two great visionaries, the late Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD and late Dr. Frances Maria Yasas (an American national who was working with the United Nations at Bangkok till her retirement in the early 1980s), that the empowerment of women is one of the most urgent tasks of our times.

Streevani came into existence in 1982 as a result of two consultative groups of women coming together to discuss what the unmet needs of women in India were. As an Organization Streevani came into being at Ishvani Kendra, Pune as a research wing to explore feminist visions through participative research on how women view themselves, their multiple roles in the family, workplace, community and religion.

Streevani's founder director, Dr.Frances Maria Yasas, an eminent social worker and educationalist was honoured with the B.D.Karve award in the year 1993 by the Karve Institute of Social Science for her dedicated social work and out standing contributions towards empowerment of women.

Since 1982, many projects have been successfully undertaken and completed, thus providing a platform for women to empower themselves. From the year 2000 Streevani is managed and run by the Holy Spirit missionary Sisters. The office is situated at 1 & 2 Lotus Buildings, Neco Gardens, Viman Nagar Pune 411014. Since 2000 Streevani took up women empowerment programmes at the grassroots in the villages of Haveli Taluka, Pune. During the past decade Streevani worked in 10 Gram Panchayats of Haveli Taluka and focussed on enhanced participation of women in the decision making processes in the Villages. The activities and programmes carried out are Self - Help groups, Village level Federation, Adolacent groups, support groups and task force to address the issues of gender violence.

During the past years over 300 women have taken up various income generation activities by obtaining loans from the banks, federations and self help groups through the help of Streevani.

At a glance
Self Help Groups Village level Federation Adolescent Groups Support Groups
154 7 8 3

In 2006 Streevani set up a full pledged Legal Cell for Women and continues it's legal intervention for women in the court of law. Thereafter Streevani initiated work with Women domestic Workers and presently works for the formation of Domestic workers movement in Pune, Maharashtra.

Currently we work in 62 areas of Pune City for the empowerment of domestic workers.

  • Total number registered with us: 5295
  • Total domestic workers registered under Maharashtra Domestic Workers Union: 3262
  • Self Help Groups: 80
Our Founders
Dr. Zeitler

Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD

Dr. Yassas

Dr. Frances Maria Yasas


Sl No Hon. Director
1 Dr. Frances Maria Yassas
2 Sumitra Bhave
3 Dr. Usha Bambawale
4 Helen Saldanha
5 Mary George
6 Ida Lobo
7 Helen Saldanha
8 Julia George