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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 Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS).

At A Glance

In 2006 Streevani set up a full fledged 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 of women registered with us : 5295
  • Total domestic workers registered under Maharashtra Domestic Workers Union : 3262
  • Self Help Groups : 80

Our Founders

Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD
Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD
Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD
Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD
Fr. Engelbert Zeitler SVD


Sl.No Name of the Director Term of Office
1Dr. Frances Maria Yassas1982 - 1987
2Sumitra Bhave1987 - 1992
3Dr. Usha Bambawale1992 - 1998
4Helen Saldanha1998 - 2001
5Mary George2001 - 2004
6Ida Lobo2004 - 2007
7Helen Saldanha2007 - 2012
8Julia George2012 - 2019
9Jaisa Antony2019 - 2022
10Helen Saldanha2022 -