The mobile van is a unique concept of reaching out to the remotest area and the poorest of people like those in the remote salt pans.

  Overcoming Challenges
The ICT training imparted to the women members has thus been crucial in setting up this new initiative. The challenges faced in the operation of the SSKs had been diverse in nature. To start with, before setting up a SSK, a study was undertaken to determine the training needs and willingness of the local population. This exercise took up a considerable amount of time. One of the problems that SEWA faced while setting up the SSKs was that local bodies (government or village institutions) were not able to give a rent-free place for the SSK. Thus some SSKs had to be set up in rented places which increased the costs of operation.

Operation and maintenance of the SSKs had been a very challenging task as the local population was largely illiterate and it took lots of effort in managing, training and running the SSKs. Women in these districts had never seen a computer , sometimes not even a calculator and hence lacked the basic understanding of IT tools. It had been a challenge to train such people. Moreover the amount of training that these women needed before they made some use of the IT knowledge was immense and very time taking.

While operating SSK, major work had to be undertaken in trying to stabilize activities in these SSKs. Sometimes extreme steps had to be taken like closing a SSK itself when the operations did not stabilize. To state an example, the SSK at Dholka in Ahmedabad district was set up in a rented place as local bodies could not provide a place free of cost. Within months of commencement of activities SEWA realized that the demand for training was not as per the estimations. To add to the woes the landlord was also creating problems. After a lot of deliberation and discussions it was finally decided to close down the SSK. This also came as a good example to show that certain processes needed to be followed and jumping into initiating activities without community involvement would not work.

Another challenge had been about promoting SSKs in the cluster villages. In the case of Dhokawada SSK, people were not willing to come to the SSK. One of the major reasons was that other villagers also wanted to build the same SSK in their villages. In fact other than Dhokawada, none of the villages in surrounding areas had given land for establishing the SSK. It was only after the construction and start of activities at Dhokawada that everybody offered land. Also, there was lack of motivation for people from other villages who felt that the SSK was off the normal travel route. However, slowly SEWA's district activities and operations shifted to this SSK and thus people realized the importance of SSK at their doorstep and started visiting the SSK. Other activities were also started in this SSK which not only attracted women but also men and youngsters. Slowly and steadily this SSK gained in popularity.

Connectivity in remote areas had been a known challenge as there had been cases when SSKs ready with IT equipment, had to wait for connectivity. Thus even if facilities like video conferencing existed, for seemingly no identifiable reason SSK may not get a clear line and the women who had assembled at the SSK for training had to be given another optional training.

One more challenge had been in adoption of technology at grass-root level. There had been need of investment for introducing relevant technology to the grassroots. However with technology becoming obsolete at an increasingly faster rate, it had been difficult (expensive) to adopt the latest technology. Similarly, there had been need of investment on developing infrastructure for networking more than 500 remote villages with SEWA's district offices and Headquarters. Often this required tie-ups with IT companies or potential partners who would like to invest in tools and technologies being used by SEWA members.

A major challenge had been sustainability of operations at SSK. While operationlizing the SSK concept, SEWA had kept an eye on achieving sustainability of operations. It was achieved by establishing backward forward linkages with government functionaries that provided space, electricity and telephone for functioning of the SSK.