The Mar Thoma Sevika Sangham, the women’s organization in Marthoma Church was established because the women in Marthoma church felt the need and responsibility to take part in the spread of the gospel. Sevika Sangham was inaugurated during the Maramon Convention in the year 1919, under the leadership of Abraham Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan, who gave the women's organization continued support and inspiration.
All women in a parish above the age of 18 years are members of the Sevika Sangham of that parish. The Vicars of the parishes give support to the association as Presidents of the branches, and the members of the Committee including a Secretary and Treasurer are elected from among the members. Sevika Sangham has a key role in serving the church and the community and can very well claim to be one of the most active organizations in the Church.
The organization owes much to the self sacrificing work of Mrs. Kandamma Varghese, a member of Bethel Marthoma church, Thumpamon, who worked untiringly as the Organizing Secretary for over 20 years traveling far and wide, organizing branches in the parishes, doing evangelistic work among Christians and non-Christians, and building up the work in parishes.
The need for training women workers was realized early. Vanitha Mandiram in Thiruvalla was established as the head quarters for Sevika Snagham in 1925 with this aim. Mrs. Kellaway, an Australian lady served 20 years to train the workers. There is a library attached to Vanitha Mandiram which is dedicated to Mrs. Kellaway.
Along with evangelism, the work of bringing relief to the needy was also taken up. Naturally concern for orphans became one of the top priorities. Salem Bhavan, Balika Bhavan, Boys Home in Punaloor are some of the institutions established by the Sevika Sangham for taking care of orphans.
Hostels for working women became a great need and the Sevika Sanghom responded by starting women’s hostels in Kottarakkara, Thiruvalla and Erimayur. Working women and students of neighbouring colleges stay in these hostels.
The Sevika Sanghom has started a registered society called Sthreejana Vikasana Samithi(S.V.S) to help women to become self supporting. The Lahama bakery, curry powder unit, Printing press, Snack centre and the tailoring School, functioning under the S.V.S are managed by women to provide job opportunities for women.
Vanitha Bodhini is the official monthly magazine of Sevika Sangham. 2008-2009 was celebrated as the Navathy Year (Ninetieth) of Sevika Sanghom.