LMST is registered under the Society Registration Act 1860 in the year 1992. Since then it began its work in U.P. with organizing the Zardozi women workers of district Barabanki and Lucknow. It came into existence following a study conducted by SEWA Bharat in 1998 (Glittering Threads), which revealed that the women and children working in zardozi industry were exploited more than in any other craft in the unorganized sector. To break out of the stranglehold of middlemen, Zardozi women needed a viable and sustainable platform. To provide a platform for the unorganized women the concept of LMST was evolved to involve in development activities like research, employment generation, capacity building training, nonformal education, micro-finance, awareness on various issues and health education.
An overwhelming majority of Indian working population is employed in unorganized sector. Of the total working population of millions, about 90.02 million 92% are employed in this sector. Women are self employed, casual, contract, temporary, seasonal or migrant workers. They are victims of social and economic exploitation. They have no labour law for them and if they have, it is not being implemented. They have no social security programme i.e., social insurance, provident fund, maternity benefits etc. Since they are scattered they are not identified as workers. They don‟t have employer employee relationship. Existing labour laws do not cover them.
As a result of this most of these are not covered by trade Unions. About 97 % women are employed in this sector. They are always undercounts as they are unorganized. The Self Employed Women Association is a labour union of poor self-employed women workers of unorganized sector. It was formed in Gujarat in 1972. In view of the rapid progress made by Sewa in organizing these women in Gujarat, the demand for creation of similar organization was voiced in other states too. In response to this demand Mahila Sewa Trust started its operations under the guidance of Sewa, Ahmadabad in 1988 and was later on officially registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 and under the Indian Trusts Act of 1882. Since then, Lucknow Mahila SEWA Trust (LMST) has been working with unorganised women workers in various districts of Uttar Pradesh. LMST seeks to promote self-initiative enterprises and local selfgovernance. It endeavours to build a system that encourages solidarity and participation of the poor and the marginalized. LMST is a non-profit, non-governmental civil society organisation, which believes in participatory approaches and practices participatory methodologies for empowering the self-employed women. Over the years LMST has developed distinctive identity, which is closely related with the needs of the area where it operates.
LMST was founded by a group of young and dynamic citizens who had a deep social concern and commitment for social change process. It is being managed by a dedicated team of social activist and volunteers with the objective of meeting the socio-economic developmental needs of the deprived and poorer sections of the society.