Kushalta Ke Kadam
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About the Initiative

About the Initiative

Kushalta Ke Kadam in Season 4 has returned with new goals and vision. The new season will witness the establishment of the new cluster in Kashmir, apart from the existing four clusters setup last year. The women from volatile Kashmir will work with well-known fashion designer Rohit Bal and get an unique opportunity to learn from him and make clothes for him. The work done by the Silai School women will be presented at Lakme Fashion week 2019.

 

The new season is an extension of last year when the aim was to introduce the USHA Silai School women to the larger business dynamics of the fashion industry in India. For this purpose, USHA in partnership with IMG Reliance offered select few women from the USHA Silai School programme an opportunity of a lifetime. The selected women worked closely with four major designers of the fashion world - Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav, Sayantan Sarkar, Soham Dave and Sreejith Jeevan to design and produce a sustainable fashion line. The project started back in July 2017 with women from the USHA Silai School programme being given a chance to showcase their garments to a panel of four designers. Going through an assessment phase, 32 women were selected and segregated in four groups of eight. Each group had women from one of the four clusters – Gujarat, West Bengal, Puducherry and Rajasthan. Each group was assigned one of the designers to help the women design a collaborative fashion line that is tied to the region’s own fashion culture. The result was the establishment of Silai Label that was launched at the Lakme Fashion Week 2018 and the clothes sold through Delhi’s multi-brand apparel store “Ogaan”.

 

This year the focus is on taking the women’s journey beyond being upskilled and independent. It focusses on the one year journey of Silai Label launched last year and how it has benefitted the women who have contributed to the creation of the clothes for the Silai Label.

 

Season 4 will also take the Usha Silai Schools initiative beyond mainland and venture into the islands of Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Sunderbans. In these regions of India, fishing is the main source of income and the people are highly dependent on vagaries of nature. But Usha Silai Schools have become a stable and steady source of income for women in this region, reducing their dependence on traditional sources of income.

 

In this new season apart from learning to sew, the focus is also to train the women in technical maintenance and repair of the sewing machines. This additional skill acquired by the women can also add to their earnings.

 

Kushalta Ke Kadam, an initiative by NDTV and USHA, aims at empowering women from rural India and encourages them to become entrepreneurs by taking up sewing and training others in their respective communities. Since 2011 Usha Silai Campaign has trained more than 3.95 lakh rural women within five years, with 17,000 Silai schools, spanning over 9,272 Indian villages in India.

 

Usha Silai School is a community based initiative with the aim of empowering village women to become entrepreneurs and teach sewing in their respective communities. More than one percent from the sale of every Usha Sewing Machine is invested into this programme, thereby enabling all Usha customers to share their love with rural women. More than 10,000 women are being trained every day.
 

The women earn Rs. 3,000 per month on average, with salaries going up to Rs 18,000 per month. This earning works as a catalyst towards building their self-confidence, reducing gender inequities, and raising their stature within their families and in society at large.


The initiative ties in with the Government’s vision that has placed special emphasis on prioritising skill training and creation of independent livelihoods in the 12th Five-Year-Plan.
We bring you these stories of transformation and empowerment from the length and breadth of India.

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Adopt a Silai School

Do you want to be a part of the huge change that Usha Silai School is bringing about in the lives of millions of rural women? With just a simple click of a button, you can now contribute towards the opening of an Usha Silai School or support various other aspects of the school.

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In Pics

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching
Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Rebari girls grow up learning traditional embroidery, which along with their new found sewing skills developed at Usha Silai Schools, is helping them earn a living.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School has empowered many rural women to support their family and send their children to school.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The Usha Silai School, established in a small nondescript village that goes by the name of Kottai, is helping empower people from varied communities.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The all-inclusive Usha Silai School Programme covers the entire nation from hamlets tucked between hills to villages cast by the sea.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Vegetables farmers from the Mizoram hills earn very little given the topography of the area. Usha Silai Schools have played an important part in this region by skilling women to financially contribute towards their households.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School learner Lucy has trained seven other women in her community, helping them to become financially independent.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Women like Kaviben from the nomadic Rebari community are finally laying down their roots as they begin to gain financial independence and thereby stability through Usha Silai School.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, located in the Gujarat's Bhuj village, is enabling rural women to earn as much as Rs. 2,500-4,000 each month.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, in association with a Gujarat based NGO called Kala Raksha, is trying to bring about a Silai revolution in Bhuj.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Besides training other women from their community, many Usha Silai School learners have become entrepreneurs in their own right.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

With sewing becoming easily accessible and lucrative, the silai schools are also helping revive traditional motifs and designs.

Fashion Designers This Season

More
  • Rohit Bal

    Rohit Bal

  • Sayantan Sarkar

    Sayantan Sarkar

  • Shaila Khubchandani

    Shaila Khubchandani

  • Sreejith Jeevan

    Sreejith Jeevan

  • Swati Vijaivargie

    Swati Vijaivargie

Fashion Designers This Season

More
  • Rohit Bal

    Rohit Bal

  • Sayantan Sarkar

    Sayantan Sarkar

  • Shaila Khubchandani

    Shaila Khubchandani

  • Sreejith Jeevan

    Sreejith Jeevan

  • Swati Vijaivargie

    Swati Vijaivargie