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Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

Determined to uplift their economic condition and make a better future for themselves, the survivors of rape and trafficking in a district of Madhya Pradesh are fighting the stigma with the help of USHA Silai School. The Silai School initiative is not only helping them develop skills but is also encouraging them to becoming a symbol of hope and courage for others.

Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

With steady steps and a determination to walk towards a better future, Maya (name changed), a rape survivor and a victim of trafficking, who was abandoned by her husband and her parents after the crime, has defeated all odds and has become a trainer at USHA Silai School that runs in a remote village in Madhya Pradesh. She told NDTV that because of the stigma of rape, she was struggling to live with dignity and even today, after seven years, her husband's family do not allow her to meet with her children. While Maya is still battling to break the stigma, she has become an inspiration for learners at USHA Silai Schools.

Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and a lockdown was imposed across the nation by the government in order to break the chain of the transmission, Maya's work was affected but she did not lose hope. Instead, she then started taking online classes and taught her students about the right technique of making masks after receiving a special one-month long training from USHA. This not only helped her continue earning a livelihood but also helped her learners face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic without much problem.

Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

Asha (name changed) is another rape survivor who has stitched a better future for herself through skill development at USHA Silai School. While Asha and her family had to face stigma from their community in the village, the attitudes began to change and the acceptance started to trickle in as she began earning a livelihood through stitching and became financially independent.

Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

According to Ashif Shaikh, Founder and Director, Jan Sahas Sansthan, a non-governmental organisation based in Madhya Pradesh that works towards promoting development and protection of socially excluded communities, the USHA Silai School model is not just helping in the economic rehabilitation of rape survivors but in their social rehabilitation as well.

Life After Silai School: This Is How The Rape Survivors Are Becoming Empowered And An Inspiration For Others

Mr. Shaikh said that to challenge the stigma, it is important that the survivor is rehabilitated back into that same society and can work there itself. This will educate people that none of what happened to her was the woman's fault, he said.

Adopt a Silai School

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.

About the Initiative

About the Initiative

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 9272 Indian villages in India.

 

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.

 

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