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These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

Life may not be easy for women living in the interiors of India, especially if the women is trying to live independently and run a household on thier own. But these four women have made it possible. Residing in different corners of the country, the stories of these women are inspiring as they took their destiny in to their own hands, in the hope that their life will be as vibrant as the colorful threads they use for stitching.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

26-year old Fareeda Begum's husband deserted her and her daughter allegedly for another woman, rendering her destitute. She was forced to migrate to Bengaluru from her village in Anantapur in Andhra Pardesh, in search of work.

After working at a garment factory for some time, she was forced to return to her village due to the sudden demise of her father. Now the responsibility on Fareeda doubled. Not only was she required to feed her daughter but now the responsibility of supporting her mother also fell on her shoulders.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

Given her prior experience of working at the garment factory, she joined the Usha Silai School Programme to learn stitching and after completing her course she opened her own Silai School to teach others how to stitch. As the number of students enrolling in her silai school went up, so did Fatima's earning.

This turn in fortune meant that Fatima could fulfill her responsibilities towards her daughter and mother. She has invested her earnings for educating her daughter. She has overcome the dark years of her life and is now leading a life that is self-sufficient and dignified.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

Meerut based Sultana's young life took a tragic turn when her husband died suddenly. She was 22 years old back then and mother of two children. Her in-laws disowned her and her children. Overnight Sultana was a widow and the sole bread earner for her children. There were days when she couldn't afford even one meal for her children. It was then that Sultana came across the Usha Silai School programme. She soon joined the training so that she could financially support her family.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

After Sultana opened her own Silai School, members of her community and even her family members opposed this move. But she managed to turn all the opposition in her favour, with her skillful work and her infectious enthusiasm. Today, on an average she is able to earn Rs. 5000 per month and has trained 33 students so far. Sultana's hard work and her attitude to never give up has seen her through tough times. Now with her savings she plans to marry off her elder daughter.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

The circumstances for someone like Sarojini Devi were never favourable. A widow from Bihar with two children to support, neither were there too many opportunities nor was she qualified enough to earn a living. After her husband's death, she tried her hand at stitching to make ends meet. But her poor sewing skills saw her make very little headway.

Around this time she got to know about the Usha Silai School programme and decided to enroll to improve her sewing and stitching skills.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

After she completed her training at the Silai school, Sarojini started her own school to train others. Apart from establishing her own school, she slowly started getting orders for tailoring work. With her little venture growing day by day, the number of students started to steadily increase.

Sarojini has now trained more than 100 students and earns more than Rs. 8000 per month from her School. With her increased earning she has purchased an additional sewing machine to cope with her increased workload.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

Gundamma, who hails from Koradampalli village in Karnataka, moved out of her in-laws house along with her daughter as she was subjected to unbearable torture on a daily basis. After she moved back to her parent's house, she decided to work and make a living as she didn't want to be dependent on her parents.

With the help of a local NGO, she came across the Usha Silai School Programme and underwent the 7-day training in stitching. Post her training, Gundamma opened her own Silai school to train other women of her village in sewing.

These Women Show How Past Cannot Stall Their Future

With her hard work, determination and passion for stitching, Gundamma has imparted her stitching skills to 70 students so far. A steady source of income has meant, ability to expand her operations. Gundamma has purchased three additional sewing machines. She has also invested money in her daughter's education, who now studies in a local residential school. Gundamma says, "All this has become possible because of Usha Silai School."

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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