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USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

In 2012, USHA launched first Silai School in West Bengal, India's fourth-most populous state and by 2017 the program's success caught the attention of the West Bengal Scheduled Caste And Tribe Development Finance Corporation, which led to the life-changing initiative for thousands of women.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

Today, around 20 per cent people of West Bengal live below the poverty line, with the majority located in rural regions. Only one out of 5 women in West Bengal completes her secondary education, which is lower than most states of the country. Yet, in the rural regions of this matriarchal state, women self-employment is 22 per cent ahead of men.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

To empower women and make them independent, USHA established 700 Silai Schools in the state. Later, at a business conclave, when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee got to know about the initiative, she requested the establishments of another 3,500 Silai Schools.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

At Silai Schools, women undergo a three step training program for teaching them the A-Z of stitching and necessary skills to open their own Silai Schools. For the first six months, women are taught to stitch, then they are given mechanical training and finally enterprise training.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

With the opening of new Silai Schools, today, as 3,500 rural women of West Bengal are on their way to becoming small enterprise owners, they share their joy.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

'I am independent now. I and my husband work to provide for our family and I am happy that I can support my husband financially. I have also earned a lot of respect in the society because of my work. Usha is starting another 3,500 schools in West Bengal and I am happy to get one to run', says 27-year-old Sampa Rai, of Dhapganj village that lies 100 kms south of Siliguri.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

33-year-old Geetika Roy, who lives in a small village called Amarkhana, has completed the construction of her Silai School. Apart from gaining stitching skills, Geetika has also learned to convert waste into useful things and earn extra money.

USHA Silai School Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunity To 3,500 Women

'People throw away the empty rice sacks or burn these, I buy it for Rs. 2 and make a bag from it. I sell the small bag for Rs. 10 and the bigger one for Rs. 20. After my training from USHA, I earn a lot more compared to what I was earning earlier. I want to keep learning and hope to earn even more in the future. I want to start more schools and make more profits. I have so many dreams', says Geetika.

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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