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USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

The charm of Kashmir's picturesque lakes, snow-capped mountains, and lush forests is matched by the richness of its cultural heritage. From handicrafts to the exquisite pashminas, the valley boasts a rich history of arts and crafts passed on through generations and yet the state and its craftsmen are yet to realise their full potential. In an attempt to tap into this immense pool of talent, in the year 2018, the USHA Silai Label set up a garment design and production cluster in Kashmir.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Kashmir known for its scenic beauty was once on every travellers' bucket list. For long tourism was the main source of employment for Kashmiris. But decades of strife have impacted not just tourist inflow but also ruined its once flourishing handicrafts business like wood carving and handloom sector.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

To rediscover the hidden talent among Kashmiris, especially women, in the year 2018, the USHA Silai School set up a garment design and production cluster in Kashmir. The objective was to select few deserving contenders to work on the fashion line - Silai Label to be showcased at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Women from different walks of life came to the assessment session with their work samples to showcase their talent and skills. USHA organised an assessment session in the tranquil premises of the Kashmir University with Virendra (trainer) and Shruti (IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd, that organises Lakme Fashion Week).

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

After many gruelling hours, the assessment session came to its conclusion and 17 women were selected for the next step of the program - the training. The training of the women for the final production was set up at the Social Work Department of the University of Kashmir.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Rohit Bal, ace fashion designer and mentor for this cluster, had sent four samples to be made by the selected women. Being a trainer, Virendra, briefed the women about each of the samples and took them through the process of replicating these designs and achieve the perfect finishing.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Virendra started the training with basic details like teaching to make straight lines. Though making a straight line looks simple but a lot of practice goes into perfecting it.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

To ensure women are on right path, Virendra kept a hawk's eye on samples being made by the women at the center.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Along with teaching the craft, the holistic training session focused on other aspects of being a professional designer.

USHA Silai School Reaches Picturesque Kashmir, Brings A Wave Of Change

Training center set up at the University of Kashmir saw 17 women hone their skills and reproduce Rohit Bal's designs for the final assessment by him before work on Silai Label to be showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week 2019 can begin.

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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