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Meet the Entrepreneur - Naseema Bano

Meet the Entrepreneur - Naseema Bano

Naseema Bano was born in a very humble family in a village called Gangaganj in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district. Her father worked as a tractor mechanic and her mother, mostly a homemaker, would pitch in financially with whatever little she earned from off stitching jobs. Her parents tried their best to send her and her five sisters to school, but none of them could complete their schooling. Naseema managed to syufy till about Class 10.
With age starting to show, and the marriage of her two older sisters, the onus of sharing her father's financial responsibilty towards the family fell on Naseema's shoulders. Having picked up stitching skills from her mother, she started picking up odd jobs involving the same and earned anything between Rs. 1,500-2,000 on an average per month.

She too was soon married off. It worked out just fine for a year, but then it fell apart. She returned to her parents and joined a self help group where she heard about Usha Silai School. She underwent training for seven days and then established her own silai school. Today, she earns approximately Rs. 6,000 on an average each month, and has about 40 students who learn stitching from her. Not only is she contributing her earning to the household expenses, she's supporting the education fo her younger sisters.

Her story in her own words: About a year after our marriage, my mother asked me to help out with her tailoring shop while she visited my older sister who had just delivered a baby. A day after I took over, my husband came along and asked me to go back with him. I requested him to let me stick around until my mother comes back.

I don't what came upon him, but that night he beat me up and abused me till five in the morning. He made sure, and said as much, that he would hit me in places where the wounds would get covered by my clothes. He hit me in my pelvic region and upper thighs. He then pushed me out of the room and instructed me to cook. And cook I did, even though it seemed like I was going to pass out in pain.

That night changed everything. I became terrified of him. I hid in the mustard field and called up my mother to ask her to take my away between sobs. Then my mother-in-law also called up my mother asking her to take me away. But I had to return to my husband. The village elders intervened and made my husband submit a written affidavit stating that he wouldn't abuse me again and will bear my responsibilty.

I then moved with him to Delhi and became pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy, I would keep falling ill. He took me a doctor and got me treated. But six-months into the pregnancy, he asked me to return to my parents. Eventually, he dropped me off at my parents'.

Worrying that she would be blamed if anything went wrong with my pregnancy, my mother took me back to my in-laws. And my in-laws thought I was brought back because we were short of money. They handed me Rs. 500 and asked me to leave. Did they really think I came back for Rs. 500?
Soon after, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy. His health started deteriorating the third day after he was born. He didn't survive for too long, pneumonia claimed his life. My husband didn't try to establish contact with me until he died. He texted me to say that I killed our boy.

That was the day life came to an end for me. All purpose to live was lost on me. My parents insisted I move on and got me enrolled in Usha Silai School. I started going out again, met different people and got motivated to do something in life. I haven't forgotten my past, it all still hurts me; but I wanted to prove to my husband that I didn't need him to stand on my own feet. Thanks to Usha Silai School, I am earning my own livelihood now.

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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