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35-Year-Old Sunita Triumphed Over Financial Battles And Perfected The Art Of Sewing Clothes

35-Year-Old Sunita Triumphed Over Financial Battles And Perfected The Art Of Sewing Clothes
Mumbai: In parts of India, especially its rural belt, the identity of a woman is limited to motherhood and whether or not she can bear children. It is a make belief notion that is hard to uproot, since being a mother is seen to be the sole purpose of a woman, an honour that is bestowed on her by nature and completes her. This narrow interpretation of womanhood also means that when a woman fails to bear children she is looked down open, humiliated and in some cases even ostracised by the community.

It has been over a year that Sunita has been following this routine. In her dreams also, 35-year-old Sunita had not imagined that she could ever multi-task and balance her work and personal life.

A few years ago, Sunita along with her husband Nathu Lal Kumawat migrated to the district of Jaipur in search for better economic opportunities. Like her husband, she also found a position at a farm as a wage labourer. Despite, the two of them working day and night on the fields, they weren't able to come out of their poor financial condition due the seasonal nature of their work. 

Just when, Sunita was running out of patience and hope, she came across the USHA Silai School programme in 2016. After undergoing the initial training for seven days, she received a sewing machine. This sewing machine opened several windows of opportunities for Sunita and her family. 

There were hardly any alternatives available for a woman like me who lives in rural area with no signs of progress. I was desperately looking for something I would enjoy, something that would make me happy. And that is when the USHA silai school came to my rescue, says Sunita. 

With a strong urge to expand her skills and go beyond the basic designing, Sunita underwent another set of training.  Along with the taking stitching orders for clothes in her village, she also opened a training school to provide a platform to other women who wanted to hone their individuality and gain financial independence. With her efforts, Sunita has trained over 20 women so far and earns upto ₹9,000 every month. 

Also Read: From Having No Steady Source Of Income To Earning Rs. 45,000 A Month, Here Is How A. Metildamary Changed Her Life

Through her dedication, hard work and passion for stitching she earned the opportunity to work along with 31 other USHA Silai School women to produce a clothing line that was launched at the Lakme Fashion Week 2018. 

Sunita believes that the volume of new designs she learnt during the production of Silai Label, is way more than what she learnt in last 10 years of her life. From making simple blouses to now venturing into making fancy palazzos, the woman entrepreneurs like Sunita have come a long way.  

Recalling her incredible journey Sunita says,

It all started with the seven day training. In those initial days though I was satisfied with the basics of stitching I was always curious about learning to stitch fashionable clothes. I am proud with what I have achieved. And I hope to continue to design clothes forever.

With a tangible experience in the sewing industry, Sunita now aims to establish her own production centre where she can provide employment to others,

And this land where I'll have my tailoring shop which will be bought from my own money, chuckles Sunita. 


Also Read: From Struggling For One's Own Survival To Sustaining A Family Of Three, Here Is How Ayesha From Kolkata Did It

 

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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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In Pics

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching
Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Rebari girls grow up learning traditional embroidery, which along with their new found sewing skills developed at Usha Silai Schools, is helping them earn a living.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School has empowered many rural women to support their family and send their children to school.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The Usha Silai School, established in a small nondescript village that goes by the name of Kottai, is helping empower people from varied communities.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

The all-inclusive Usha Silai School Programme covers the entire nation from hamlets tucked between hills to villages cast by the sea.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Vegetables farmers from the Mizoram hills earn very little given the topography of the area. Usha Silai Schools have played an important part in this region by skilling women to financially contribute towards their households.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School learner Lucy has trained seven other women in her community, helping them to become financially independent.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Women like Kaviben from the nomadic Rebari community are finally laying down their roots as they begin to gain financial independence and thereby stability through Usha Silai School.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, located in the Gujarat's Bhuj village, is enabling rural women to earn as much as Rs. 2,500-4,000 each month.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Usha Silai School, in association with a Gujarat based NGO called Kala Raksha, is trying to bring about a Silai revolution in Bhuj.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

Besides training other women from their community, many Usha Silai School learners have become entrepreneurs in their own right.

Kushalta ke Kadam: Aiming for Independence Through Stitching

With sewing becoming easily accessible and lucrative, the silai schools are also helping revive traditional motifs and designs.

Fashion Designers This Season

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  • Rohit Bal

    Rohit Bal

  • Sayantan Sarkar

    Sayantan Sarkar

  • Shaila Khubchandani

    Shaila Khubchandani

  • Sreejith Jeevan

    Sreejith Jeevan

  • Swati Vijaivargie

    Swati Vijaivargie

Fashion Designers This Season

More
  • Rohit Bal

    Rohit Bal

  • Sayantan Sarkar

    Sayantan Sarkar

  • Shaila Khubchandani

    Shaila Khubchandani

  • Sreejith Jeevan

    Sreejith Jeevan

  • Swati Vijaivargie

    Swati Vijaivargie