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USHA-Gram Utthan In Odisha Are Empowering Women To Open Their Training Centres

USHA-Gram Utthan In Odisha Are Empowering Women To Open Their Training Centres

Chandua is synonymous with Pipli, in the Puri district of Odisha. It is an art form that is being kept alive in practically every household. It is a means of livelihood for many people, and now USHA is playing an important role in keeping this traditional applique work alive. 48 year old Swarnlata Panda has been making Chandua art on clothes for the last 15 years, using embroidery to make new products and create new looks for clothes.

But USHA has also helped her increase her earnings, giving a new dimension to her life. Until 3 years ago, Swarnlata used to do embroidery on clothes by hand. When USHA helped her with sewing techniques, there was a rapid increase in her output as she made products with Chandua art, with good finishing. Through this traditional art, USHA has not only transformed Swarnlata's life but has also enriched the lives of hundreds of women.

Also Read: USHA-Sarvodaya Ashram Are Teaching Traditional Stitching Techniques To Uttar Pradesh Women

USHA Silai school trainee, Swarnlata Panda said,

I used to go to Pipli to learn the art of Chandua art. After learning, I would buy clothes and sew them by hand. Earlier, I could make very few products and would sell them in the market. I would buy more clothes with whatever money I made and would do the chandua embroidery on it. Since I was doing everything by hand, I could make very few products and earn very less. I took 9 days training from USHA. They gave me a sewing machine for free. After getting the machine, I was able to do more work in less time. I was also able to earn more money. In the absence of a machine, I was earning between Rs 1500- Rs 2000 per month. Now after getting the machine, I am earning Rs 7000 per month.

 Gram Utthan NGO and USHA have helped change Swarnlata's life. The process of making women proficient in the traditional Chandua art, in Puri, started with 20 women and now has grown to 150 women. With the help of USHA these 150 women, from 40 villages, are providing financial help to their families, while keeping this art form alive. Swarnlata's own training was for 9 days, and she is now teaching these skills to women from 11 families through the USHA Silai school.

In fact the Odisha government has now made her their own trainer. Ms Panda owns an USHA Sewing School in village Birapratappur, Puri. She is currently a trainer of the Government's DIC. They are paying her Rs 10,000 every month. She said,

I will be getting this amount for the next 6 months. In return, I am training 15 women. So far I have given training to 50 women on behalf of DIC (District Industrial Center) i.e. the government. I have applied again to work for the government. I am supporting my family with the money I am earning. I also give money to those who come and work with me. I am also a master trainer for USHA. I go from village to village, On behalf of DIC, and give training to women. Whatever I make, I display them in exhibitions and earn from there too. Apart from this, I also sell the products that I make in Pipli market.

Also Read: How Bihar NGO, Bhojpur Mahila Kala Kendra Helped Rural Women Earn Livelihood During COVID-19

USHA has also shown another rural woman, Binita Bhatt of Batagaon, Puri, a new path to success. Ms Bhatt is not only helping other women stand on their feet but is also showing them a new way to live life. USHA gave a boost to Ms Bhatt's skills in Chandua patch work. Now, she is not only writing a new story on the strength of these women, but is also rescuing other women from financial crises. Every day work starts with a hymn to Lord Jagannath. The room Ms Bhatt works in might be small, but the work she does in training women from nearby villages, and making them strong and capable, is anything but.

After joining USHA Silai School for almost 3 years, 60 women have been trained in doing patch work. Their earnings have increased 4 to 5 times and a bedsheet, that earlier took them 6 days to make, is now ready in 3 days. USHA Silai school trainee, Ms Bhatt said,

I was doing this work before I got married. I taught patch work to many people after getting married. I was getting orders from the market but I was unable to get a lot of work done. After 9 days of training with USHA, I got a machine. After that, I trained 40 women. Right now I am training 30 women. I am also paying Rs 3000 every month to the women who are working with me. I teach them and also bring in orders. I complete all the orders with the help of these women. I am also working as a trainer for DIC. They pay me Rs 15 ,000 every month. The women that I teach on behalf of DIC, get a stipend of Rs.3500 per month. Many women do the work from home. Had the machine not been there, it would have caused a lot of trouble, but now, with the machine, my job has become easier. I train a woman for Rs 300 every month and am able to earn Rs 4000 every month just by training women. I wouldn't have been able to complete the orders by myself so now I train more women and finish all the orders. Several women are now coming to take training from me after taking training from USHA.

 Pipli is the home of Chandua art, an art that has got the support of USHA. Close to 200 shops in this market display various products bearing the applique work so typical of Chandua. There is no dearth of variety here. Lamp sets, wall hangings, chandeliers, cushion covers, handbags, hand purses, hand fans, letter boxes, temple awnings, sunflowers, umbrellas all have the imprint of Chandua art.

Chandua is the identity of Lord Jagannath's city and by training women in this form of applique work, USHA is not only keeping this traditional art alive, but is also uplifting the identity of Lord Jagannath's own city.

Also Read: Manipur's Yarshang Shimray Is Leading The Way To Eco-Friendly Fashion By Recycling Old Clothes

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Adopt a Silai School

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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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