Kushalta Ke Kadam
  • Home/
  • Minaben- The Woman Who Embraced Her Struggles And Flourished As An USHA Master Trainer

Minaben- The Woman Who Embraced Her Struggles And Flourished As An USHA Master Trainer

Minaben- The Woman Who Embraced Her Struggles And Flourished As An USHA Master Trainer

Disability - The very word is quick to suggest a person's inability to do things. Sometimes people can be disabled by their struggles, and sometimes their physical disability can become a persistent struggle. Every time we call someone 'disabled', we unknowingly limit their personality to their condition. Ms. Minaben, a resident of Dholka, Gujarat, has been battling and continues to battle the social prejudice surrounding disability for 42 years, but she chooses to smile through her sorrows.

In the past 7 years, she has transitioned from an USHA Silai School learner to a Master Trainer and is now working as a Local Resource Person. She said,

I am comfortable with stitching, and I also teach stitching. There are women who are unable to step outside of their homes, but they are keen to learn. I go and meet them. This is my field work, where I listen to the problems that women are facing. There are women who love to learn stitching but are not allowed to step outside of their homes. So, I go to their homes and talk about ways in which work can happen. I have trained 200 women and girls. This batch also had 18 to 20-year-old young girls.

Also Read: Salma Bano's Journey From Facing Financial Hardships To Becoming A Successful USHA Silai School Teacher

Ms. Minaben and several other women in the villages will soon be a major driving force behind the USHA Silai Schools of the future. USHA created the Local Resource Person (LRP) model to establish a connection between the NGO partners, the beneficiaries, the Master trainers and the community at large. The LRPs help with the dissemination of information and data to keep their 10 lakh learners connected.

USHA Program Coordinator, Vijay Goel, said,

The Local Resource Person model helps us connect with all types of women. They work as a substitute. We pick an LRP from every 10 women that we train as we observe their skills during the course of the training program. We see who can communicate well, has gained confidence, and is enthusiastic to do the work. We identify LRPs and train them to build capacity. We teach them how to visit others and the things that they need to observe, how to work on new things, if income needs to be increased, then what are the sources one can think of, and much more.

Ms. Minaben's limbs were paralysed at the age of 3 due to polio. She spent the majority of her childhood dependent on her family. Even marriage didn't fare well for her. Once she had given her husband what he wanted, a son, she was disposed of. But now she runs a production centre and earns her livelihood making aprons for operation theatres, eye towels, and several other articles for hospitals in Gujarat. Ms. Minaben has struggled a great deal and will continue to struggle, but she has embraced her struggle.

Also Read: Anti Devi's Journey From Despair To Becoming A Local Resource Person

Speaking of her work profile, Ms Minaben said,

Earlier, I used to think that life was too long, and I wondered when it would come to an end. But now I feel that life is short, and I want to live. I want to work and be a part of this collective of women with my sisters. I feel very proud. I want to work all hours of the day and night and do something different. The problem I have faced should not happen to anyone else, and this is what I aim for. I teach women to sew, and if they are not educated, I offer them tuition classes as well. I have created a work from home model for women who are unable to leave their homes.

USHA's production centre has not only given Ms. Minaben a means of livelihood but has also changed her life in other ways. It helped her make friends with whom she could share the weight of her thoughts, her problems, and her joys.

When we asked Ms. Minaben if she was happy, she said,

I really like what BPA and USHA have done for women. I am thankful for it because if it had not come, I would not have known anything. I learned to stitch and now impart the knowledge to other women. Going ahead, I dream of setting up a big production centre. Many women will get employment opportunities and will also learn something new. USHA has done something new each time.

The centre is mainly run by specially-abled women trained by Ms. Minaben. She has never charged a single penny from these women for the training. She believes that she owes this service to every specially-abled woman in society. Every field visit to help other women gives her hope to keep going the next day.

Also Read: Annapurna Devi Makes 1000 Flags For ‘Har Ghar Tiranga' Programme

Share this story on

Related Stories

More

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.

 

Know More

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

More
  • 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