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Previewed At Lakme Fashion Week In 2018, Silai Label Transforms Lives Of Women From Rural India

Previewed At Lakme Fashion Week In 2018, Silai Label Transforms Lives Of Women From Rural India
Delhi: 

USHA's very own creation and fashion label 'Silai' entered the market in April 2018, giving a big push to the humble dreams of many women from rural areas who have been trained at USHA Silai Schools. For the creation of the label, women from the Silai schools were given an opportunity to enhance their skills and 32 women were selected to be mentored by professional fashion designers. Their talent got the much-deserved limelight when the garments produced by them were showcased under the label last year on the ramps of the Lakme Fashion Week, one of India's most prestigious fashion shows. Since then, the label has become a source of motivation, confidence, and better income for the USHA Silai Women, as their clothes are now selling under the Label.
 
The uniqueness of the label lies in the skills and the hardwork of USHA Silai women and the creativity of their mentors, the designers. After being trained at USHA Silai Schools the women, who were earlier earning a meagre income as farm labourers or as domestic help were able to fight their economic marginalisation by stitching clothes for their own small businesses and also by training women in their neighborhood. Getting associated with the Silai label proved to be another milestone in their journey of economic empowerment. The label not only helped in increasing their income but also boosted their confidence to dream even bigger.

Sunita, Santosh, and Raziaben are three such women who became economically independent after getting associated with the label.

Also Read: USHA Silai School Helping Nithari Village Put Its Dark Past To Rest

Sunita, 35, belongs to an economically poor family living in Bagru, Rajasthan. She used to work as farm labour where she earned only a minimal amount which was not enough to support her family or herself. After taking seven days training at USHA Silia School, she started her own training centre in 2016. Because of her determination and quality work she was selected to be part of the team working on Usha Silai Label. She was one of the woman entrepreneurs who walked the ramp during Lakme Fashion week in Mumbai in 2018, representing Rajasthan cluster work.

Under the bright sunlight, I used to work all day on the farm which was not sufficient for my household expenses. The condition of my home was deteriorating, says Sunita.

Talking about her experience at the fashion week she said,

It was a life changing experience for me. The warm welcome and the recognition I got from my family members and the village community was very heart-warming and overwhelming for me. It was the first time that I felt so special and bold.

Sunita, an entrepreneur and a trainer, has gradually increased her learners' fees to Rs. 1500 per month from Rs. 500 earlier, and has also started taking direct tailoring orders from the market. Now, with her increased earning she is planning to purchase a piece of land and establish her own production centre.

Another Silai school woman, Santosh, 34, from the Kaladera Cluster in Jaipur district was the first woman in her community to ever step out of her village and that too to Mumbai by flight! It was a huge accomplishment in itself for her and her family. She said that she felt very proud for being the part of an event like Lakme Fashion Week. She has become a role model in her village and a large number of learners have started enrolling in her Silai School. She has established herself as a trainer and has conducted various sewing sessions for NGOs and Government program.

Also Read: Life After Silai School: Women In Nagaland Are Now Sewing Their Own Destinies

Raziaben, a 39-year-old physically challenged woman, a homemaker, and a mother of three (a boy and two girls) found it difficult to make ends meet. While her husband was earning a meagre income as a driver, she was confined to the four walls of her home doing only household chores.  Determined to change her family's destiny, she joined the USHA Silai School.

After getting trained at the silai school she started her own training centre. Life changed completely after she became part of the silai label team. It empowered her to provide her family with better opportunities and living conditions.

Usha Silai Women are self-made entrepreneurs whose efforts and talent were waiting to be discovered by the world. The huge exposure and limelight that an event like Lakme Fashion Week provided was just what these women needed to take the leap of faith and aim for bigger and better things in life.

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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