Kushalta Ke Kadam
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Several Public And Private Firms Show Their Support To Take The USHA Silai School Initiative Forward

Several Public And Private Firms Show Their Support To Take The USHA Silai School Initiative Forward

USHA Silai School was born 8 years ago, with the sole purpose of empowering women belonging to marginalised communities by making them self-sufficient. The Silai School initiative, that provides rural women sewing training and helps them open their own stitching school, has received outstanding support and partnerships from both public and private sectors. The most recent supporters of the USHA Silai School include Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), who wish to help rural women become financially independent.

Krishna Shriram, Executive Chairman, Usha International Ltd told NDTV about the public and private sector firms' interest in tying up with the Silai Schools,

A lot of Private sector companies were interested in tying up with USHA Silai School as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), when they learned about it. They find it very effective in terms of results. As, once you lend financial support to set up a Silai School infrastructure, it is all a smooth ride from there. We are only interested in the development of society, it doesn't matter to us if it is a public sector partnership or a private sector one.

As part of this training, all the ladies go through a training period of 10 days, covering all the basic aspects of stitching post which an advance level training of seven days is conducted.

Also Read: With 3,500 New Silai Schools In The State, USHA And West Bengal Government Uplift Thousands Of Women

Dr Pariva Dobriyal, Project Scientist, National Mission For Clean Ganga, a major project for WII, explained to NDTV about why they decided to tie up with Silai Schools,

In order to provide better livelihood opportunities to the people of Uttar Pradesh, we decided to tie up with Usha after learning of the Silai School initiative. USHA is working with women from rural communities and helping them develop their skills and sustain their livelihood, instead of just providing them with one-time financial aid. Interestingly, ever since the Silai School initiative, women who are being trained in our training centers say that their income has been doubled after they got advanced training from USHA trainers.

17-year-old Aarti, a trainee at WII training Centre in UP's Narora, wants to study further, but also wants to complete her stitching classes to help her father financially. She shares,

My father supports 8 people alone so I was looking for a job opportunity to help him when I got to know about WII setting up USHA Silai Schools in Narora. I thought this is a skill that might help me on a daily basis whether or not I pursue it further. I took the 10-day training and now I'm taking the advanced 7-day training where I will learn specific types of sewing and how to sew clothes. I'm glad I won't have to work under the sun to earn money. I earn money and I also save as I can sew my own clothes!

Also Read: USHA Silai School Reaches The Remotest Islands And Villages To Empower and Upskill Women

While in Narora, Aarti wants to help her father take care of their family, on the other end of the state, in Sonbhadra, 50 year old Rajni had been forced into a similar struggle.

Everything was usual in Rajni's life when one day, her husband was diagnosed with an eye allergy. The allergy because severe over the course of next few days, and the doctor suggested them to an expensive laser treatment and they managed to get it. But soon after the treatment, his infection got worse and he lost his eyesight. She explained to NDTV,

My husband used to be a tuition teacher, before he had trouble in his eyesight. It has been 5 years, we initially thought it would be fine but he showed no signs of recovery, then I had to step out of my house to earn our bread and butter. This situation was beyond my imagination.

It was to help women like Rajni, that Nothern Coalfields Limited, in partnership with Usha Silai School program, started a training and production centre in Sonbhadra. Rajni said,

The day this center was inaugurated, I found out that they teach sewing. I took the training and now I have started sewing myself and taught my girls the same. My girls and I run a small stitching business now, people give orders to us and out of that whatever money we make, we divide among ourselves. We manage to book around 7-8 orders every month, sometimes 5. I make enough money to run the house and buy my husband's medicines. I am happy that I am able to do something productive on my own.

Also Read: The Women From USHA Silai School Kashmir Make It To The Lakme Fashion Week 2019

A N Pandey, General Manager, Krishnashila Project, Nothern Coalfields Limited spoke to NDTV about the Silai School initiative,

The unemployment and education quality prevalent in these nearby areas are low and to uplift this and the people living in these rural places we decided to start a skill development programme. We selected women and young girls from the nearby rural areas who are not able to avail proper training and facilities. With the help of USHA, we have set up a ‘Sewing Centre' in the area which has around 30 high tech sewing machines and we thought of providing them proper training so that they can increase their levels and get a job in the future.

Moving towards the north eastern India, Dibrugarh, famously known as the “Tea city of India”, is number one globally in terms of the largest area occupied by tea plantations. The majority of the population here is occupied in farming, coal mining and petroleum production industries.

The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited, or NEEPCO, in partnership with Usha Silai School program is providing an additional source of income to the women of this region by training them in cutting and tailoring, as well as the repair and maintenance of sewing machines.

Dibrugarh's Mamoni was 14 years old and a grade 9 school student when she got married. Her husband, a cab driver, died after 14 years of marriage, leaving her with a 10-year-old daughter and one-year-old twins. She shares,

One day in November 2011, my husband left for work and called me in the evening to say that he's going to drop a passenger. When I called him in the night, his phone was switched off. After that, we started looking for him. Six days later, we found his dead body near Shiv Sagar. I was heartbroken and helpless; I didn't know how to support my kids or what to do with my life.

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

Mamoni moved in with her mother, and in 2014, she got to know about NEEPCO and USHA Silai School from the village panchayat. She says,

I decided to take the training. My children were young so I would leave them with my mother to attend the 7-day-training. Initially, I couldn't concentrate on the training as I would always be worried for my kids. One of the trainers encouraged me and said this training will benefit my kids.

Mamoni now gets stitching orders every day and is earning enough to meet all the necessities of her children. She is also providing training to other girls, as she told NDTV,

I asked my neighbours to learn training from me. I started with 7 girls and then I also had a batch of 40 girls. Presently, I have a batch of 8 girls and I'm able to make about Rs. 10,000 every month. I am very grateful to Usha and NEEPCO.

Also Read: USHA's Mechanical Training Helps Bridge The Gender Divide For Women Entrepreneurs

Some women come to the Usha Silai School to fulfill a passion, some to fill their stomachs. Whatever the reason may be, the programme has given them all self-reliance, sustainability, confidence, power and equality to thousands of women like Mamoni, Parvati, Rajni and Aarti.

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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 USHA Silai School and NDTV has entered its eighth season. The aim is to empower more women across rural India by teaching them sewing skills and helping them open new doors of opportunities for themselves. The initiative encourages rural women to become financially independent and entrepreneurs by taking up sewing and training others in their respective communities.


Since 2011, the USHA Silai School initiative has trained more than 12 lakh rural women through over 33,000 Silai schools, spanning over 20,751 villages across India.


The women earn Rs. 4,000 – 5,000 per month on an average, with the highest recorded monthly earning being Rs. 84,000 in a month. This earning works as a catalyst towards building their self-confidence, reducing gender inequities, and raising their stature within their families and in society at large.


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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.