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Silai School Initiative Extends Support To Men From Tamil Nadu

Silai School Initiative Extends Support To Men From Tamil Nadu
Delhi: It is said some traditional crafts in India are now 'in the hands of ageing population' and at the risk of fading away in the next few years. Unfortunately, sewing is one of them. The USHA Silai School programme in its own way is reviving the traditional craft but is also providing employment opportunities to the underprivileged women all over India. Today, along with becoming financially stable, rural women are also creating job opportunities in their villages. Now, the initiative has added a new loop to its chain of change - provide sewing training to underprivileged men also. 

The Silai programme reached out to the men in Tamil Nadu and gave them a platform to grow and expand the traditional skills of stitching.

In a programme dominated by women so far, men in Tamil Nadu came forward and enrolled themselves in the silai school programme.
 
There has been an immediate and visible differnce that the programmes has had on their lives.

39-year-old R. Vinayakan from Vadakalur village, says that the USHA Silai programme has not only uplifted him financially but also given him a recognition in his village. As a child, Vinayakan was always fascinated by the art of sewing and as an adult he even pursued it.

However, because he was from a tribal community, he had to shut down his shop as very few customers preferred going to him. To meet the household expenses, he continued tailoring from his home but with hardly any sustainable or steady income.

It was only after he came across the Silai initiative, things started looking up for him. He underwent a 7-day training session, post which he reopened his tailoring shop with the machines received from USHA school.

"After I completed my training, I reopened my tailoring shop" he said. "The new shop is better than the previous one as now along with stitching clothes I have also hired people to maintain the increasing number of clients."

With a daily income of upto Rs 1,000, Vinayakan is now able to provide quality education to his four children. He plans to take a loan and expand his customer base by buying additional sewing machines.

Although Vinayakan's story is one in many, it never fails to highlight the impact of learning and giving a second chance to life.

Unlike Vinaykan, Nagarajan from Coimbatore, was never interested in sewing. However, he joined the Silai school in the hope of a livelihood. Father of two children, he was new to sewing. From Coimbatore, Nagarajan struggled to pay the rent or manage his households till he opened his own tailoring shop after undergoing a seven day silai programme

"I didn't know how to cut the clothes" he said. "Before I came to Anum city, my financial condition was not good and I was under hefty debt." 

However, all this changed once he completed his 7-day sewing training and received an USHA sewing machine. The black sewing machine has since become his tool of livelihood, one that earns him over Rs. 500 a day.

Whatever he earns, he spends it on the education and upbringing of his children.  His work has earned him the respect from his family members who even place orders at his shop.

"My brother is very good at what he does. His patterns and designs are very crisp and fine," said Premlata, his sister who is also now his customer.

These interventions by USHA Silai school have been vital in providing men from this region not only a decent source of income but also help them stay out of the crutches of poverty and unemployment.

The initiative's recent achievement has been of launching a sustainable fashion label named 'Silai' that was launched during the Lakme Fashion Week and hit stores  in April. The label is now being carried in high-street fashion stores like OGAAN in Delhi and has been designed by USHA Silai school women. This initiative has opened up a whole new set of opportunities and challenges for those part of the silai programme. And from here the programme and those associated with it can only grow.

Also Read:USHA Sewing Schools: The Solution To Andhra Pradesh's Migration Problem?

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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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