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USHA Partners With Small Industries Development Bank Of India To Help Women Become Silai Entrepreneurs

USHA Partners With Small Industries Development Bank Of India To Help Women Become Silai Entrepreneurs
New Delhi: 

Mission Swavalamban, the flagship initiative of SIDBI or Small Industries Development Bank of India has joined hands with the USHA Silai School program in their journey of promoting entrepreneurship for rural women. The word ‘Swavalamban' means self-reliance, self-sufficiency, independence. And that is exactly what Mission Swavalamban aims to do- pull families out of poverty and create economic self-reliance by boosting livelihoods and fostering self-employment. The USHA-SIDBI The collaboration has given birth to 2,450 USHA Swavalamban Silai Schools which are operating across villages in India and many more to come.

Also Read: Meet Phemo Manham, USHA Silai Hero From Arunachal Pradesh Who Has Become An Inspiration For Many

While talking to NDTV, Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman and Managing Director, SIDBI said,

We want to create more and more self-reliant, self-employed women because when the women in the house have the ability to stand on their own feet then the house and the family gets the entire benefit. So, we have seen this time and time again that to make the women more empowered, to make them stand on their own feet it's important that we impart skills. So, if you think of it there's a clear synergy between SIDBI's objectives and those of USHA. And given the fact that the way the programme has been structured SIDBI and USHA bear the cost of the entire programme including giving the Silai machine to the ladies. So, in this way, it worked out very well as a joint effort.

The objective of Mission Swavalamban is to shift the focus from job-seekers to job-creators. They call the USHA Silai School women entrepreneurs, homepreneurs. Mary Rupa Tete, Vice President, USHA Social Services said, 

USHA and SIDBI came together under their initiative called Mission Swavalamban. Mission Swavalamban was started with the intent to promote mainstream entrepreneurship specially among youth and women. And the USHA Silai School programme also you know works around the central idea of skill development, financial independence and setting up micro enterprises. So, we started with our partnership in 2019 and till date we have setup about 1700 schools and this year we will be setting up 750 more Swavalamban Silai Schools in partnership with SIDBI.

Sandna Devi, from Himachal Pradesh, is among the top 5 women of Usha Silai Schools across the country, with the highest average monthly earnings. But getting here has been far from easy. There was a lot of struggle for Sandna Devi, before she could make a name for herself. And it all started during the lockdown in 2020. She said, 

When Coronavirus started spreading, we were living in Jalandhar. Everything was closed, and we did not even have food to eat. Our situation was really bad. My husband and I then decided that it would be better if we returned to our village. At least, we would get food there, because there was nobody here, and everyone was confined to their houses. So, we came back here.

The couple was not accepted in the village because of the fear of getting infected by COVID. They were put in quarantine for more than a month, and nobody was allowed to go near them. They had no earnings for five months after returning to their home town, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. Sandna Devi asked various people for help during this time, but it was her meeting with the head of the panchayat that proved to be the turning point in her life.

Also Read: USHA Silai Hero: Here Is How Prabha Dhanga, A Tribal Woman From Jharkhand Has Emerged As A Leader

According to Vivek Sharma, Treasurer, AADHAAR NGO, initially when the SIDBI Swavalamban school Programme started, COVID-19 pandemic has already started. 

We contacted the Gram Panchayats to know if any people are there any persons are there who are affected by the Covid and have come back from the town and settled back in the villages. So, then they informed one case of Sandana and we contacted her, we came to know that yes, she was a very deserving candidate and she had the capacity to do something, she had a zeal to do something but she was facing a lot of problems. So, we informed her about this programme and she attended this training successfully.

Sadna Devi attended the 9-day training. During her training with the SIDBI Swavalamban School, she had the opportunity to learn various aspects of tailoring, including drafting, cutting the fabric, and the sewing process. After completing the training, she opened up her own school, and has earned more than Rs 1 lakh since the school became operational. She has trained over 12-15 girls. Ms Devi said,

They taught us how to make masks, pants, skirts, lehengas, and everything that is needed in stitching, as per the fashion these days. They corrected our finishing. They have taught us everything very clearly, and have told us stay in touch with them, to ask and learn what we don't know. We have gained a lot of knowledge. The people from USHA and SIDBI even gave us a sewing machine, and other things needed to start our own business. They told us to open a shop, because we were facing a lot of problems. So, we looked for one here in Datti where there are 8-10 villages, so that I could teach them as well as do something on my own. I have trained 18 girls, and even given them certificates. I still have 8 girls training under me. So, with this I have got an identity of my own. USHA and SIDBI have given me an identity. Also, I am much more integrated with the people here, and now I feel good. I get Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 monthly. The income reduces a little in case there is a health issue, but my work never stops.

Just like Sandna Devi in Himachal Pradesh, there are women in Cuttack, in Odisha, who are working hard to make their lives better. The SIDBI Swavalamban School training in Cuttack is a ray of hope for the local women. Jyotirmaya Pathnaik, Trainer, USHA Swavalmaban Silai School said,

I came USHA Swavalamban school as a trainer. I will teach them cutting, drafting and stitching. And also, how to teach other women too.

Another trainer, Lakshmi is currently getting trained at USHA Swavalmaban Silai School wish to become financially independent and help other women of her village become self-sufficient too by imparting sewing and stitching skills to them.

Also Read: USHA Silai School Ensured Sustenance To Bihar's Kalawati Devi Even During Covid

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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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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.

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With sewing becoming easily accessible and lucrative, the silai schools are also helping revive traditional motifs and designs.

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