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

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

Located in Noida, the western part of Uttar Pradesh, is a village named Nithari which has been living in the shadows of Noida serial murders since 2006. The horrific crime and its sensational revelation shook the entire country and filled the men and women of the village with a constant fear of stepping out of their houses.

"Children were lost during the Nithari murders" said Manisha, a resident of the village. The agony of the past haunts the present, as Manisha gathers her thoughts to talk about the killings that left more than 19 children dead in the house of businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, where he lived with his servant and accomplice in the crime.

"Mothers feared for their children following the disappearances" she said. "They hesitate, till date, in letting their children go out the house or even attend school."

After the case was solved, the women remained in the confines of their homes keeping their children with them at all times, said another resident named Radha.

Similar feelings were echoed by many residents and changing their mindset proved to be a tougher challenge than earlier imagined. Many organisations came forward to help women start a livelihood in the confines of a safe environment, especially for their children. One of such organisation was USHA International.

USHA International's programme - the USHA Silai School that has been helping underprivileged women all over the country and even internationally to build a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families, came to Nithari as a light at the end of the tunnel.

The area of Nithari is that of migrant laborers and in most houses women are required to step out of the house and hold low-grade jobs to sustain their family said Padmani Kumar, assistant director of the Joint Women's Programme (JWP) organisation.

The organisation has been working towards empowering women of similar villages where opportunities are less and trust among people is very low.

We thought if we could provide protection to these women in their work atmospheres or learning centers and also set up creches for their children, then they could be taught valuable skills for their betterment said Jyotsna Chatterjee, director, JWP.

Teaching new skills might not have been an option in the village had there not been enough resources to establish a safe ecosystem.

USHA International came in to help when we needed it the most, she said. They helped in setting up silai centers and providing the resources needed to begin sewing classes.

"I didn't want to work in someone's house" said Sheela, a Nithari resident. "It was my dream to study and have a respectable job." Her dream became a reality when she enrolled herself for the USHA Silai School programme.

Today, Sheela earns nearly Rs. 6000 per month from conducting sewing classes, a skill she learnt at the learning centers with equipment provided by Usha Silai School at the completion of the programme.

I received a lot of guidance from JWP and USHA (International), she said gratefully.

Sheela has been working with JWP for the past decade and has been not only teaching sewing, but is also helping out at the creche in order to give back to the society and help more women like her get free from the shackles of daily wage laborers.

The main thing is to empower women, said Krishna Sriram, executive director, USHA International. We believe if a women is trained well and is earning then she is more than capable of evolving her life and sustaining her family.

His words are a true reflection of the progress seen at every place where USHA Silai School has touched lives of the underpriviledged.

The training being provided at Nithari is helping the village to rise out of the shadows of its dark past. The school has emerged as a ray of hope that is empowering families to rebuild their lives.

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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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