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USHA Silai School: Here's How Training And Production Centres Are Empowering Women

USHA Silai School: Here's How Training And Production Centres Are Empowering Women
New Delhi: 

The USHA Silai training and production centre is a central facility created especially for rural women to assemble, get trained in sewing and stitching and also make products for the market. This model came into being in 2015, and the benefit to the women associated with it were immediately apparent. Once the model took off, a number of different NGOs and corporate and government partners joined this effort to give the women of rural India, their own identity, their independence. As part of the training and production centre model, the USHA Silai School programme brings its expertise of specialised training, customised to the needs of the partner, which could be anything from bags and uniforms to accessories, garments and so on. The training is then given at two levels - basic and advanced - depending on the skill of the learners. 

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

According to Mary Rupa Tete, Vice President, USHA Social Services, USHA has been instrumental in setting up many training and production centres. She said,

Many organisations have approached USHA looking for a holistic solution, which could be a specific training module, or system and process, equipment for the centre, helping set up the entire system for them. And I'm happy to say that we have helped many corporates, as well as government agencies, set up such training cum production centres. Typically, these training cum production centres are spaces which are centrally located to, let's say 4-5 villages, and cater to the women population there. These centres are primarily used as learning centres where people can come learn how to stitch and sew. And these are also spaces where they can make products, which can be sold in the market.

A training and production centre of the Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation, in the village of Rasulpur, in Nawanshahr district of Punjab, is engaged in various socio-economic welfare activities in the region along with empowering the Silai women. The head of the trust, UK based Ajit Singh, wants to do something for the people of his land. He wants to give back to his village, to his country. He said,

I started it when I was in Kenya. I used to visit India almost 3-4 times a year. Then I came to India, and the idea came to my mind and I thought it should be done. Then in 2019, we legally established this foundation and started working. Well, at the moment we have started only this school, and then I have a plan to start something for the farmers in the village. And also, chef training, we are building a big kitchen over there to train men or women as chefs.

Also Read: USHA Silai Hero, Assam's Gouri Das Conducted Classes Even During The Covid Pandemic

The Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation wanted to empower women by giving them life and livelihood skills. The USHA Silai School program ticked all the boxes. The trust provided a building, dedicated for USHA's training and production work, and the USHA Silai school provided its best trainers to train the women in sewing and stitching. Mr Singh said,

I was looking for somebody to come as an associate with me. A friend of mine, who lives in Chandigarh, suggested that why don't you contact the USHA people. So, I contacted them. And happily, it materialised with them. I have a very good relationship with them, and as we are trying to know each other, understand each other, perhaps in so many other areas also we will associate with each other.

While talking about her experience, Poonam, a Silai Hero at Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation said, that the training that they received here was wholesome and helped her become financially independent. Sunita, another Silai Hero said,

Here we are trained to make pants, shirts, skirts, uniforms, ladies' kurta, gents kurta pyjama. I have been sewing for a long time, but I have always made ladies' garments. I did not know how to stitch shirts for men, nor skirts and uniforms for children. I learned everything here, including how the fabric is cut. I liked the way we are trained in the smallest things. Earlier we had to go to the city for training, which was uncomfortable, and a lot of time was wasted. This centre is in our village, so it is easy to take out the time to come and learn. When people come to know that we have trained with the USHA company, they feel we would be doing a good job, so we get even more work.

Mr Singh stressed that awareness of women is very important. He added that for him, a woman has a very high status in life, and every person should respect and do the maximum for her. He said,

During my childhood, it was my mother who used to knit a sweater for me. So many women at home, I think, know it how to do it. There is one book Kachche Dhage and another named Ek Bechari Ma. It's all about women, so I respect women from the core of my heart.

Also Read: USHA Silai Mobile App Enhancing Skills, Augmenting Income Of The Silai Women

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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.

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