USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability

Updated: January 24, 2021 20:35 IST

In 2011, USHA Silai School began with the aim of empowering rural women to become entrepreneurs and give sewing lessons in their respective communities. But over the years, the Silai School initiative has evolved and today it is not only limited to giving sewing lessons and a silai machine to women to open their own silai school, but also works towards contributing its bit in the conservation of the environment by promoting sustainability. In this season of Kushalta Ke Kadam, the USHA Silai School initiative joined hands with organisations in Ladakh and Maharashtra that work towards protecting environment and supporting local people.

USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
In Ladakh, USHA has collaborated with a non-governmental organisation called Looms of Ladakh with an aim to help women associated with NGO learn stitching so that they can produce finished products without depending on tailors and earn a sustainable livelihood.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
By combining the technique of stitching with their traditional knowledge of knitting, weaving and spinning, these women have been able to produce garments like jackets, kurtis and are waiting to sell these in modern markets at better prices.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
Zara Bano, a resident of Chuchot Bangapa Leh, is one of the women artisans who produce some of the finest Pashmina in the world but did not have access to right market to sell her handmade products. After she got to know about USHA Silai School programme from Looms of Ladakh, Zara enrolled herself for a 10 days training and has now opened her own Silai School and is looking forward to selling finished garments made by her.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
Phunchuk Dolma is another beneficiary of USHA's training programme in Ladakh. She used to earn Rs. 7,000 per month on an average by the weaving of wool and pashmina. But after getting trained in stitching at USHA Silai School, Ms Dolma is expecting to earn more as she is now able to produce finished products herself and does not require another tailor to that job for her. Even after being a senior citizen, her enthusiasm towards sewing has given her a chance to become a trainer at USHA Silai school at this age.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
According to Rigzin Yangdol, CEO, Looms of Ladakh, it is difficult for the local people to buy the products handmade by women because the prices are high. Therefore, the sale of authentic Pashminas and other handmade garments depends on tourists visiting the place. She said that along with helping women have a sustainable livelihood and access to new markets, the initiative has helped in building their skills in various techniques for stitching and machine repairing.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
Continuing its work towards sustainability, USHA partnered with The Corbett Foundation (TCF) in Maharashtra where it provided skill development training to women from tribal communities living in villages near forests in Thane. The aim is to help the communities that are largely dominated by tribal population that are dependent on forests for food, fuel and livelihood to engage in alternate activities for earning income and reduce the pressure on already depleting forests.
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
Bharti Kaislash Jadhav, a 30-year-old woman is a beneficiary of USHA-TCF collaboration. She and her family were facing financial struggles and putting food on the table every day became a challenge for them. But a sewing machine has made a difference to her life. She is able to earn Rs. 4,000 every month working from home now out of which she saves Rs. 1,000 per month. While talking to NDTV she said, 'There is a lot of poverty in my village. We could not even take care of our kids as we were out the whole day for work. But with help of USHA Silai School, I am able to earn from home itself. I am able to stitch a lot of things and I also know machine repair work now. This has helped me and my husband a lot and we are now able to get some important renovations done for our house.'
USHA Silai School Collaborates With Institutions That Promote Sustainability
With an aim to take the message of sustainability to a larger scale, USHA has collaborated with UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). Under the partnership, 100 women will be trained to become master trainers who will in turn train 3,000 women across India in life skills over the next three years to help them become successful entrepreneurs and ear a better income.

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