USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal

Updated: December 18, 2020 20:10 IST

Since its inception in 2011, USHA Silai School has been empowering women in the rural areas across the county by equipping them with the skill of stitching. This year, USHA International Limited strengthened its partnership with the state governments of Meghalaya and West Bengal with an aim to reach out to thousands of women and help them improve their lives.

USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
In Meghalaya, USHA Silai School collaborated with Meghalaya State Rural Livelihoods Society (MSRLS), a state government's initiative under National Rural Livelihood Mission. The partnership is focused on training women in making cloth bags, an alternative to single-use plastic bags, which have been banned by the state government.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
The state government established two training-cum-production centres along with USHA in Umsing and Ri Bhoi districts to train women entrepreneurs in bag making.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, women at training centres were provided with the training in stitching masks that comply with the central government's guidelines. According to R.M Kurbah, Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi district, more than 4-5 lakh masks were stitched and distributed to the people under this initiative.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
Women at the training centres are not only developing the skill of basic stitching, they are also receiving guidance from Syiem, a designer. Syiem is helping them learn various kinds of stitching techniques in order to help them find bigger markets.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
With an aim to help women sell the products stitched by them, USHA also collaborated with The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) which works for marketing the products that rural artisans especially tribals produce all over the country.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
In West Bengal, USHA International Limited along with West Bengal Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Castes Finance and Development Corporation, established 3,500 new Silai Schools in 2019. To further strengthen the initiative in the state, 29 more Silai Schools have been set up under by the partners in villages near Bongaon which is at around 130 kilometres away from Kolkata.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
Jyotsna Sardar, a beneficiary of the USHA Silai School initiative who lives in Uttar Jiala village of Bagdah block in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal has been able to overcome her financial challenges, thanks to the stitching training she has received.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
Jyotsna, who is running a small tailoring business, has now started her own Silai school. She is currently teaching eight women and earn about Rs. 2,500 from stitching orders. Jyotsna who wishes to fulfil all the needs of her two daughters and provide them with better education, hopes to earn more once the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is over.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
40-year-old Sushmita Saha who lives with her husband and a daughter in Sherbazar village of South 24 Parganas suffered depression in 2017 after the death of her elder daughter. Sushmita's husband who has been into tailoring business for the past 22 years, motivated her to join the six-month tailoring course USHA Silai School to help her keep herself engaged. During the training, she developed a passion for stitching and has been successful in setting up the USHA Silai School in the area.
USHA Silai School Initiative Continues To Empower Women In Meghalaya And West Bengal
Within a very short span of time, Sushmita was able to teach 20 learners. She earns about Rs. 6,000 per month from stitching. She has become happier and is looking forward to training more women and help them transform their lives.

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