USHA Silai School

USHA Silai School, started by USHA International in March 2011 is a community based initiative with the aim of skilling rural women and empowering them to become entrepreneurs. Women are taught stitching and sewing skills to help them earn a livelihood in their respective communities. Sukalyan is an implementing partner of USHA International and manages 432 Silai Schools across the West Bengal State.

Sukalyan as a NGO partner facilitate and support USHA to identify, set up and motivate village women to join the Silai Schools. The seventy plus hours of training is conducted over a period of seven days.

Coverage

North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda, Jhargram and Uttar Dinajpur Districts of West Bengal 

Impact

  • Till date 15000 women learners completed their course in the Silai Schools.

  • In 2019-20, there are 1100 women who are enrolled as Learner (student) in the Silai School.

  • Of these enrolled learners 550 women have already completed their course in the School.

  • On an average each of the Women Entrepreneur has a monthly income of Rs. 1300.

  • In 2019-20 these women entrepreneurs collectively have earned more than Rs. 10 lakhs from the Silai Schools

Achievement 

  • Our beneficiaries Namita Gayen and Sakila Bibi was featured at Kushalta Ke Kadam program across NDTV media channels 

  • USHA & West Bengal SC ST & OBC Development Finance Corporation partnered with Sukalyan to monitor and develop 29 Silai Schools in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal

Women entrepreneurs are trained to setup a machine

Certificate being given away to the women entrepreneurs after completing their training 

Story of Laxmi Halder

Laxmi lives at Bira Pukurkona village in Habra region of North 24 Parganas.  In this village mostly the women do tailoring or either help their husband in farming for sourcing income.

 

Laxmi with her 19 year old daughter, her husband had passed away in 2018 due to heart attack. Laxmi’s daughter passed the higher secondary examination last year and now pursuing B.A from Calcutta University. Laxmi was the sole bread earner for the family till now, right starting from nourishing her daughter, continuing the treatment for her husband, teaching her daughter by her own because she was unable to keep a private tutor for her daughter due to financial crunch ever in her life; she was the only person in her family to take care of all this things. Apart from sewing in her rented machine right from the beginning of her married life she also used to do farming, worked under MGNREGA scheme and went for working as a daycare nurse in Kolkata. She had struggled a lot to keep her daughter and husband smiling always.  

 

Her basic skills in stitching did not help her gain a sufficient amount of money to sustain her family. After the then local coordinator approached her, she went on to take the USHA Classical School Training in 2012 with 10 other women. They are taught to stitch blouse, petticoat, nighty, pyjama in a detailed manner for 7 days. After this program, she was given a certificate from USHA along with a single sewing machine. Initially in 2012 she would earn about 500-1000 rupees per month. With time, at present, she earns about 5000-6000 rupees per month. Presently, she works with a distributor connected by Sukalyan from whom she gets the orders for herself and also distributes the work among the members of the village to help them too. She was also taken to an exposure visit to some other Silai school entrepreneurs just to understand how they work and market their products.

Laxmi working at her house in the sewing machine provided by USHA & Sukalyan

Swanirbhar- Sustainable Livelihood Initiative
Supporting Partners: CRISIL Foundation, SVP Philanthropy Foundation, Ficci YFlo Kolkata

In this project the model is to select a group of 10 woman having minimum skills on tailoring from various villages and provide them either 7, 12 or 30 days intensive training on need based cutting, sewing and embroidery and post-training they are provided with a double sewing machine to every women who are either used to take sewing machines on a rent basis or can’t afford to buy a new machine to generate income.

Mini Production Centres

Under this program, Sukalyan has facilitated setting-up mini production centres where each women entrepreneur is be provided with another 2 machines on rent so that they can take bulk orders from factories. Similarly, these women will also be provided with capacity building training on developing entrepreneurship skills, accounting and management of human resources. Each Women entrepreneur has  also engage 4 fellow women learners from the Silai Schools as team members / employees and provide space and electricity connection in her house to complete bulk orders. These production centres not only augments income for the women entrepreneurs but also provides regular income for the other women engaged as learners.

Objective

  1. Convert unskilled/semi-skilled rural poor women into skilled worker (tailor)

  2. Provide skill-based training, regular monitoring and supervision to sustain livelihood/income generation activities.

  3. Build capacities of women to build their own income through taking job orders and teaching to other women as well.

  4. Reduce migration and provide a source of Alternative livelihood at village level.

  5. Promote and strengthen women financial knowledge by inculcating habit of savings and enforcing credit discipline through intensive financial education.

Innovative approach

  • Apart from tailoring we provide training on Entrepreneurship Development, personality development, small business accounting, financial literacy, soft skills and health & hygiene which empowers these women entrepreneurs to work more efficiently and sustainably

  • After training these women are taken for exposure visits to large factories where many women works so that they get encouraged and set a mindset to work more 

 

Impact

  • 50 women entrepreneurs developed

  • 50 women have collectively earned more than 1 million until date.

  • 1000 new learners are created though Swanirbhar Program

Women entrepreneurs taking training during an 10 days intensive tailoring training

SVP Team interacting with the women entrepreneurs to motivate

Women entrepreneurs went for a exposure visit to a textile and jute factory

Partner Testimonials

Mr S Radhakrishnan, Chair, SVP Kolkata

Ms Amrita Kajaria, Chairperson, Ficci YFLo Kolkata

Story of Nargis Begam

Nargis Begum, at the age of 42 years is very energetic and enthusiastic for doing something new. She is one of the potential women who faced many hurdles in her life, struggles for existence but never take off her dreams. She comes from a middle-income group family and brought up with 2 brothers and one sister. She is the elder one and a mediocre student but due to family work pressure she is not being able to engage in any income generating activities. Nargis Begum, lives with her husband and two children’s in Matikumra village of North 24 Parganas District. Her husband was engaged in tailoring business and was earning around 4000 per month. With their income they were very worried about their children’s future. Nargis Begum is actively engaged in SHG group of her village and through the group she tries to save whatever she can for the better future of her children.

In the month of July 19 Sukalyan implemented Silai School project with the support of SVP and she got the opportunity to learn tailoring. After successfully completing the training she got a Sewing machine for tailoring and as a master trainer she started Silai School in her house for sharing her knowledge with other needy women. Nargis Begam is one of the most active women entrepreneurs from the group. She had trained highest no. of women learners which is 31 whom she taught regularly not only sewing but also cutting and hand embroidery. She had engaged her few learners to undertake sewing job orders from the local garment factories which she got through Sukalyan. This will help her learners to learn as well as generate income.

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