A STITCH IN TIME
Usha International is empowering women through hundreds of sewing schools. By Mridu Rai
Afive day residential workshop on the art of costume, design and draping in the context of theatre, film and daily life, titled Adishakti Masterclass, was conducted by designer Sonam Dubal in Pondicherry. Adishakti Masterclass is an initiative of Usha Janome which at present runs 1,000 sewing schools across the country for women. Apart from this, there are 2,500 Usha Silai Schools across rural India which teach women how to stitch, tailor and repair sewing machines.
Usha Sewing Schools charge a fee that ranges from Rs 700 – Rs 3,100 while the duration of the course varies from 1 month to 6 months. The fee structure for Usha Silai Schools varies from village to village and ranges from approximately Rs 20 per month to Rs 250 per month for a 3-months course.
“These schools provide sewing skills that can be utilised for personal use or to generate income. Once a woman living in a rural area recieves training she can then conduct a teaching programme for others in her village. Apart from being a source of income these courses also help to improve a woman’s social status in society,” explains Chhaya Sriram, managing director, Usha International.
Training day at a Silai School in Andhra Pradesh