To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME), along with USHA International Limited, has launched the second phase of setting up SwavalambanSilai Schools. The second phase has commenced from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and under the partnership, the plan is to set up 700 Swavalamban Silai Schools (Homepreneurs – Entrepreneurs at home) in select districts of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand including calamity hit-prone/hardship/aspirational districts.
Shri V Satya Venkata Rao, Deputy Managing Director of SIDBI said, “I recall the words of Mahatma Gandhiji who had told that you must be the change you want to see in the World. SIDBI has been taking small change steps for mission AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Swavalamban Silai school is an endeavor under our Mission Swavalamban which aims to deepen the entrepreneurial culture, pan India. The women homepreneurs and role models from 1000 schools setup by us, in partnership with USHA in Phase I, as also those in second phase shall not only empower women but enable the families and society to assimilate cultural shift by adopting – Har GharEkSwavalambi. Under the second phase, besides tailoring skills, exposure on entrepreneurship and life skills shall also be imparted.”
This initiative aims at enabling setting up of sewing-based women owned home level enterprise in villages. This social initiative is aimed at empowering women from marginalised sections as also inducing entrepreneurship culture. It empowers women to be financially stronger and emerging entrepreneur.
The mission of setting up 50 homepreneurs in each adopted district has started from Varanasi and during October 2020, shall also cover Sharavasti, Sonbhadhraand Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Hamirpur and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. In the second phase, it has been endeavored to connect rural aspiring women homepreneurs to design, credit, market (including e commerce) and skill. This mission is aligned with Mission Swavalamban of SIDBI and with National Mission of AtmaNirbhar Bharat for strengthening villages through enterprise enabler steps.
Shri Krishna Shriram, Executive Chairman, Usha International Limited stated that “Usha is happy to partner with SIDBI in its inspirational journey to make India self-reliant and its visionary commitment towards making an impact. Empowering women with sewing skills and entrepreneurial inputs, helps them become homepreneurs, and earning members of the family, thereby inspiring confidence and faith in their own aptitude. SIDBI’s support and understanding has been invaluable, and so far, together we have skilled over 10,000 women via the 1000 Usha SwavalambanSilai Schools set up in 952 villages across five states (Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana). Self-reliance is embedded in the DNA of the country with the Nation’s Founding Father i.e. Gandhiji walking the talk and galvanizing the country into action towards the same. We are in our own way trying to walk the path emulating Gandhiji’s dream of a truly free nation.”
The first phase of the SwavalambanSilai School program began in September 2019 and ended in February 2020 under which SIDBI has provided support to 1000 marginalized and rural women across five states. Training-cum-sewing machines and setting up support were provided to these 1000 homepreneurs. Out of these 45% were from SC/ST segment and 59% were from Below Poverty Line segment indicating the inclusivity woven within the missionary initiative.
Each homepreneur has enrolled at least three other women, creating a multiplier effect. Countering the pandemic challenge, these homepreneurs have demonstrated resilience and emerged as COVID-19 warriors, supplying masks for the rural populace. On an average, income is Rs.2,400 with highest income during COID-19 recorded at Rs.41,000. These role models are not only motivating next generation in 1000 villages for becoming Swavalambis but also their social status, education and inclusivity is poised to be stronger.