We all gleam with achievement now that Polio has been eradicated – a milestone that we are all proud about. Oblivious in our pride we have somehow forgotten the people who are still afflicted by it. Do you still feel proud?
A lot needs to be done, but Usha Initiatives does feel proud of Ms. Laxmi Maheshwari from Bhuj Gujarat. Though both her legs are polio afflicted and she still lives with her parents confided between four walls, she is no longer dependent on them but instead supports them! Thanks to a simple seven days Sewing Course and an Usha Sewing Machine given free of cost to her as part of the Usha Silai School Programme.
After the training Laxmi, started a Silai School on her own village. Initially, due to her mobility impairments, she found it extremely challenging to mobilize students from the village. The village women and girls were also skeptical about coming to her as they doubted her abilities as a teacher. After much convincing, she acquired 2 students and thus began her Silai School. Her teaching was extremely good and through word of mouth her skills gained great popularity in the village. More students came to enquire about the school and numerous got enrolled. Laxmi has trained about 15 women/ girls and 8 are pursuing their training currently at her School. With time, Laxmi’s confidence grew more enabling her to start a tailoring shop as well. Today, the village women come to her for getting most of their clothes stitched.
Similarly, Purnimasi Devi is a very important person. But you haven’t heard of her. Yes, you have heard of Mary Kom who comes from the same Northeastern state of India, Manipur. Perhaps if they make a movie about Purnimasi you will pay attention! Go ahead do a Google search. Found her? No. Why should Google pay attention to her, when you being her fellow citizen have neglected her and millions like her?
Let Usha Initiatives introduce Purnimasi Devi to you. She is the icon of a small village near Imphal. No, she didn’t win any medals for her village, but she changed its socio-economic landscape. Like Mary Kom she comes from a very poor farming community, where her father is a private school teacher – earning a meager income once in a while since the school does not receive regular Govt. grants. Purnimasi’s father has to depend on this irregular incomes to take care of his family.
Purnimasi’s amazing triumph lies is the fact that she helped to draw her family out of this abject deep dark hole of poverty and uncertainty. Today, Purnamasi not only supports her father in the household needs but also bears the educational expenses of her four younger sisters and a brother. And she does it all through her Usha Silai School. An initiative started by Usha which empowers rural women in the country by teaching them sewing and basic machine repair. Not only does she takes on sewing work but also has 22 students under her. Ace Boxer Magnificent Mary Kom felicitated five such women from different parts of the country at a Mumbai event held by Usha in association with Viacom. They were all recognized and awarded for their successes against impossible odds. To Read more Click Here: www.ushainitiatives.com