Usha Silai Schools: Creating Opportunities in North East India

1NagalandBackground and Context: UIL has been successfully running the Silai School program in Nagaland since the year 2013. This case study is an attempt to record how the 10 Women Entrepreneurs from the 10 Silai Schools in Dimapur have successfully joined hands to start a Showroom Cum Sales Centre by mobilising support from the Nagaland State Social Welfare Board in Dimapur.

Presently, UIL is running 20 Silai Schools in the state. All the Silai Schools are in the districts of Kohima and Dimapur

The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes and a large number of smaller tribes. Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress

2nagaland(II) Main trends of Silai Schools in Nagaland

  1. Silai Schools have helped the economies of these 20 Silai School women entrepreneurs
  2. A positive enthusiasm is visible in the communities where the Silai Schools are operational
  3. Even the local district administration is aware and positive about the Silai Schools

Dimapur, which is the main commercial centre of Nagaland has 10 Silai Schools in the neighbouring villages (the other 10 being Kohima). For the State of Nagaland, MSS had conducted the Silai School training through the Training of Trainers (TOT) model, where 2 master trainers from the state were trained by UIL in Guwahati for a period of 7 days. One of the Master Trainers from Nagaland was an enthusiastic lady named Ms Thine Sekhose.

Thine, very successfully trained 10 women in Nagaland after having motivated them to start Silai Schools in the villages. In addition to being the Master Trainer, coach and mentor for these 10 village women, Thine is also the program coordinator for the local NGO called EDITI, which is monitoring the Silai Schools on a regular basis.

4nagaland(III) Spin-off effects of Silai Schools in Dimapur

One of the main problems that the Silai School teachers face is that once the number of learners have stabilised or if the teachers have completed the target of teaching 20 learners, they are enthused to do “something else” or “something big”. In Dimapur, the teachers wanted to sell their finished products and wanted to make a successful business out of it. However, since the Silai Schools are located in remote villages, not many people used to know or buy the finished products. Hence the number of customers was limited.

Gradually, the teachers, under the leadership of Thine Sekhose, planned to walk an extra mile to augment their income. They approached the Nagaland Social Welfare Department and appraised them about the Silai Schools and requested them for assistance to start a Showroom and Sales Centre in Dimapur. The Silai School teachers, planned that all the quality finished products that they create in the Silai Schools would be displayed and sold from the Showroom.

Happily, for the 10 women and Thine, the Nagaland Social Welfare Department  approved the proposal and agreed to support them by paying the monthly rent of about Rs 6000/- . Moreover they agreed to support the furniture and fixtures for the Showroom and a computer for their day to day work.

Therefore, the Showroom and Sales Centre, named as “Emergence” by Thine and her band of 10 Silai School Teachers came into operation on September 2014 at PWD Road, Midland, Dimapur.

6nagaland(IV) The Business Model of the Showroom and Sales Centre:

  1. The 10 Silai School women contribute to the centre, whatever products they make in the Silai Schools in the villages
  2. The finished products range from skirt-tops, soft toys, mobile pouches.
  3. The Silai School teachers have to contribute 5-10% of the profit for the maintenance and management of the centre
  4. Ms Thine has also started training centre on Sewing and dress making, soft-toy making and artificial flower-making centre. Traditional Bridal dress for wedding is also an especial item.
  5. Many people visiting Dimapur request for customised items and these orders are then completed at the Silai Schools by the teachers.
  6. The Centre has been named as “Emergence” by Thine and her band of 10 Silai School Teachers.
  7. This  EMERGENCE is evolving as a backward linkages initiative for the Silai School Products

The program has just started two months. There is an enthusiasm amongst Thine and her team. So far the response from buyers have been positive. Silai Schools are paving way for many opportunities for rural women.

Usha launches Silai Schools Programme in Bhutan

Usha International launches Silai School Programme in Bhutan in association with Tarayana Foundation

DSC_0128Usha International ltd announced the launch of the Usha Silai School Programme in Bhutan in association with Tarayana Foundation, a nonprofit organization working towards improving the quality of the lives of vulnerable individuals and communities in Bhutan. After 4400 silai schools in India and 100 in Nepal this programme is now being launched in Bhutan to empower village level women. For more information please visit http://www.ushainitiatives.com.

DSC_0148As a part of the 10 day silai school training program which starts today, twenty women have been selected from three districts of Bhutan on the basis of assessment guidelines shared by Usha. These women are being trained on advanced sewing techniques to become ‘Master Trainers’.

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These trainers will thereafter not only provide sewing services in their own villages but will also train other women as an income generating activity. Usha will provide all the machines and materials required, while Tarayana Foundation will provide logistic support and coordination during the training period. Tarayana Foundation would also be setting up 3 production centres called “Tarayana-Usha Sewing Schools” in three districts of Bhutan, namely – Thimphu, Trongsa and Mongar.

Usha Silai School Program is a unique community initiative, where Usha International helps women from remote rural areas earn a better livelihood, by providing them with the necessary skill sets required in sewing, stitching and machine repair.

Usha Eastern India Ladies & Junior Girls Golf Championship

Usha International Ltd. sponsored the Eastern India Ladies and Junior Girls Golf Championship-2014
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Usha has been supporting ladies and amateur Golf for over 25 years now. This year the Usha Eastern India Ladies and Junior Girls Golf Championship has been won by Bengaluru’s Aditi Ashok who is rank no 2 at the Indian Golf Union Circuit. The final day at the TollyGunge Golf Club, saw some nail biting action as Aditi Ashok went neck to neck with Amandeep Drall.

The prizes were given away by veteran Arjuna Awardee Soma Biswas and Mr. Sandeep Mehrotra who is the unit head of Usha Fan Industries.golf 2

Football, the Cricket Way

Football The Cricket WayLet’s admit it, India is a Cricket crazy nation and though as other sports gain in prominence, the country’s first love will always be cricket. Thus not surprisingly Cricket facts, records, numbers and names are at the tip of most tongues.  Yes, the masses may cheer for Boxing, Football and Hockey, but when it comes to trivia Cricket takes the whole 9 yards. So taking this Road Most Taken, let’s explore the world of Football.

Sir Viv Richards (need I mention he is from West Indies), was not only a great Batsman, but also a good Footballer. Being the only Cricketer to have played in both the World Cups, namely Cricket and Football; representing the Antigua Football Team in the 1974 Football World Cup. Similarly the reputed international Empire Steve Bucknor also played the referee in the World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles in 1988.

This next question goes out to all die-hard Cricket fans who live, sleep and dream Cricket: Who is Sir Bobby Moore? The answer is: He was a County Cricket player for the Essex Youth team. However, not Cricket but Football brought him glory, when England won the 1966 Football World Cup under his Captainship. The funny thing being, that people who saw him play County Cricket still swear that he played better Cricket than Football.

Cricket fans will be forgiven not to know the next player. While, growing up in Australia this player harbored dreams to be a great Cricketer, idolizing the legendary Allan Border.  Border would later claim that the boy would have made a fine Test cricket player, if only his father hadn’t moved to Italy, where the young boy eventually became the lead striker in the Italian national Football Team. Any Guesses, who we are talking about (this one is for the Football fans)? Yes, it’s none other than Christian Vieri – the man who went on to become Italy’s highest ever goal-scorer in the FIFA World Cup.Blog CF

Virat Kohli plays Frisbee at the ‘Usha Play’ Zone

Virat Kohli at the Usha Play zoneUsha International, one of the principle sponsors of FC Goa team, setup a special Usha Play zone during the match between FC Goa and Athletico De Kolkata. This zone was set up to provide football fans a lively and interactive experience on how to play with a Frisbee; a sport Usha has been associated for last three years. FC Goa co-owner, Virat Kohli also visited the Usha Play zone to try his hand with the Frisbee along with enthusiastic FC Goa fans.

Usha is proud to be associated with FC Goa and the state’s rich history of football. The strong team bolstered by marquee player Robert Pires and enthusiastic fans was the main reason why Usha opted to sponsor FC Goa

Saina Nehwal Goes Golfing

2Ms. Saina Nehwal, Brand Ambassador of Usha International tried her hands on golf at the 5th Usha DGC Ladies Open Amateur Championship. She later said, that it was fun playing the game but it’s a difficult sport.1

Thereafter, Ms. Saina Nehwal along with Ms. Chhaya Shriram, Director Usha International Ltd., felicitated winners of the tournament. 17 year old, Ms. Tvesa Malik grabbed the Usha fifth Delhi Golf Club Ladies Open Amateur title. This championship is one of the leading ladies golf tournaments on the Indian Golf Union Circuit. 1aSaina Nehwal also spoke on her association with Usha and how the company has been consistently promoting sports across all levels. She said that it was great to see many young girls taking to golf and emphasized on the fact that more and more girls should be participating in sports. At the end, Saina Nehwal was presented with a memento by Krishna Shriram, Chairman Usha International Ltd. 1b

Indian Football Matters

football_soccer_pictureAny discussion on Indian Football is bound have a reference of or two about Mohun Bagan and will sooner or later rake up the issue of the Indian Football Team’s bare-feet adventure and misadventure during the two Olympics. And from there it is all the “Good Old Golden Days of Football,” often forgetting to acknowledge the great moments of contemporary Indian Football. Yes, there are a few great moments, not many but nevertheless a few we as Indians should be proud of. Here are a few you should know:

Though India has never played a World Cup Final, an Indian did! Meet Vikash Dhorasoo, an Indian origin French citizen, who played for France against Italy in the 2006 World Cup Finals.  Similarly footballer Majid Baskar played for Iran in the 1978 World Cup. Back home he represented the East Bengal team between 1980 and 1981. Then there is Emeka Ezueugo who made it to the Nigerian 1994 World Cup Team, after honing his skills in domestic matches representing East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting.fb 1

The Indian Team has been missing from the World Cup since long, but not all things Indian. The country known for his enterprising capabilities was omnipresent at the 2010 South African World Cup through the Football Ball itself. All the inner rubber bladders of the official FIFA Balls were made in India by a Delhi based company for that particular World Cup. If Manufacturing was there, can technology be far behind? Mahindra Satyam was the official IT service provider for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.soccer-ball-2

And let’s not forget contemporary legend Baichung Bhutia who became the second Indian player after Mohammed Salim (from the good old golden days) to play abroad as he was signed by English third division outfit Bury FC. Back home, under his captaincy, India won the LG Cup in Vietnam in 2002, South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships thrice, two Nehru Cup titles (in 2007 and 2009) and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup which assured them a place in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.Baichung Bhutia Football Star

5 Football Facts Every Indian Should Know

1Football actually originated in China, though the game’s present form took shape in Great Britain. 80% of all Footballs are manufactured in Pakistan. But none of that matters for the next two months because ISL is taking place here in India! So this goes out to all the die-hard Indian Football fans: 5 interesting football facts from our beloved home grounds that you thought you knew.

  1. The oldest existing Football Competition outside Britain takes place in India! Yes, you heard that one right. It’s the Durand Cup, inaugurated in 1888 it remains the fourth-oldest existing football event across the globe, behind the English FA Cup, the Scottish Cup and the Welsh Cup. The Tournament is named after its founder, Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary in charge of India from 1884 to 1894.
  2. The Indian Football team’s bare feet bravery at the 1948 Olympics earned them a royal fan in Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II

    Indian Football Team 1948 Olympics. Look no Shoes!

    Indian Football Team 1948 Olympics. Look, no Shoes!

  3. During the 1950’s Indian Football reigned Asia. India, with players like P.K Banjeree and Neville D’Souza, established themselves as the best team in Asia for 15 years beginning from the first Asian Games in 1951
  4. Regarded as one of India’s finest defenders and Captain, Salien Nath Manna was the only Asian to ever make it to the list of the world’s ten best captains in the English FA’s celebrated football yearbook
  5. Mahatma Gandhi used football to help break racial barriers in South Africa

    Mahatma Gandhi (6th from left back row) with a South African Football Team

    Mahatma Gandhi (6th from left back row) with a Football Team in South Africa

USHA is proud to be associated with FC Goa

USHA is proud to be associated with FC Goa as an official sponsor in the
HERO Indian Super League
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Catch the action starting 12th October, 2014 on eight channels of Star Network
Star Sports (English and Hindi), Star Sports HD, Star Gold, Star Utsav, Asianet Movies (Malyalam),  Jasha Movies (Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada) and starsports.com

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USHA, the proud sponsor of the FC GOA team will be seen on the back of the jerseys and training kits of all players of the Football Club Goa Team. Usha will also be a part of all branding, marketing, on-ground and promotional activities planned for the team during the tournament. Legendary Brazilian Player Zico is the manager of the team and arsenal legend Robert Pires is their marquee player.

FC Goa is also the first Indian sports club to launch a satellite TV Channel – FC Goa TV on Videocon D2H.

The Hero Indian Super league is the first professional football league in India and will be played between eight teams. The Indian Super League kicks off on October 12th and will go on till 20th December. Click Here For Match Schedule: Match Schedule