Handcrafts make women self-reliant in Kurigram

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DHAKA, Jan 30, 2020 (BSS) – Womenfolk in Kurigram have changed their lots making different and useful items of handcrafts. Some women were found making satranjis, some sewing cushions while some others were seen making hand fans.

This scene is very much common in the Northern district of Kurigram where the women earn extra income through such works alongside household works and thus meet their family expenditure Many of them have now become self-reliant and they are leading dignified life in the society.

An NGO called ‘NARI’ is assisting these women in their handicrafts works. While paying an in-field visit, it was found that the women are making colorful and eye-catching satranjis, kitchen mats, baskets, bags, hand fans, paposh, table mats, carpet, show pieces, jewelries and various home decor items from jute fibre.

Farida Yasmin, an organizer of this NGO, told this correspondent that these women are now making colorful and eye-catching jute-made goods creating a growing local and foreign market of such products.

“Our initiative has brought solvency to the poor families side by side making the hapless women self-reliant,” she added.

Farida informed that initially they started their operations with some 300 handlooms and with the passage of time, many housewives started to engage in such work alongside the widowed and vulnerable women.

She said at one stage, they opened a show-room for these hand-made products while they also participated in various local and regional fairs to attract the buyers.

Many of these women are from vulnerable families living in the char and remote areas and most of them are widows, divorced and abandoned. They produce various types of colorful and aesthetic iteams like satranjis, hand fans from jute fibre while their produces are being sent in the local market and even those are also being exported.

Through such handicrafts works, this section of women are becoming self reliant while they are also helping the country to earn foreign currency with their hand-made products.

Some 700 women of various villages under Ulipur in Kurigram are making such hand-made items from jute fibre while their products are also being exported abroad after meeting the local demand.

Earlier in 2014, the NGO — NARI was established to create employment opportunities for the ill fated women and it first launched its work with the women living at Ramdas-Dhoniram Para along the Ulipur-Chilmari Road.

Shefali Akhter, said that her husband left her keeping behind a one-year old son who has now turned to six years. Shefali said she could earn up to Taka 300 everyday through making jute-made goods and thus make her living with enrolling her son at school.

Selina, another woman, said, “Once her family faced severe economic hardship… Now she has been able to bring solvency in her family after being engaged in making jute-made products.”

Like Shefali and Selina, many poor women struggled to maintain their family because of their extreme poverty but they are enjoying happy life with financial solvency.

President of Kurigram district unit of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad Rowshan Ara Chowdhury said the country has witnessed a remarkable development in the field of women empowerment, which has been lauded globally.

Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram Sultana Parvin said, “The government has advanced a lot in women’s empowerment as the women are now contributing to their families after being engaged in various incomes generating works.”

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