28 May 2022, 17:30
Update : 28 May 2022, 17:30

Work in fashion industry could be a tool of women empowerment in Bangladesh

   DHAKA, May 28, 2022 (BSS)- Social and financial vulnerabilities of transgenders prompt them to make an intentional choice to move to fashion industry. Poly Khatun is one of many transgenders who has built her fashion world with handmade apparels, making her a role model in this arena.

   A transgender of Rajshahi city, Poly has changed her fate banking on hard work and will-power, though she had to pass a rugged and perilous path to reach her goal.

   She started her 'DA Fashion House' at her own house in Mollapara in the city in 2016. In the beginning, her capital was only Taka eight thousands, currently her income is about one lakh per month.

   She began her business along with other 25 transgenders while more than four hundred transgenders and marginalised women are working under Poly's supervision now. They are making different types of hand-made sarees, three-pieces, bed sheets and cushion covers and the products are being sold at different places of the country. Even, those products are being sold abroad.

   Poly said her path to success was not so easy due to many people's non-cooperation and conservative mindset. She experienced many obstacles in escaping poverty. "But, I have been always positive and tried to start anything through my honesty and hard-work," she added.

   Poly inspires transgenders and women. She received 'Joyeeta Award' in 2017 in reorganization to her works. She also achieved 'Joy Bangla Youth Award' in 2021 for her works in developing the socio-economic conditions of the transgenders. Besides, she has a lot of achievements.

   She is now busy with her business and other social development works. She also works on preventing Aids in Rajshahi. She works on development of the livelihood of transgender and making them self-dependent through establishing an organization 'Diner Alo Hizra Sangha'.

   She also gives trainings on appliqu,s and boutiques to local women and transgender. Many women and transgender are becoming self-dependent through Poly and even many women have started dreaming to lead a better life.

   The beginning of her life was very painful and she fought every moment to live. She is elder among her three brothers and sisters. Everyone understood her gender identity just after the birth. Her father not only denied her (Poly), he also denied her mother to accept. But there was no lake of her mother's affection. Finally, her father accepts them. But he carried out repression on Poly and her mother in every moment. Even, she didn't get any new dress in any festival like Eid though her other siblings got new dresses.

   She passed SSC in 2012 though her academic life was not smooth. Even, her father didn't pay any penny to run her education. Her mother used to pay to run her education.

   A local organization 'Bandhu Social Welfare Society' stood beside her in 2015 and gave training and financial assistant which helped her to start a new life. After the training, Poly started business with only Taka eight thousand as capital.

   She said, "I make designs by my-self on sarees and three-pieces. I also do the works of appliqués and boutiques on those sarees and three-pieces. In the beginning, I sold my products at local markets. Later, the range of my business has increased. And now, we are making 700 three-pieces and 50-piece sarees from my fashion house every month. Every three-piece is being sold at Taka 2500 to Taka 3000, one piece is sold at Taka 700 to 1000 and two-piece is being sold at Taka 1500 to Taka 2200. Every piece saree is being sold at Taka 2500 to 3500. And now my monthly income is about Taka 1.5 lakh."

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