26 Raigram village women change lot making ‘Nakshi Kantha’

MAGURA, Nov 17: The traditional hand-made quilt ‘Nakshi Kantha’ has improved the financial condition of 26 women in village Raigram of the district.

A three or four-member female group can prepare a quilt within seven to eight days.

Ayesha-Abed Foundation, a wing of BRAC, introduced it to get the poor village women involved in income generating activities.

Sources said the foundation has been working in the village for more than 25 years and over 100 distress women got benefited from it.

The foundation sources said at first they select some women and train them for the project. Then they provide them necessary elements like cloth, sewing machine, thread and needle to prepare the quilts with hand-embroidery.

The workers do that at their own houses. The foundation representatives go to them, collect the products and pay them instantly. For sewing a quilt, a group is paid Tk 4,500, the sources added.

Local female commissioner Shabed Ara said ‘Nakshi Kantha’ has brought a radical change in the village. Social problems like, school drop-out rate and early marriage have been reduced tremendously in the village because of the financial solvency of women here.

Nurjahan Begum said, “My husband passed away seven years ago. I was living in extreme poverty. But five years ago, my daughter started sewing ‘Kantha’. Now our monthly income is Tk 10,000.”

Jyothsna Khatun of the village also told this correspondent her success story. She said she along with her daughter started the traditional kantha stitching about 10 years ago and brought the financial solvency.

She said, “I purchased two bighas of land in 2014 and earn Tk 60,000 per year by leasing it. I am eyeing to purchase two bighas of land more in the next year.”

BRAC, Magura, representative Rokeya Begum said a silent revolution has emerged in the village Raigram. ‘Nakshi Kantha’ helped the distressed women of the village to understand a new meaning of life.

Md Noor Kamal, an official of the foundation, said, “Many women of the adjacent villages are coming to us to be involved in the project. We are thinking to expand the project to some other villages.”

“The Nakshi Kanthas prepared by the village poor women are being supplied to be sold in the reputed commercial centre Aarong”, he added.

Source: The Financial Express. Date: 17 November 2016