Taanka is a social enterprise established by Community World Service Asia and its partners to promote the finest handcrafted amalgamation of contemporary designs with traditional stitches, produced by rural women artisans from interior Sindh, Pakistan.
“From the trainings I received at the vocational center, I learnt color variation, quality management and maintenance of cleanliness and finishing of products.
Now that my community members know that my knowledge has increased and my stitching and designing has improved, I receive orders from village residents here. I receive orders for crafting bed sheets, pillow covers and various apparels including shirts, embroidery on sleeves and necklines and saaris. The artisans at the center received an order from a designer named Nida Azwer. We made saaris, embellished patches for sleeves and shirts for her. I earnt PKR 5000 (Approx. USD 43) from that order alone.
Before, at times of celebratory festivals, I used to ask my brothers for money and sometimes they were unable to spare some for me. As I am earning myself now, I have the freedom to buy products for myself and celebrate our traditions and festivities freely.”
Bhagwani / 17-year-old artisan from Haji Chanesar Mari Village in Umerkot, Sindh
“I was engaged to marry at the age of twelve with a boy from another village. My wedding was planned as soon as I would turn seventeen.
To our luck, Community World Service Asia visited our village and conducted gender awareness sessions, which my family attended. After the sessions, my father realized I was too young to bear the responsibility of marriage. He wanted me to study further and expand my handicraft work to the urban markets.
I work on the orders I get at the center. I have received five orders from Karachi including two dupattas, two shirts and one embellishment on shirt sleeves. I earnt PKR4000 (approx. USD 40) from those orders. From the money I earnt, I have bought new clothes and school books for my young sisters. I also bought a cow that gave birth to two calves and is expecting a third.”
Kaveeta / 16-year-old artisan from Mandhal Otaaq village in Umerkot, Sindh
“I have worked on stitching and handcrafting rallis and different products including blouses, dupattas, bags and shirts.
The quality and finishing of my products has improved exceptionally and my ralli work was most appreciated by buyers. Before, I only knew simple stitching which I practiced at home for everyday wear clothes or home accessories, but the skill development trainings have enhanced my skills in thread work and designing which has brought an exciting diversity to the products I make.
Since the launch and our involvement in the brand Taanka, our products have become visible in the urban markets. As my handicraft sales have improved, I have enrolled in school again. My father and I both contribute to the educational expenses of all my siblings. I want to earn more to be able to bear all my educational expenses so that I can ease my father’s economic burden and complete my education till the end.”
Paveeta / 16-year-old artisan from Mandhal Otaaq Village in Umerkot, Sindh
“After completing my matriculation, my family could not afford my education expenses any longer, therefore I had to discontinue my studies.
I was very disappointed. On receiving payment on completion of the Taanka orders, I was determined to continue with my education and financially support the education expenses of my sister as well. I have enrolled myself in Intermediate and my sister is also continuing with her studies. I am very pleased, as this initiative is helping us achieve our dream of acquiring education and working towards our future goals.”
Bakhtwar / 22 year old artisan, from Raheem Dino Thaheem village in Thatta, Sindh
“I have worked on various orders of apparels and home accessories. I decorate glass products with bead work which I learnt at the vocational centre.
I also get orders of glass decorations and other decorations pieces too from nearby villages. I use various embellishment to decorate the products. I am happy with the work I am doing.
I pay my electricity and water bills and contribute in the education fees of my children. If the payment is delayed from my husband, I can easily purchase the grocery for my home as well. I purchase clothes for my family with the income I earn and also save money for healthcare or any emergency situation. I was expecting my third child when I received a payment for a bed sheets order I completed. I got paid PKR 15,000 (Approx. USD 130) for that. I had to travel to Hyderabad to be admitted in a hospital to deliver my baby due to some complications. I stayed in the hospital for a week and then returned to my village. I bore all expenses with the money I received for the bed sheets order. I was relieved as there was no tension of financial resources at the time.”
Shanti / artisan from Kharoro Charan Village in Umerkot, Sindh
“I joined the vocational center with the hope of giving a better future to my sons. To my surprise, I was selected as the…
Sales and Marketing Agent (SMA) as the other artisans nominated me, trusting that I was a confident and energetic woman who would be capable of acquiring orders for us and liaising with buyers on behalf of the Women Enterprises Group (WEG). I travelled to Karachi to meet different buyers to promote the artisans’ handmade products and procured orders for further income generation. I realized that for women here, the traditional nature of home-based embroidery work is more socially acceptable and something they can continue and sustain. Visiting the urban markets was a fruitful experience for me where I got to observe market demand and identified ways of producing high quality, fashionable and marketable products to cater to high-end markets.”
Kenku / Sales and Marketing Agent from Bandi village of Umerkot District, Sindh
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