Master Trainer & Supervisor Hand Embroideries, Industrial Home, Rawalpindi
I was very young when I got married. From early on, I felt inclined towards stitching and needlework. I think this was mainly because my husband barely ever worked and I felt I needed to do something to earn money for my two children.
One day, I took out some of my old clothes and began to teach myself how to cut fabric and stitch them into outfits. With the passage of time I learnt how to make clothes and from then on, there was no looking back. I received my first order from my neighbour and soon began taking orders from her entire family as well.
I would charge very little for my services, and this brought in even more customers. I would work all day and night, sometimes I would stitch five outfits a day if I really pushed myself. I’ve been working at Behbud as a Master Trainer for over two decades now. It gladdens my heart to teach and mentor such wonderful women, many of who struggled in their youth just like I did. My work is my lifeline. It was due to Behbud and my vocation that I was able to not only educate my children, but also build my own house.
Married to a man who gave up his truck driving job after becoming a drug addict, Mazloom Bibi’s life was spent living in abject poverty. So poor that at times she and her children would have to starve and wear clothes made out of bags of flour (stitched by Mazloom Bibi herself), life eventually took a turn for the better when she arrived at Behbud’s complex in Saidpur in complete dire straits.
“I needed a source of income and had heard that there was an organisation which taught women embroideries and needlework. The day I joined Behbud and started making money was the day that my family got out of poverty. That was when we started eating three meals a day and my children were enrolled at the non-profit’s school,” she says.
Currently a master trainer of smocking at the complex’s Industrial Centre, Mazloom Bibi has tutored countless young women and is one of the most admired craftswomen at the centre.