I mmediately after their wedding, Tasneem Amir and her husband decided to move to Rawalpindi. Having lived in Manglor, Swat, all their lives, the young couple wanted to build a better life for themselves. And while daunting, they took the plunge.
Today, having been a part of Behbud’s home-based workforce for over eight years, Tasneem has been able to mobilize 50 women from her community in Manglor to become home-based workers. Bringing together family members and neighbours who had lost their homes in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015, Tasneem regularly visits the Industrial Home in Rawalpindi to collect and deliver work to the group of women in Manglor, thus allowing them to earn an income to support their households. “Behbud provides women like me with a safety net in difficult times. It has changed my life,” she says.
Homebased Worker, Qaziabad
Having joined Behbud as a home-based worker 18 years ago, Farzana felt compelled to seek out an avenue for earning because her husband’s meager income wasn’t enough to make ends meet. Driving a rickshaw – a job her husband still continues – from morning till sun-down, Farzana’s income bolstered the family income over the years, allowing her to educate her children and even rent out an upper portion of a house in town.
“I heard about Behbud’s wonderful Master Trainer, Afida Kausar, through some of the women in the neighborhood and thought it would be a good idea to approach her for work,”
Farzana recalls. While the tasks initially seemed overwhelming, Afida coaxed Farzana into trying it out for a short stint. Over time, the work became effortless and Iqra, Farzana’s youngest, 22-year-old daughter, also followed in her mother’s footsteps as a home-based worker for Behbud.
“I only feel satisfied when I finish at least one full roll of thread,” she chuckles, “I love working with colourful fabrics. In all these years at Behbud, I’ve learned a number of crafts.”
Home-based Worker, Qaziabad
We have quite a large group of women who sit together in my house and work on our Behbud assignments every morning. It’s a lot of fun. Our work sessions are full of chatter and laughter.
I discovered Behbud through my older sister. I recall her sitting on the charpoy one day and making all these beautiful hand embroideries. I’ve been working as a home-based worker for Behbud for a few years now, along with my two daughters. Surviving on my husband’s salary was quite difficult. He’s a labourer and we have four children. I’m currently saving up for my eldest daughter’s wedding; she’s getting married this year! The money both of us make from Behbud goes towards her dowry. It can take anywhere between one hour to a few weeks to become skilled in a craft, but you have to be dedicated and practice as much as you can.