A journey to self-dependency

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A case-study of a woman Ms. Hajyani who steered her family out of abject poverty by learning skill of pot-making    

By Abdul Latif Soomro

Ms. Hajyani, 31 years old, is a member of Community Organization and Village Organization of Village Ghulam Hussian Bhambhro, Union Council Gulzar Khaleel, Taluka Samaro district Umerkot, Sindh. Her family cultivated one acre of land and lived in single room mud-house. She never attained the school and at early age she learnt embroidery work from her mother. She was married at the age of 17, as arranged by her parents. Her husband used to work on daily wages. She told that daily income of her husband was not sufficient to meet the needs of her family and therefore had to work on agriculture land.

After a year of marriage, Ms. Hajyani gave birth to a baby boy Rabnawaz and with a gap of a year between each child she had 05 sons and a daughter. After death of her father-in-law, her husband’s brother decided live separately urging for his share in whatever ‘assets’ they had. Ms. Hajyani received only one goat in as share in ‘assets’.

“The life was very difficult with 06 children. Often we hadn’t enough to feed my family,” she said adding that during the difficult period of life her husband borrowed money from a local landlord on high interest.

“One day my neighbor asked me to come to their home, as an organization had come to village for meeting with women. After meeting with women, the Social Organizer (SO) formed the Community Organization (CO) under Peoples’ Poverty Reduction Program (PPRP) funded by Government of Sindh. The SO shared details of program and its importance. We had to do three things – a monthly meeting; saving and record keeping. So finally, we selected the office bearers of Community Organization with consensus of all community members,” she told.

After trainings of COs, the SOs filled the Micro Investment Plan (MIP) of CO Abdullah. “It was very difficult for me to decide about MIP of our family. I discussed with my husband Ali Nawaz, for whom it was very difficult to manage the bread and butter for family. My husband told that he is interested in Vocational Training Program (VTP) and wanted to learn earthen pot-making.”

“After a day, a team of Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) again visited our village for completion of remaining MIPs.  We requested them for arranging training in pot-making at our home,” she said.

Now, there was another challenge for Institute of Management & Skill Development (IMSD), a training arm of Sindh Rural Support Organization to finalize the venue and methodology for only 03 trainees. IMSD decided to initiate the on-job training them with Kumbhar (earthen pot maker). After proper agreement with Kumbhar, three trainees were attached for one month on-job training at Ustad (teacher) Ismail Kumbhar (clay-work specialist) at village Ghulam Hussain Bhambrhro.

After completion of one-month training, Ali Nawaz was attached with Ustad Ismail Kumbhar for work. “Previously, I was working on daily wages as labor in market but not sure about daily income. Truly, that were very difficult days, as even I was not able to earn Rs.100 per day on average,” he told recalling his tough life.

“The difficult time of my life was over with completion of pot-making training. I used to produce 25-30 pots on daily basis at my trainer’s shop and earned around Rs.700-750 daily after excluding all expenditures,” Ali Nawaz told.

Soon, Ali Nawaz started to work at home where his wife Ms. Hajyani also supported him in preparation of the mud. She also learnt making many things from her husband.

According to Ms. Hajyani, she now makes 10-15 small items and earns around Rs.200-300 on daily basis.  Now, cumulative daily income of her family is Rs.1000. Ali Nawaz is very happy now as his school going children are enrolled at school.

“I wish my children become doctors and engineers”, Ali Nawaz said with determination, “I will bear their all expenses for higher education.”

Ali Nawaz and his family is now a ‘happy family’ due to their skill. “This all happened only due to efforts of my wife and the plan she discussed with me. Today we are a successful family,” he told.

 

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