By: Anil Datta
All the 90 recipients are from Karachi’s working class localities
and have been imparted training under the aegis of an NGO
A certificate presentation ceremony was held at the Orient Energy auditorium, Korangi, on Saturday evening to acknowledge the efforts of women who had been imparted training in fashion design, entrepreneurial skills and compassion skills under the aegis of an NGO, Mumkin.
The women, who were residents of Lyari, Landhi and Korangi, enumerated their achievements, and future plans and strategies of their groups as regards their activities.
Mumkin is an organisation under the umbrella of the global initiative, Charter of Compassion. Its chief aim is empowerment of women.
All the women were from the working class localities of town and did not at all reflect the trendy styles synonymous with Karachi. They were simple young women and simply attired. In all, 90 women were awarded certificates.
However, what was remarkable was their ambition to bring about a change in the stereotyped values that frown upon women going beyond the precincts of the home.
There were three main groups—one from Lyari, one from Landhi and the other from Korangi. The women from Lyari presented their future plans of starting off a kitchen for office workers in their locality who have to make do with bazaar food which may not always be healthy and hygienic. They presented their plan, the weekly menu.
They also presented their marketing strategy and their target groups, which would include office workers in Lyari and the II Chundrigar Road area. They said that they would be providing low cholesterol meals and implement their plans by January 2017.
The women from Landhi, led by Mahjan Abdul Ghani, said they planned to start a Maktab Al Qalam. They said they envisaged a bookshop and a library, both under one roof.
Their target market, they said, would be the Landhi school area. Their marketing plan included the use of posters, word of mouth, and the local Masjid.
Besides, they said, they planned to have monthly activities like book fairs to attract customers. As a further incentive, they said, they would give away free stationery on book purchase to the tune of a certain amount, and free basic education for parents.
The group from Korangi said that they planned to have a sports centre for girls with facilities for outdoor games like cricket and football, and indoor games like table tennis. According to their marketing plan, they would be mobilising the clientele through pamphlets, the Internet and text messages.
Amin Hashwani, president of the Pakistan chapter of the Charter of Compassion, lauded the plans and enthusiasm of the young women and stressed the need for coming up with what there was in the heart without any qualms.
“You should not be disappointed with failure because ultimately success has to come. Be sure.” He said, “We don’t just empower women economically but socially too.”
Hashwani outlined plans to enlarge the programme to Sindh and the rest of Pakistan.
Mumkin is aimed at changing the thinking of the people. With compassion at the heart of the programme, the women are taught to keep in mind the values of politeness, love, tolerance and ethics, and to bring this element into their programmes.
Talking about compassion, a woman said, “I was taught to speak. My behaviour towards children embodied affection as part of my training.”