Handicrafts from KP fail to attract crowd

ISLAMABAD The ongoing exhibition of handicrafts by the Women Home Based Workers from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwah province at the Lok Virsa complex Shakarparian could not attract large crowd due to lack of publicity by the organisers. The provincial department of Social Welfare and Women Development has arranged the 3-day display of product in collaboration with Lok Virsa, Federal Ministry of Culture, which is to be concluded on (today) Sunday. Though hundreds of products are available but thin visitors has created panic among the stallholders. They fear that they would not recover even their expenses they have incurred to reach to the venue and bearing for their accommodation and food. The survey conducted by TheNation revealed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwah department of Social Welfare and Women Development did not pay any boarding and lodging to the 120 participants who came all the way from the far flung districts of the province. This state of affairs is contrary to the tall claims of the federal and the provincial governments which have shattered the confidence of the women home based workers. On the inauguration of the exhibition, Federal Minister for Population Welfare Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan had also claimed that the government was committed to make all possible efforts for the welfare and uplift of the masses, particularly the women folk to enable them to contribute effectively to the development of the country. But, the participating women decline all their tall claims. A development professional working with the women home based workers Riffat Ara Baig while talking to TheNation said that the destiny of the marginalised crafts women could not be changed until the government take up the Home Based Workers bill to the parliament. She said that the Home Based Workers draft bill is pending with the government for the last over one year. It was prepared by the non-governmental sector in collaboration with the donors and multilateral organisations after about a year long intensive consultations with all possible stakeholders in all parts of the country including the Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, she added. Ms Baig was of the view that once the Home Based Workers bill is approved by the parliament and implemented by the government in the letter and spirit, it would bring immense change in the working conditions especially of women who work from their homes including the craftswomen and women farmers. About 120 participants from 24 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwah province are participating in the exhibition and displaying their homemade products in the capital city for three days. There are 60 stalls to display products including various items of embroidery, jewellery, bed sheets and covers, shoes, bags, key chains, table cloths and many other products. The exhibition will continue till today (Sunday) from 11 am to 10 pm daily at Lok Virsa complex, Shakarparian.

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