Run by Sadiqa Salahuddin, ‘Khazana’ is an off-shoot of Indus Resource Centre (IRC). The IRC is a not-for-profit organisation provides education and sustainable livelihood to people residing in rural Sindh. The exhibition showcases mostly Sindhi handicrafts such as patchwork, hand embroideries, table-mats, coasters, baskets made of date tree bark and ceramic items from Multan, are all part of the three day exhibition that opened on March 25 at The Forum in Karachi.
Mariam Solangi, a Sindhi patchwork maker from Khairpur said: “I have been involved with ‘Khazana’ for the past four months, it is just one way of meeting financial needs, when there are 18 mouths to feed, you need to come out and make a living!” Solangi, along with her two daughters-in-law provide patchwork cushions to the brand.
“Today ‘Khazana’ employs over 100 women who make these traditional handicrafts. Not only does this increase their self-worth, financial independence boosts their self confidence. In the rural areas, where women are generally marginalized from society, we try to provide them with an opportunity to generate income themselves” Salahuddin told. Giving insight on trying to setup a permanent space for these products she said: “setting up a stall in a city like Karachi, requires strong networking skills, our basic purpose is to further the cause of small scale cottage industries, more importantly, it is to make the people of Khairpur commercially viable.”
Chef Shai aka Shaista Kazi, spotted in the crowd of people interested in buying traditional bread baskets, said: “I love this stuff, I’m looking for the right kind of bread basket, that I plan to buy.”
They started the project a year ago. Within 12 months they have managed to put together this exhibition and setup a stall at the infamous weekend market ‘Sunday bazaar’ in Karachi. “The shop number is A-23” boasted Salahuddin with pride.
What’s up next? Salahuddin hopes to take ‘Khazana’ beyond the boundaries of Sindh, and plans to hold an exhibition of the traditional handicraft products in Lahore and Islamabad, in the near future. The exhibition continues till March 27.