Rural women weave 'Colours from the Chars’

- A Monitor Report 16 May, 2018 | 243 Views | 0 Comments
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Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Colours from the Chars, talking to the guests after inaugurating its first display centre at the Friendship Head Office in the city on May 8 _Photo : Monitor
Dhaka : The first display centre of Friendship's "Colours from the Chars" was inaugurated at the Friendship Head Office in the city on May 8. Chars are shoals created from sand and silt movement in the rivers.

Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Direc-tor, Colours from the Chars, inaugurated the display centre. Najra Mahajaben Sa-bet, Assistant Director, Colours from the Chars and others were also present on the occasion.

There are very few economic opportunities in the remote chars of Gaibandha or Kurigram. In the absence of employment, the underprivileged women in these chars, have no social standing. Child marriages are widespread and most of the girls remain uneducated and stuck at home.

Friendship established several weaving centres to reverse this trend and offer the women a means of income as well skill development. These women now hand weave these traditional, artisanal fabrics and clothes, so that buyers from around the world can wear them. Available at the display centre are hand-woven scarves, shawls, gamchas (traditional towels), and unstitched salwar-kameez and miniature replicas of Bengal's traditional sailboats built by skilled craftsmen.

While inaugurating the display centre, Runa Khan said, "The main idea behind Colours from the Chars, a fashion brand by Friendship, is to empower the most marginalised people living in the chars_ to give them the wherewithal to achieve their hopes and dreams, to see the fruits of their labour and simultaneously produce items in an environmentally friendly manner."

Here, we are mainly using cotton and silk threads. Traditional methods and local looms are used in the whole process of colouring, printing, embroidery and cloth making. Friendship's "Colours from the Chars" is an environment-friendly concern. The dye used in production is completely natural. No harmful chemicals are used in respect for the environment, she said.

About hundred women are now working in the five weaving centres of Gaibandha and Kurigram. All of them are residents of remote and isolated areas, Most are often abandoned (by their husbands) and vulnerable due to both lack of access and infrastructure, and also their social circumstances, Runa Khan added.