Vol. 5 Num 923 Sun. December 31, 2006  
Star City

Housewives not sitting idle

Homemakers are increasingly becoming a part of income source all over Dhaka. In order to fight the on going price hike they are taking over the frontline creating new ways of money making schemes everyday.

Mosammat Maliha lives in Kazipara with her mother and two daughters. Her husband died two years ago in Kidney failure. With two young daughters she struggled very hard in the beginning. Recently she found a way to survive. Fortunately she had some skill in Nakshikantha stitch. She started preparing them with the help of some relatives in Barisal.

"In the beginning I sold Nakshikantha to my neighbours. They are now bringing me more customers. I go to their relatives, friends and colleagues' houses to receive more orders", said Maliha.

"The number of customers however, is not many because it takes a long time to prepare a Nakshikantha, which makes it expensive as well. I am making just enough to provide for my daughters and mother", she added.

Halima Aktar, wife of a fruit vendor in Rupnagar residential area said: "With my husband's income only it was hard for us to maintain the family. Before I getting married I knew some tailoring work. It was my hobby, which is now paying well."

Aktar added: "My husband will not allow me to work outside so I receive orders from neighbours and work at home. I pay the tuition fees of my children with the money."

Another brave soul is Firoza Begum living in Tajmahal Road, Mohammadpur. Her husband is seriously ill with diabetics and needs immediate medical attention. With no income she cannot send her husband for better treatment. With the help of her daughters she sells saris to support the family.

Firoza said: "In Tangail there is a wholesale bazaar for taant sari. It takes place twice a week. I go there once a month to buy sari in cheap price. I also go to Bangabazar to buy sari. I embellish the saris with hand stitch embroidery."

It takes about ten days to prepare one sari, she added. Firoza later sells them to various houses in her neighbourhood. She also has many customers in Dhanmondi area. Recently she received some orders from a fashion house. With this income she maintains the family.

"My income is however not enough to pay for my husband's treatment. It breaks my heart to see him bedridden", Firoza said.

A housewife busy doing block print at her home. PHOTO: STAR