“As a child, I spent most of my time with Arjina Khala. Since my parents were mostly away for work, she is the one who took care of me. While I went on building houses with my toys, one after another, sitting on her lap, she would go on stitching. She stitched clothes, she knew how to stitch dolls, blankets and many other things. Slowly, I picked up on her skills over the years. Today, I know 95 different ways to stitch! I have to thank her for this life skill she has taught me so patiently.
My story with Arjina Khala is weaved as intricately as the stitches that form our most loved pieces of fabrics. The day I completed my HSC examination, I started looking for work to support my own livelihood. I wanted to be independent and self-sufficient. Like most of us, I began with teaching students. Teaching is a good source of earning money, I have to admit.
In a very short span of time, I was able to pay my own bills. By then, Arjina Khala was married and living a very different life. Her husband did not approve of her former line of job, working at various households. That’s when she got in touch with me for help. She reached out to me looking for some work; something she would be able to do from home and will not involve upsetting her husband. I immediately decided to step in. I asked Arjina Khala to put her skills to use. I assigned 3 more people to her and instructed them to make clothes & jewelry I was designing. Soon, we had a full-fledged business model rolling. At one point, we had a team of 10-12 people working together. It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to help Arjina Khala, along with others make a sustainable livelihood.”
– A Bangladeshi designer working at a retail clothing store