Mariam Arslan

Mariam Arslan

Kaarvan Alumnus
KCF Training institute
Gujranwala

#OWNYOURSTORY

Mariam has spent her life in extreme poverty. Coming from a family of 10 siblings with a mother and father earning minimal wages to barely make ends meet, Mariam was wedded early at the tender age of 13. Leaving her parents house, she thought a better future awaited her. Surely, what could be worse than sleeping hungry?

Mariam, however, found out soon enough that her family-in-law had over exaggerated her husband’s resources & income at the time of marriage proposal. Mariam’s husband was earning hardly any more than her parents, sometimes even nothing for a few days. Worse still, her mother-in-law was an authoritative figure who would siphon off any money her husband would earn. The centralization of household resources meant that Mariam and her six-year old son would often not have any resources at their disposal, with Mariam’s mother-in-law sparing no sympathy for her daughter-in-law and grandchild. Mariam’s complaints about this injustice within the household would usually be met with ignorance by her husband who found it safer to side with his mother, often accompanied by acts of violence to suppress her demands.
Mariam bore the discriminations for long, until she decided one day that whereas she wanted a better future for her six-year-old. Amidst much opposition from her husband’shousehold, she joined the SFE’15 program in Gujranwala by Kaarvan Crafts Foundation. Mariam recalls that her mother-in-law and husband would taunt her about wasting her time and hurting the family honour by joining the trainings, but she carried on.She has eagerly learnt new skills from the training and shows them proudly to her husband who is beginning to acclaim her talent, and beginning to encourage her to sell her services for an income. Her interaction with fellow trainees exposed her to a more productive, encouraging environment where she saw that there is a possibility of a more just, happy life. She wants to continue to further polish her skills and ensure that her son, husband and herself do not go hungry any night.