Munaza is a widow with five sons living in a rented house in Ali park, Gujranwala. Her husband died a couple of years ago and since then, this resilient woman stitched cloths to feed her kids. Unfortunately, her youngest son suffers from a mental illness that complicates his speech and limits his movements. For the last eight years, she takes him to Lahore for treatment three to four times every month. The expense of his treatment takes away a chunk of what she earns. The time when her son was diagnosed with this illness, doctors told Munaza that her kid would get better if she admits him to a hospital and get him the suggested operation, but at that time, the financial restrains kept her from doing so. And regrettably, she still couldn’t do it. Munaza even went to a government hospital for his treatment, and her kid was put on a waiting list. It’s been five years, his number didn’t come. Poverty forced her to put her eldest son to a 12 hour labor job with minimal pay of 12,000 per month, but she insisted him not to leave his education. Regardless of everything, Munaza put her kids in school and worked day and night to pay their dues.
Even though Munaza knew stitching, and made each and every piece of wear of her children; she lacked the sense of female-garment designing and its stitching through a machine. Hence, when one of our social mobilizers visited her locality and talked to her, she was more than willing to join. However, her son’s condition, and the weekly travel to Lahore, for his treatment made Munaza dubious of her decision. She confessed to our member about the problem, and in return, Munaza was told that she would be accommodated according to her ease. Thus, she joined our May-June “Skills for Jobs” session.
It was tough for Munaza to manage everything, but she didn’t want to lose the opportunity of acquiring the skills that Kaarvan was offering. On the other hand, our people tried to contain her stress by providing her flexible timings, finest learning and moral support. The three month journey taught something valuable to everybody. Munaza brought her artisan proficiency to a new level while we learned what strength actually looks like in person.