Christian NGO Providing Entrepreneurship Opportunities For Gypsy Women In Lahore

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Christian NGO AIDS Awareness Society has started a program called Socio Economic Empowerment of Gypsy Women. The project aims to promote the entrepreneurship abilities of homeless women in Lahore.

Director Hector Nihal, said that the initiative would allow 500 craftswomen and artisans to improve their skills and trades according to market demands. “This is the first time an organization is working for the capacity building of this scattered segment of the society,” he explained. “We shall add value to their products and find markets to launch their own brand called ‘gypsy’.”

Gypsies survive by working as singers, domestic workers and mostly beggars as they do no have a reliable source of income. They do no carry national ID cards and are not given equal rights and protection.

They are talented makers of handicrafts, rugs and other handmade articles. Naghma Niamat sells rugs and when someone from outside her family bought one of her rugs she said “Organizers told me they would be selling my rugs for 5,000 rupees each,” she said. “That is the amount my husband, a laborer, earns each month.”

“I just want my children educated in good schools,” she said, “and I hope my dream will be realized now.”