“Information technology was new to me before attending the training. Now, by using a smart phone and laptop, my online business is becoming my main source of livelihood, which is making me and my family resilient to any disaster,’’ speaks Rukhsar Dawood, hailing from the Alyani Para area of Ibrahim Hyderi, Malir.
Given the vulnerability of coastal areas to natural disasters, such as cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes, life can come to a halt for communities residing along the coast. The worst affected are the fishermen, who are left with no sources of income to survive, given their income already is very meagre.
To support their men and ensure livelihoods do not get disrupted, the women of the area are in a constant struggle to maintain a steady source of income, be it less or more, while remaining within their homes.
Under the Tsunami and Earthquake Preparedness Project of UNDP, the women of Malir coastal communities have been able to gain essential skills to be able to play a vital role in improving their economic conditions.
Under this programme, from amongst 86 women, 70 attended an extensive four day capacity building training on livelihood empowerment, conducted in the local language.
28 year old Rukhsar was one of the participants.
Through the training, she was able to obtain essential technology navigation skills which allowed her to significantly expand the outreach of her micro stitching business.
Previously, Rukhsar used to earn about PKR 8000 per month. Three months after expanding, she is now making PKR 12,000, and is hopeful that her small business will grow further. She feels more financially secure and is inspiring the women around her to improve their sales and reach more customers by going online and becoming more tech savvy.