24th November 2019
Kakoli Rai – stories of artisans
Hathay Bunano started working in Dinajpur district from northern region in 2008 aiming to create employment opportunity for rural vulnerable women where almost 350 artisans are working. There is little other work available and they are badly affected by climate change and so there is a lot of migration to the capital city, Dhaka, from this area.
Kakoli Rai, from a village in Dinajpur, started working with Hathay Bunano in 2012 when she was a student of university. She covered all her educational expenses working with us and supports her parents in many ways. She then got married to a man from the neighbouring village and was able to continue working with us. During her pregnancy her husband wouldn’t let her continue to work and so she stopped for one year. Later she got a job at a local primary school but her income was too low to run her family so she decided to work with Hathay Bunano again in 2014.
Her house is located 3 km away from production centre and so she commutes to the centre after her school every day by her bicycle. When she works at school and our production unit, her mother-in-law takes care of her child. The most interesting part that she likes at Hathay Bunano is she can meet with all the other artisans at a meeting place, and can chat and feel the community spirit. Her work makes a huge lifelong impact on her life and helps her to inspire and empower the young girls she teaches at the primary school. It’s very unusual in Bangladesh for a woman to ride a bicycle and have so much independence but Kakoli is supported by her family because of the income she is able to bring to the family.