MIRPURKHAS     -      Mirpurkhas Division Commissioner Abdul Waheed Shaikh vowed to flourish skill development centers for illiterate and semiliterate young females, who were looking for better alternative source of livelihood after losing their traditional source of earning.

“There seems enthusiasm among a large number of young women, both in rural and urban settlements, to be provided opportunities for learning different skills to run their own business and live a sustainable life,” the commissioner observed.

He was speaking on the occasion of stipend and certificate distribution ceremony at Adolescent and Adult Learning and Training Program (AALTP) at Village Qadir Bux Laghari, near Mirpurkhas here on Monday.

The event was organised by Sindh Rural Partners Organization (SRPO), which was implementing the task in collaboration of Sindh Education Foundation, Government of Sindh.

The programme attracted a large number of women learners, village notables, officials representing SEF and SRPO. As per plan 57 young women received stipend for which they were motivated to have sewing machines and required stuff to continue their job at house level and live sustainably.

The commissioner said: “We have 50 percent women in national population data, who need variety of skills to continue work. No doubt this skilled force should be brought to mainstream socio-economic activism.”

He appreciated the organisers for their achievement to teach skills to these illiterate and semiliterate women, who now were able to work and earn to ease their families. Zahida Detho, Executive Director SRPO said it was for the first time for majority of these women, who came to learn skills at the center and now are capable to earn little on their own.

“We with the support of SEF have provided skills through two separate centers. They received four-month course to get know how about basic education to learn, read and write. Imparting skilled training to this young cadre was the main reason to make their lives purposeful,” she said.

Zahida Detho, giving background of the society in rural as well as urban settlements, said women have many challenges to face from leaving their home for agriculture field, work there and moving to market.

She said majority of rural women have been engaged in agriculture sector, but due to use of machinery and increasing trend of corporate farming they have lost their traditional sources of income. Now it may be only way out to motivate young peasant women cadre to learn different skills.

Ashfaq Ahmed Mirani, regional head of Sindh Education Foundation recalls the day when he came to see these women four months ago to start the course with SRPO team, saying almost all of them were eager to learn skills. Now, he said after completing the course the same women have achieved task of learning and looking forward to launch their own entrepreneurship at village level. “It is good achievement for SEF,” he said.

Earlier, a few vocal women came to share their learning and challenges they faced at home and moving out to attend center. They were interested to launch their own entrepreneurship at village level, where some of them have already started preparing female dresses with different designs.

Earlier, the crowd of skilled women, hailing from both AALTP centers, displayed their products in premises of the center. Divisional commissioner, SEF regional head and other guests visited the stalls and saw prepared designs of dresses, which the skilled women claimed to have market value. The commissioner appreciated this initiative and offered to promote such constructive activism of village women, who wanted to launch their own small-scale business venture.