Mukhtiar Bibi is a resident of Chah Khaji Wala, Kot Addu and a successful entrepreneur with a handicrafts business. This was made possible through an interest free loan acquired from AGAHE Pakistan not too long ago. Not only has she been able to access nearby markets, but has also employed 10-15 women from the community on daily wages.
Looking back, life was a living hell for this family of seven, including five children. Her husband initially began a small bicycle repair shop from his own means, and this was the only source of income. Due to limited means, the kids were unable to go to school, and the parents were always under pressure for more food and clothing. With all the mounting stress over the years, her husband was diagnosed with appendicitis and needed immediate treatment. Mukhtiar Bibi ended up selling her jewellery, and further borrowed money from relatives for his medical expenses. With his ailing medical condition, even though the operation was successful, but he was not in any condition to work long hours.
Fortunately, Mukhtiar Bibi knew a thing or two about handicrafts from a young age, and imagined that she could contribute towards family expenditures if she had some money to start her own business. They were already in debt and in no position to borrow from kith and kin, and eventually met with a representative from AGAHE Pakistan.
She utilized the first loan of 25,000 by procuring raw materials such as date palm, coloring base, and immediately started making prayer mats, caps, fans and pots with the help of other family members. Sooner than expected, she began to receive orders from women in the community as well as mosques and places of congregation. She is currently supplying to nearby markets such as Mehmood Kot, Sanawan, Kot Addu and Pul Qamar, and plans to supply to much bigger markets such as Kasur and Multan, where the profit margins are much higher.
The entire family works together, along with at least 10-15 women from the neighborhood when the orders are in large numbers. As a result of this business, all her kids are now going to school, and she has funds for her husband’s treatment. Through her savings she has managed to buy 3 goats and 2 cows, and also built a solid shed for the animals. She has built a concrete parameter around her home, making it safe and secure. The family is living a happy life with a lot to look forward to, and Mukhtiar Bibi is looked upon as a role model by other young women in the community.