Somaye Bardai

Somayeh Bardai

Consultant Ranaa Liaquat craftsmen's colony Rana Liaqat Craftsmen's Colony, is a non profit organization that caters to the holistic needs of over 20,000 beneficiary members from the community of Shah Faisal Town in Karachi, Pakistan. Founded by Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan, the First Lady of Pakistan, in 1947 (historical map of pakistan) to house displaced artisans that migrated to the nation and the project was later inaugurated as an NPO on 25th aug 1954. Today RLCC has grown into a premier women empowerment and welfare organization as since its inception, the organization has retained an integrated right based approach, aimed at establishing safe and self-sustained communities. It has evolved as a forward looking, conscientious organization registered with Voluntary Social Welfare, certified by Pakistan Center for Philanthropy and recognized as an NPO under the Income tax Ordinance, 200. The various programs at RLCC focus primarily on women empowerment (photo of artisans event) and are strategized in consideration of community needs, government priorities and the targets identified by The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) with sector focus on education, health, vocational training, community outreach and livelihoods. During this past decade various companies such as Khaadi, Alkaram, GulAhmed, Jdot, Intimate, Koel Gallery, Karachi Farmers Market and Almirah to name a few, have stepped forward in supporting the cause by placing orders for craft production. Rlcc products have also been graciously placed at various retailers such as Taali, The Mohatta Palace Gift Shop, Pith, The state Bank Museum Gift shop, IVS Kahaani, Nomad Gallery Islamabad and Apwa Punjab shop in Lahore. As the recognition and appreciation of local crafts is growing rapidly, the team at RLCC is driven to provide A grade products to its customers and impeccable quality services to its clients. In 1954, in a small room, the inauguration of a sewing and embroidery class lay down the foundations of this cottage industry that RLCC is supporting today. The livelihoods department was set up a decade ago to form a bridge between the convenience that was required by companies to find varied regional craft skills in close proximity to their businesses and to cater to the growing financial needs of women who wished to educate their children but lacked the means to do so. RLCC recognised the necessity to provide a platform that would refine the existing skills of the artisans in order to enable them to become self-sustained. Therefore the department made it its mission to train the artisans individually according to their specific skill set, whereby they are not treated as labor but where they can recognise their individuality and artistic expression to redefine their identities as artisans. This department envisions its artisans as self sustained entrepreneurs leading the path for RLCC in becoming one of the lead organisations in the field of training for design interventions. Since its inauguration in 2010 this department has grown to support over 350 women home based artisans adept at various regional craft techniques.