Monday, December 10, 2012

Civil society makes a ‘human shield’ of female kite makers

The civil society on Thursday urged the Punjab government to arrange livelihood for female kite makers and acknowledge the industry as a potential source of income through exports. To raise the issues of women home-based kite makers, HomeNet Pakistan held an awareness-raising meeting with government officials, policy makers, media personnel and lawyers at a local hotel.

The objective of the meeting was to strengthen the kite making sector for creating their visibility, sensitising policy makers for legislation and raise their voices. The meeting was attended by social activist Mehnaz Rafi, SAP Pakistan Director Irfan Mufti, advocate Khalid Zafar, educationist Khalid Malik and Kite Flyers Association President Nadeem Wyne.

To highlight the issues of the kite makers, the speakers said that there was a need for imparting alternative skills to kite makers ensuring their better livelihood. The kite maker women on the occasion sought relaxation in the law regarding checks on twine makers. They said in the past they were earning handsome wages to support their families but now they do not have anything to eat. They also demanded for the provision of alternate skills and businesses.

Irfan Mufti said that these workers need to organise themselves in a group, an organisation or union to get their demands addressed. He further said that government should acknowledge this as an industry and potential for export. Absar Abdul Ali said, “Kite flying is our culture, but it must be safe to life. Human life is the most important thing. Yet these kite maker women should be provided alternate skills to earn their livelihood,” he added.

Civil society members also passed a resolution that government should do some legislation in favour of kite maker’s women workers livelihood and provide them alternate skills and earning opportunities.

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