Gul Hamad Farooqi
CHITRAL: A real change agent, Sifat Gul from Garam Chashma valley of Lower Chitral has not only stood on her own feet but is also helping young and uneducated women to learn different skills and earn their livelihood without becoming dependent on others.
So far, Gul has trained 2,800 girls and women in different skills at two centers she established without any assistance from the government or the private sector.
Though she could not get education, Gul decided to learn skills and stand on her own feet instead of becoming a burden on her family. She got herself enrolled in a handicraft training center and learned different skills and then opened her first center in his village to train girls and women who were unable to study for some reasons.
When his work began to grow, she opened the second vocational center in Chitral town’s Zargrandeh locality. In this center, girls from Gilgit-Baltistan are also learning different skills.
A woman who has learnt carpet making said there were high demands for handmade carpets and other items across the country. If the government or non-governmental organizations provide them modern machinery, these women can impart training to others to learn skills like cutting, polishing and packing of gemstones, precious stones. Shahida Sahar, Ziaur Rehman and Professor Hafizullah, who visited the center, appreciated the efforts of Sifat Gul.
They said about 3,000 young women have already been trained and were earning their livelihood sitting at their house. The said there were almost no employment opportunities for women in Chitral.
They said poverty and unemployment can be eradicated from the backward district by imparting the youth, especially women, in different skills to enable them to eke out a living with dignity and become self-dependent.