Some women and girls in Sreemangal Upazila of Maulvibazar district have become self-reliant by making handcrafted fashion dolls.
Taking inspiration from foreign-made dolls, the women are working sitting roundly to make beautiful handcrafted dolls in Sreemangal of Maulvibazar. They all are busy in doll making. Someone is weaving yarn while someone is checking whether the weaving is proper or not. They all discuss about the quality of toys they are making.
Doll making is an initiative to encourage more self-empowerment by innovating-using creativity, artistic talent and skills.
The toys are special kind of dolls and these are not harmful even if the children take it in their mouths. There is a huge demand of dolls in the international markets. With the creation of the demand, Sreemangal of Maulvibazar becomes a popular name. The dolls being made by women of Sreemangal area are reaching to the children across the globe.
The women of South Pachoun village in Mirzapore Union of Sreemangal are making the dolls. Some women including Rahela, Khuki, Reeta and Sheema are working relentlessly for making dolls.
Sreemangal Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nazrul Islam is providing training for two months to the local women including school and college going students on making dolls. And the women who received the training are earning from their home by making dolls.
Reeta Rani, one of the doll makers, narrated, “I make dolls during my leisure time. I tried to give about three to four hours in the afternoon. I really enjoy the works. I also earned money through works to run my family.”
Sheema said it is not so easy to make toys. “We are making different types of toys including octopus, caterpillar, giraffe and owl. We made about 180 items during our training.”
Upazila Youth Development Officer Oshim Kumar Kor said, “We divided the women of the village into two groups. We provided the trainings to them in two separate groups. And the two groups have received an order of making 120 octopuses.”
He said the programme is being run for developing the livelihoods of the local women. Every woman would get Taka 32 for every octopus as the all accessories including yarn have been provided at free of cost. If they can continue the works of making dolls, then they can earn Taka 25,000 to 30,000 every month from after few months, he added.
He said special products (dolls) are being exported to about 35 countries across the globe. About 75 percent products are being exported to the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The three countries are the big clients of those products, he added.