Bichhuanã is a collaborative nonprofit created to help the women of rural Sindh through a sustainable entrepreneurial pursuit. When, in 2010, floods brought the ugly face of rural Pakistan to urban doorsteps, it was impossible for the people behind Bichhuanã to ignore their plight.
They set out to support women housed at refugee camps, encouraging them to invest their time in making Rallis, traditional patchwork quilts, for a reasonable compensation. They soon recognised the market potential of these beautiful Rallis and they took the leap of faith to continue working with them as they returned 'home' to nothing.
Bichhuanã and its quilters have come a long way since their first exhibition in Karachi in December 2010, introducing product variety, contemporary designs and improved technique.
They now support over 30 families in a small village near Dadu, Sindh and up to 40% of Bichhuanã’s sales are paid as wages to the quilters. Leftover funds are then invested in their welfare - health, education or home repairs.
Their products are delivered to other Pakistani cities, as well as overseas through personal contacts, and the company are now exploring regular customers – in major cities locally, as well as in the UAE, UK, and North America.
As well as supporting the women they work with, Bichhuanã is also helping preserve the dying craft of rallis. Their handmade Rallis are available in traditional ethnic, as well as innovative, contemporary patterns and are made of 100% cotton fabric in three layers, all pre-shrunk and colour-fast.
Bichhuanã has been featured in House & Garden and on Al Jazeera TV.
For more details please visit http://www.bichhauna.org/.