'Dara' — from one woman to the other!

* Spearheaded by former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, social project Dara is the name given to hand-embroidered clothes, done by the hands of village women, seeking empowerment

When I first heard of Khar’s venture, I was automatically transported to the olden times, when Muslim women had stood shoulder to shoulder with men, indulged in trade activities and had carried out business-related practises with confidence, practicality and a lot of enthusiasm. But, more than anything, they had been fearless. 

Those times indeed have recurred with all their might with Pakistani women venturing forth and proving their mettle in not just their homeland but all over the world. Having said that, there are myriads of our sisters dwelling in far-flung areas and remote villages, without education at hand and tied to their husband’s backs, depending on them for food, shelter and petty finance. Do those eyes not dream of growing wings, earning for themselves, feeling independent and fullfilled? 

They say “women add a touch of gold” to everything that comes their way. Dara is here to demonstrate. 

A social project spearheaded by former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Dara is the name given to a collection, which features hand embroidered clothes, make them look and appear exclusive, owing to their unique embroidery. “You can just tell how intricate the embroidery is when you turn over the front, and the perfection of the knit stares back at you. I’m so proud of these village women, who have volunteered and stepped forth to learn, participate and acquire. It’s this sense of empowermen, which they feel and makes them fulfilled and content,” Khar says while talking exclusively to Daily Times. 

The delicate embroidery done on the clothes, is carried out by women from Muzaffargarh village. The project serves as a way for the village women to earn with dignity as most of them have no other means to earn when the men of their families die or fall ill. The women are provided with required material, so all they have to do is work from the comfort of their homes against, which they are paid. 

Khar personally travels to the village twice a month to ensure everything is going smoothly. With this project, she is also trying to maintain such skills, which are a part of our heritage but due to modern technologies, they are slowly fading away. 
Currently stocking at all outlets of Khaadi, Dara appears in every colour and size, with an embroidery and finish so unique and perfect, women of all ages have been buying in bulk ever since the humble collection began being stocked. Priced between Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,500, Dara is an ambitious project aimed to empower women thoroughly and provide them with ample money to fall back on. 
“It feels great to be of use and to know my hard work is being appreciated in the leading cities of the country,” one of the workers, Razia, says. 
“The money comes useful and I feel strong and very satisfied,” another worker Rabia joins in. 
Dara, which is a perfect blend of elegance and sophistication is doing wonderful business in the country. More power to women and even more to the brains behind the project!
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