Today we visited the Kumudini Foundation headcourters in Narayanganj, 2 hours drive (with traffic) from Dhaka.
The foundation was set up in 1938 by R P Shaha in memory of his mother, Kumudini who died untreated of tetanus when he was only 7 years old. R P Shaha worked very hard to rise from a humble home to become one of the richest businessmen in Bangladesh, and his dream was always to set up a foundation that would help serve the common people. The Kumudini Foundation has set up hospitals and schools and other welfare projects and its main focus is the education and health of women. ‘R P Shaha thought that the foremost requirement to achieve women’s freedom and establish their rights is education for women.’ R P Shaha set up Kumudini using his entire wealth and to this day the Foundation cannot be used for personal profits or gains.
for more information see http://www.kumudinibd.org/
We met with the General Manager Mr Swapan Saha and the Senior Executive for Kumudini Handicrafts Mr Subrata Saha and visited the garments division where work is done for export, most notably working with People Tree and other European and Japanese companies. We also observed textile samples and handicrafts developed for the Kumudini showroom, a welfare activity of the Foundation.
We learnt that Jute Bailing and warehouse has been the major revenue source for the trust. Today the jute is exported in bails mainly to the US. We were impressed by the activity and energy with which the warehouse workers sorted and packed the jute.
see video of
jute sorting on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkDWH4Bzklg
jute packing on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir6XTp1wWSg
more jute packing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMgwWnCZJlo