ISLAMABAD: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed among the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (Ahan) organisation and the TCS here on Thursday with an aim to improve the handicraft skills of beneficiaries of the social safety net and provide better access to their products in the national and international markets.

The BISP will share its data with Ahan, enabling beneficiaries across the country to be enrolled with the programme, polish their skills and get connected them to the markets. Goods prepared by the BISP beneficiaries pertain to textile, ceramics, wood, leather and marble mosaic and are available at all regional offices of Ahan.

According to the MoU, TCS has dedicated a page for products made by the BISP beneficiaries on its website. Customers will be able to place their orders on this page, after which TCS will collect the product from the nearest Ahan regional office and deliver it to the client.

Ahan is a not-for-profit organisation working under the administrative control of the ministry of industries and production. It focuses on generating non-traditional employment opportunities in rural and semi-urban areas to alleviate poverty.

Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi praised the BISP’s initiative and expressed the hope that this would give international recognition to the country’s traditional products. Market access to the products of marginalised segments will contribute to their welfare and boost the economy, he added.

BISP chairperson Marvi Memon said the initiative aimed to empower women economically.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2016

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