A Catholic businesswoman specialising in Garo crafts gets an award
Milon Chisim, founder and owner of Tribal Craft, received a recognition from the speaker of the Bangladeshi parliament for her contribution to development. Thanks to her organisation, hundreds of artisans have a job and earn a living.
Bangladesh (AsiaNews) – Milon Chisim, founder and owner of Tribal Crafts, received the MGI Baghbangla Aparajita Sammana, an award given by the Meghna Group of Industries and Baghbangla Entertainment.
The Catholic woman was one of eight distinguished women to be recognised on the occasion of International Women's Day for their contribution to Bangladesh and the international community. Thanks to her, hundreds of craftspeople have a job and earn a living.
Her story shows that “despite many crises, women are contributing in every field of the country,” said Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, speaker of Bangladesh’s national parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) during the award ceremony held at the Hotel Sonargaon in Dhaka. “Today, even in remote areas, women are contributing,” she added.
Milon Chisim is an example of such women. A member of Biroidakuni parish in the Diocese of Mymensingh during the ceremony, she spoke about her experience.
“I studied at Eden Women's College in Dhaka and after that I attended Dhaka University,” she said. Upon graduation, “I thought that Indigenous people have a lot of traditional handicrafts, and that I could work with them.”
On the two days of the week when she did not work, she “would go to the indigenous people involved in handicrafts”. Gradually, she travelled to different areas, and started working with the Garo, who make pottery and bags from tribal clothes as well as toys for children.
“After making the products, I thought we should market them. This is why I opened a showroom at home and abroad,” she explained. The products she showcased at various fairs won praise.
As a businesswoman, she is grateful to all her customers, who now can be found in different countries thanks to online stores.
“Without your love, support and appreciation, this wouldn't have been sustained this far. Your contribution to our journey will always be part of our success story,” she said.
More importantly, the early 1990s not only marked the start of her business, but also the discovery of her own culture, an asset to be preserved for future generations.