SABAH Bhutan: an or­ganic or­ga­ni­za­tion

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - An­jana Subba

The ex­hi­bi­tion of new tex­tile de­signs and or­ganic food prod­ucts, or­ga­nized by the SAARC Business As­so­ci­a­tion of Home based work­ers ( SABAH Bhutan) has started from 29th Septem­ber and will end to­day in Vol­un­tary Artist’s Stu­dio Thimphu (VAST).

SABAH Bhutan is a pub­lic ben­e­fit or­ga­ni­za­tion which is regis­tered un­der Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tion Au­thor­ity of Bhutan. The or­ga­ni­za­tion is funded by the SAARC De­vel­op­ment Fund as a part of the project “strength­en­ing Liveli­hood Ini­tia­tives of the Home Based Work­ers in the SAARC Re­gions”. The ex­hi­bi­tion in VAST is SABAH Bhutan’s first lo­cal ex­hi­bi­tion. It is the ef­fort of SABAH Bhutan to bring for­ward the work of its home based work­ers. It is an ex­hi­bi­tion cum sale of the prod­ucts made by home based work­ers.

It in­cludes or­ganic food prod­ucts and tex­tiles prod­ucts.

The ex­hi­bi­tion of or­ganic food prod­ucts has va­ri­ety of pick­les made from mango, chilly, bam­boo shoot and amla and oth­ers such as amla juice and rice pa­pad. The price range of the pick­les starts from Nu. 50 - 175.

The tex­tile de­signs in­cludes three types of prod­ucts, which is, ap­par­els (kira, gho and scarfs), and home dé­cor (cush­ion cov­ers, ta­ble mats) and ac­ces­sories (bags and purses). The prod­ucts were well dis­played on man­nequins. The de­signer, Sonam Dolma said that the prod­ucts of SABAH Bhutan is all hand­made but is cheaper as com­pared to the mar­ket prod­ucts and is dis­counted.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also had col­or­ful yarns in dis­play but the col­or­ing of the yarn was done or­gan­i­cally. The color for the yarn were mostly ex­tracted from the prod­ucts which are found in almost ev­ery house­hold, such as tamarind, turmeric, beet root, ap­ple tree leaves, pomegranate cover, as some to be named.

Ac­cord­ing to Sonam Dolma, there is one SABAH cen­ter in each SAARC coun­tries. Here, in SABAH Bhutan, cur­rently there are more than 400 mem­bers all over Bhutan and is mostly women, em­ployed as well as un­em­ployed. It is an or­ga­ni­za­tion fo­cused mostly on women and women wel­fare. She also said that SABAH Bhutan’s mem­ber­ship is given to those who reg­is­ter for it and then they are trained and also pro­vided with the op­por­tu­nity to go abroad.

SABAH Bhutan works in a sim­ple way, that is, work­ers are given free yarns and they make prod­ucts and SABAH

Bhutan pay them mak­ing charge and then sell the prod­ucts to the cus­tomers. In this process SABAH Bhutan does mar­ket­ing job and brings prod­ucts to the pub­lic.

Sonam Dolma said, “The home based work­ers get un­lim­ited and un­hin­dered work as they can make prod­ucts through- out the year and get paid for it by the or­ga­ni­za­tion”.

But, the main func­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion is not only to pro­vide liveli­hood to the women but also to give them ex­po­sure and pro­mote tra­di­tional and cul­tural her­itage of the tra­di­tional arts, skills and de­signs through in­ten­sive train­ing. It may be a lo­cal ex­hi­bi­tion now but it is a step­ping stone for fu­ture en­deavor in Bhutan made by SABAH Bhutan and sup­ported by the VAST.

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