Rural women artisans from all over Pakistan – from the mountains of Kalash to the deserts of Thar – have come to Karachi to showcase and sell their work at the Karachi Night Market by LADIESFUND at Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim Park, as part of the All Fruit, Flower and Vegetable show organized by KMC and Horticulture Society of Pakistan. Free and open to the public, citizens of Karachi were invited to attend free to support these courageous women as well as a gift to the community. 100 stalls of women entrepreneurs from across the nation including some delicious food stations as well made for a perfect family outing this weekend.
“It is important for us to support the economy during these difficult times, especially the SME women entrepreneurs and rural artisans who in many cases have struggled the most during lockdowns. Thanks to DG Parks Taha Saleem and the amazing men and women behind the scene, we are able to hold Pakistan’s first ever night market is a safe, huge, open air park with plenty of space for social distancing,” said Tara Uzra Dawood, President of LADIESFUND, who is the visionary behind the Karachi Night Market.
DG Parks Taha Saleem ensured safety for all, providing free masks and encouraging social distancing.
“People need entertainment and enjoy our culture,” said Masood Lohar, Founder, Clifton Urban Forest.
The event was a two-day affair, inaugurated by Commissioner Karachi Naved Ali Shaikh on Saturday, with a special sufi musical performance by Shah Latif’s Women Ragis, which for the first time, featured female singers.
Day two featured Chief Guest Murtaza Wahab, Chief Minister of Sindh on Law, Anti-Corruption Establishment, and Information, as well as Deputy Commissioner South Irshad Sodhar, and a speech by DG Parks Taha Saleem. The national anthem was performed by popular singer Jana Nazabeth and there was an inspiring speech by Special Guest Sayed Gul Kalash, who had traveled 16 hours from Kalash to be part of this inaugural event.
“I’m extremely happy to be here. It’s a happy feeling because I can see our society changing,” said Murtaza Wahab. “I can see my city changing. I can see the positive synergy that you used in exist in Karachi coming back. The fact that 100 women from different stratas of society, women from various cultures of this country, from various ares of our country, have all traveled all the way from Kalash, Chittral, Punjab, Thar, to Karachi, says a lot about the enterprise, the cultural heritage that exists in our country.”
“I would like to congratulate the organizers of the event ” It was a blessed opportunity to be part of and thank you for bringing the three-thousand-year-old live culture (Kalash) to Karachi among the others, I hope this step will not stop here it will continue in future such events help us to know each other’s culture language and many other things at the end thank you very much once again for inviting for such a prestigious event LONG LIVE PAKISTAN,” stated Sayed Gul Kalash.
“Karachi Night Market has offered an avenue not only for skillwomen across the country including Kailash to present their handicrafts to Karachites but also added cultural diversity to the ongoing flower show,” added Irshad Sodhar, Deputy Commissioner South.
“Let’s all make sure that we support these talented women by purchasing their craft, and remind people that Karachi is truly the city of dreams. No commission is taken by the organizers and 100% of proceeds will directly go to these dynamic women of Pakistan. Our culture has existed for thousands of years. Let’s all make sure our traditions continue,” said Ms. Dawood, whose LADIESFUND is working on technological solutions to connect sales for all women of Pakistan.
LADIESFUND is also planning night markets in other cities, as well as striving to facilitate these women to apply for loans through the State Bank of Pakistan women SME scheme.
Ms. Dawood also gave a moving speech about how she conceived the idea of a night market for Karachi and the journey bringing so many women across the nation together in this way.
“It has been the most amazing two days seeing the fruit of months of work come to life,” said Ammad Siddiqui, Dawood Global Foundation, who was #LFKNM Supervisor whose worked tirelessly to bring this event to life, “It’s all to support the women of our nation.”
Spotted at the event were Amin Gulgee, Deepak Perwani, German Consul General Holger Ziegeler, Naheed Shah Durrani, Narmeen Khan, Angelina Malik, et al. PPL and Bank Alfalah were Gold Sponsors, and Depilex by Nighat Misbah Beauty Partner.
Safe but steady traffic of visitors came, eager to meet, see and buy from these incredible women. It was a noble start and we look forward to more night markets in the future.