Unlike many of the women who knit for us her last name is not BiBi or Khatun which I've been told means "married". She is a slightly higher class than the others with such a name and she has a nicer home and a bit of land with her husband in this slum area. Sabina is very sweet and very shy but has a really entrepreneurial spirit. She has quite a few brothers and sisters as most Bengali Muslim families of her generation do of about 7-9 kids.
Her marriage was arranged. She did not see her husband before the wedding day. Wow! Talk about the jitters, I would have been freaking out. She was very young and may have seen a photo but that would have been it and the word of someone her parents knew. It was that made the match, that was it. Some time after the wedding, she moved to Nabapur from her home village of Ngalpota where most of her family still live.
She has 2 boys, an 8-year-old and a new baby just 9 months old. His name is Ayan Saque and she was so delighted to have him despite the high risk of childbirth in her community. In the years between the 2 births she had many miscarriages and was heart broken with fear over not being able to have more. As a woman, her greatest value to those closest to her is in being able to produce as many sons as possible.
Of course, she would never complain or say anything is wrong. Neither she nor her husband has a formal education but, she is very clever and resourceful making her a great asset to our Toockies project. If asked, "are you happy?", she would say, as long as I have a husband, kids, a roof and food, all is well.
She has visited her family in her village of Ngalpota when she can. Her village is about one hour's car ride from her home. A year ago she began suggesting to Jaya that we go to her village and expand the project there. She was saying that there were several women in her village that could knit, and would be very happy to have the work. So, with the growth, we had this year we decided to look into it. The last village we tried to expand to is still not working out very well so we were cautious.
This Saturday night, however, I skyped with her and about 40 women in her village. They have already started making Wave washcloths (one of our new products released this year) but, wanted to learn the other patterns. All of them looked so happy it made me feel very humble. It was only the 3rd time Sabina had gone to visit them since we agreed to proceed and she was just beaming. She is truly lovely and very tiny it's amazing how strong she is.
We had a bit of a chat. She was so proud to be helping her family and friends find work in such great numbers. Also, she now has a great opportunity to visit them all more often. Please help me in congratulating her on her great efforts for the benefit of all.