The Industry and Handicraft department is a platform that enables ladies and girls to learn a variety of skills that not only can help earn money but aid in our moral training and well-being.
The main purpose of the department as laid out in the Constitution is to hold “exhibitions of handicrafts, the purpose being firstly to make Ahmadi ladies skilful and secondly to eradicate unemployment”. (The Constitution of the Lajna Imaillah Silsila Aliya Ahmadiyya)
Mrs Farzana Yousaf
According to Tareekh Lajna (History of Lajna Vol 1), the department traces its beginnings as early as October 1926 when ladies of the Jamaat resolved to sell their handmade knitted and cotton garments to raise money for the Jamaat. On 30th October a gathering was held in Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmad Sahib’sra house. Items were sold and the proceeds went to the Tabligh Fund. The next year, in 1927 the first exhibition or ‘numaish’ was held which showcased handicraft items made by ladies. There was an entry ticket for the exhibition. The winner of this exhibition was a lady named Amatul Mughni Shameeem Sahiba who embroidered a banner of blue velvet with the words of the revelation ‘Alaisallaho’ in silver thread. She was awarded a silver medal. After this, an exhibition was held every year. By 1928, it was thought to solidify this work into a separate Lajna Department, of which the exhibition would be a part. (Tareekh Lajna Vol 1 Dec 1970 pg 192-194)
Role of Industry and Handicraft Secretary
- To educate members about the purpose of the department and to motivate them in this regard
- To attend meetings and keep up to date with what is going on in the department
- To organize classes to teach members core skills in handicrafts and sewing on a quarterly basis i.e one per quarter. To make sure that the syllabus is covered
- To organize members to contribute items for exhibitions To help raise funds
- To work with the Central Team
- To encourage members to learn new skills especially in art and crafts so that they are equipped with tools necessary to earn money if they so desire.