Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Thatta Kedona Products

Products sold under the name of Thatta Kedona are already known in Pakistan and abroad since 1973. The hand crafted dolls in the attire of the regional provinces and minorities, in sizes of 20cm and 50cm, whereby the larger dolls have real hair, are special product of the Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (NGO), which has been able to maintain the quality over the years and exhibits, collects and sells these dolls at many platforms.

The credit for this achievement goes above all to Dr. Senta Siller, the German graphic designer born in Vienna, who spent five years from 1993 to 1998 in the village of Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka and established the NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama, which trained about 120 women from the village in the making of these dolls. Income generating measure for the people of this rural community based upon the traditional culture.
Read more »

Labels: , , ,

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:00 AM, , links to this post

Churail in the Village

Ramla Akhtar

The lives of the residents of this village changed 15 years when a German art teacher took up her student Amjad's invite and visited his village: Thatta Ghulam da Dheroka.

An enterprising spirit, she asked the villagers about their craft. The women showed her hand-made rag dolls. The art teacher, Dr Senta Siller, told the villagers she could teach them to make refined hand-made dolls.
Read more »


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:06 AM, , links to this post

The doll makers

The idea behind the Dolls of the World took birth in Pakistan when Thatta Kedona - a self help project - started in small Punjab village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka in Pakistan and NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (AeFeA) was registered in 1999. The rest is history as they say.

AeFeA has grown multidimensional over time. Now AeFeA cooperates with six local NGOs all over Pakistan from Karachi to Hunza and in many countries around the globe. In Pakistan, the project also enjoys cooperation of prestigious educational institutions – Bahaud Din Zakriya University Multan, Indus Valley School for Art and Architecture, Karachi, School of Visual Art, Lahore, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi – interested in heritage, culture and or agriculture.
Women from other countries heard about the success of the project in Pakistan through DGFK newsletters and other media channels as well as through word of mouth (mostly from diplomatic corps housewives) and invited Dr. Senta Siller - Mother of Dolls - to start similar projects in their countries. In Cameroon, three independent NGOs -- Akwatinnighah (1998), Akaanhong (2002) and Center of Appropriate Technology in (2001) are working where over 90 persons are involved in handicrafts and appropriate technology with support from Bamenda University of Science Technology, Bamenda.

Tanto Mejor Por La Paz, Saboya is working in Colombia in cooperation with four independent local NGOs or similar organizations since 1999. Over 60 persons are busy in handicraft with collaboration from Dept of Environment Technology National University in Bogate and AeFeA.
Besides, AeFeA has networked with International Dolls Museum Flateyri and University of Reykjavik in Iceland and Benaki Museum Greece. In UAE-Dubai, AeFeA is participating in Global Village Expo every year since 2001. In Germany, besides most German senior experts coming to Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka, Dolls of the World project has support from Institute for Planning and Consulting, Potsdam.

This international community of like minded people has come a long way. Sky is their limit.

Tags: , , ,


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:10 PM, , links to this post

Ramla's Journey of Hope

Ramla Akhtar

I'm in Punjab. Making micro-documentaries. As part of the Hope Express project... which the team decided to convert into a short films/ mini documentaries project - rather than a train journey project. So I grabbed my brother's Sony Handy cam, and decided to film whatever inspires me on an unplanned journey.

I went to PakPattan from Aug 3-6, returned to Lahore and stayed a night at the beautiful and gifted fashion entrepreneur Maria B's. Met S A J Shirazi, a traveler n prolific blogger/ writer.

He pointed me to Thatta Ghulam da Dheroka, where the Thatta Khedona brand hand dolls originate from. I let go of an obsession to 'go up North' and hopped on a car, bus, rickshaw, van and finally a taxi to get here yesterday.

Back to Lahore today and wondering what next? Don't want to stay in one place for too long! Hope to settle in a new place in Lahore or go elsewhere - I have a mental plan to return to Karachi by August 18. Let's see where Allah takes me next between today & then!

My wonderfully caring hosts at PakPattan (Dastgir of Sabri Langar Khana) & Lahore (Afia & family) have made an uncertain journey very comfortable!


I miss going North, but right now, carrying the message of a benevolent transformation across to people, while watching the Face of God wherever I turn, seem to take precedence as an intent!

Allah does best!

Labels: ,

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:00 AM, , links to this post

Appropriate Technology in the past


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:52 AM, , links to this post

The Bride


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:00 AM, , links to this post

Thatta Kedona, Pakistan


Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka, Distr. Okara, Punjab
Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (NGO)
Women Art Centre (WAC)
Men Centre (TTTC)
Basic Health Unit (BHU)
Village Museum
Internet Radio Station

Labels: ,

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

Sustainability Vertically Impossible - Horizontally a Chance?

Abstract from paper by Professor Norbert Pintsch (Institute for Planning and Consulting, Germany-USA). Paper was presented in Second International COMSAT Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Development that was held in Abbotabad from Aug 26-27, 2007.
This article discusses the basic concept of sustainability and its dependencies in cultural contexts. This corelation has hardly been considered from the technology oriented side and lesser and lesser in general scientific circles. This is by no means a sign of superiority but more a sign of philosophical poverty and one sidedness, which is contra-productive, without the concerned and interested parties being even aware of it. The following contribution compares the concept of Vertical Sustainability to the Horizontal Sustainability, while making it clear that the latter is not suitable for income generating measures in urban areas.
Read more »

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:30 AM, , links to this post

Fun with Fluegge

During her visit to TGD, Mr. Fluegge worked together with the young students in their school and carried out some fun activities, which are otherwise not part of the schooling program. These colorful activities included every thing from ball games to magic games to juggling and a lot in between. Apart from fun, these activities sprout new ideas in the minds of young students. In addition to regular music lessons in the evening at the village museum site, these activities doa lot of good to the students.

Mr. Lutz als had brought along his guitar and he as well as the boy students had lots of fun together.

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

Say it With Flowers

Flowers surely bring people together. Blossoms can fuel a flaming passion, calm a raging jealousy, comfort a living being or earn a living. Presenting flowers is a romantic social folkway. Aside from romantic and literary delights, there is commerce in flowers too.

The town of Patoki is one of the most famous places in Pakistan for growing flowers. The town has one of the biggest clusters of flower, fruit and decorative plant nurseries in the country. Growing flowers and tree plants and selling is a major business concern in this sleepy town situated in the suburbs of Lahore.

Leave Patoki - a typical Punjabi rural market town - by road and it is like sailing through the ocean of green. All those who drive on the National Highway between Lahore and Sahiwal are familiar with over one kilometre of lush greenery and the fragrant stretch of nurseries on either side of the road on the edge of the town. Aside from the fragrance of the wares, the traders offer a large variety of flowers, creepers, decorative bushes, ornamental and fruit tree plants, flowerpots and seeds. 'How to grow' flower books (even if you have no space in your home) are also available. I saw a few breeding greenhouses on the roadside and hundreds of rows of crossbred blossoms on a fresh spring morning.

It all started when a migrated family settled here after partition in 1947. Two brothers set up a small nursery along the roadside. The concern started growing with the passage of time. Later, the family grew and divided the business assets, which resulted in more nurseries as a family business. Afterwards, more and more people started growing and selling flowers and now the small town of Patoki has earned its claim to national fame for growing flowers and decorative plants. Despite having potential for becoming a recognised industry, flower trade in Patoki is still a family business.

"Rose plants grown in Patoki are sent to places as far as Quetta," according to Mubarik Ali, a proprietor of a well-laid nursery, "but what keeps us going are commuters on the National Highway who stop by and purchase flower or fruit plants for their home gardens. Or when we get a large order from some five star hotels or multinationals based in Lahore to provide them grown flowers plants (in pots) for special events. We deliver them the flowers, indoor plants, shrubs and even creepers in pots and the landscape experts and interior decorators arrange them for display on the site." Besides growers and traders, a large number of people are associated with this trade: pot makers, gardeners, and labourers.

Another flower grower, Mian Khan, told Us about a beautiful tradition that has matured with the cooperation of his nursery in a nearby village Thatta Ghulamka, where German volunteers are working on different poverty alleviation projects. In the Village every newly married couple is presented a fruit tree whereas parents of every newborn get a flower tree by the community based NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama.

Nature being on the side of agricultural Pakistan, flowers can be one of the best sources of earning for Pakistan. We have potential markets in Middle East and some European countries to start with. There is a dire need to explore these markets and grow more flowers {via}.

Labels: ,

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:26 AM, , links to this post

Download free eBooks