Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Churail in Dolls 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.

Thus spun off a social enterprise in this 200-house strong village that has changed the way of life and living here. Women have a school. The village has a road. They experimented with alternative energy very early on, and now are undertaking community energy & food projects.

The women from this conservative village now go on study tours with the Germans. The villagers have learned about sanitation, childcare, and eco-friendly living. Cleanliness is rewarded here.

Above all, these changes were brought within the system, without breaking down the structure violently.

The whole village participates in the making of the dolls, which represent the four provinces of Pakistan. The original doll is called, "Churail."

This is my peek into their lives. More here!

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:15 AM, , links to this post

About project developments with example BHU der AFA in TGD

By Omar M. Ali

BHU is the basic health unit of the NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (AFA) in the vilage of Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka. The BHU is now existing since almost 25 years.

The story begin with the work of the young German-Pakistani doctor, Dr Leila, who saw the documentary film Amjads Village, produced by DGFK in 1991 and wanted to work in the village on voluntary basis. This was a big challenge at that time because none of the facilities of NGO were available.

It was in this phase, i.e from 1991 till 1999, that also Dr. Leila Masson from New Zealand and Dr Elizabeth Carew-Reid from Australia worked on the project in the village. The aim was, that the project should itself provide the basic health facilities using traditional as well as western medicine.

In the next phase, 1999 till 2008, Dr. Karola Groch and the nurse Marlies Bartkiewitz-Schmitt looked after the project, during which however, there were certain erroneous developments, due to which Marlies pulled herself back, as traditional medicine and self financing of the effort through treatment of village patients become disturbed.

The main initiator of the project, Dr. Senta Siller, was later able to win a Canadian organization for supporting the project and needed for this purpose a doctor, who unfortunately misunderstood many cultural factors, which ultimately endangered the health project.

In the next, the current phase, from 2008 on wards, the voluntary and regular support of Dr Leila Masson helped to settle the financial misunderstandings and from 2014 on wards, the traditional approach, i.e. use of alternative and traditional remedies, were again able to be used in the project. Other experienced volunteers provided by SES also helped in this regard.

Health is not improved through suggestions and giving of medicine only, but rather a complete effort, i.e. clean drinking water, looking after the school children by approval of the parents, disposal of waste and sullage water, etc. is needed.

AFA is now again very active and has recently joined hands with another NGO to strengthen its work, in which the nurse Marlies from Switzerland is once again gladly participating.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:32 AM, , links to this post

Activities in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka


Activities in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka by f560415578

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:17 AM, , links to this post

Pakistani Handicrafts

Pakistan Handicrafts are very famous all over the world. They are collectors delight for those who value unique, handmade and cultural items. Thatta Kedona has played important role in providing handicrafts in the world market. Success of the project has also attracted researchers on the subject.


Recently, Gwendolyne Kulick, an assistant professor for Designing in BNU, Lahore, since more than 10 years, is writing her PhD thesis about ‘Handicraft projects in Pakistan, their results and future.’ She has visited the TGD village project in several times with her students.

Gwendolyne Kulick with her German Professor Doktor Brigitte Wolf has also had a workshop with 16 students from universities in Lahore. Within the frame work of her research work she has had a meeting with Mrs Farzana from WAC in TGD and Dr Senta Siller from SES, as a consultant for the recent cooperation between AFA and AFWA.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:46 PM, , links to this post


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