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Bangladesh

Catholic handicraft organization awarded by Bangladesh govt 

CORR-The Jute Works helps women to play their part in the country's economic development

Catholic handicraft organization awarded by Bangladesh govt 

CORR-The Jute Works helps Bangladeshi women to earn a living by making handicrafts. (Photo: YouTube)

CORR-The Jute Works, a trust organization of Caritas Bangladesh, has been awarded the President's Industrial Development Award in the cottage industries category.

Nineteen businesses were honored in six categories on Nov. 4 in recognition of their contributions to the private sector, employment generation and economy.

CORR-The Jute Works, which also won the award in 2017, makes handicrafts including campaign bags, shopping bags, pet baskets, umbrella stands, boxes, greeting cards, candles, Christmas trees, garden accessories, photo frames, home decor, kitchen tableware, musical instruments, slippers and toys, exporting products to more than 50 countries.

“We make many products by reusing jute, soil, various grasses and the plastic that people throw away. As far as I know, 7,000 families are currently making money by making these products and at least 500,000 people have been involved and benefited from this organization since 1973,” development and information manager Milton Ratna told UCA News.

This organization was formed in 1973 after the Bangladesh Liberation War when many women lost their husbands and need to work for their financial development and rehabilitation.

“We are working towards our goal and this honor will further accelerate the speed of our work. We are moving forward with an emphasis on the climate vulnerable and coastal area, the indigenous area and areas where girls are trafficked,” Ratna said.

The development of agriculture as well as the industrial sector is undeniable for the overall economic development of the country

Rebeca Goyal, 36, from Baradal of coastal Satkhira district in southern Bangladesh, has been working with CORR for six years.

“I make key rings, dolls and mats with jute. My husband works as a night guard and earns 5,000 taka (US$58) a month and I get 4,000 taka on average per month. With this, the education of my two children and our family goes on,” Goyal told UCA News.

“A total of 37 people work in my group. But we don’t get work every month. It would be good for us if we could get more work all the time.”

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid addressed the Dhaka award ceremony in a recorded video message.

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"The development of agriculture as well as the industrial sector is undeniable for the overall economic development of the country,” he said.

“As a result of qualitative development and change in the industrial sector, the contribution of the industrial sector to gross domestic product is gradually increasing. The labor and skills of the workers are essential to increase productivity. That is why friendly relations between owner and worker are very important. I hope the entrepreneurs will take initiatives to ensure the welfare of workers.”

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