Basha Boutique

Posted by MAHRI MAHRI on


Lets start with Bangladesh. 


Child labor, human trafficking, child marriage, homelessness, underpaid labor, and sexual exploitation are key risks for many women in Bangladesh. We are proud & thankful to be involved in this country, working to sustain life-giving work. Some of the challenges that inspire the need for work there:


  • Bangladesh is one of 48 "Least Developed Countries", a group determined by the United Nations as exhibiting the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development (based onpoverty,human resource weakness, andeconomic vulnerability). Unlike its neighbour to the west, India, Bangladesh is not a nation developed for tourism. It is densely populated, with 17 million in the Greater Dhaka Area and over 160 million people estimated in its 57K sq miles (approximately the size of Iowa or Illinois).

  • After the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013 (killing 1,130 people, primarly garment industry workers, mostly women), the world began paying more attention to Bangladesh. We realized for the first time that some of our clothes were made in BD (who knew?), and that inexpensive, fast fashion does indeed a cost. Thousands of garment workers were threatened with a loss of pay if they did not come to the unsafe working conditions identified the day before the tragedy. There is a need for safe, healthy working environments where employers care more about their humans than their resources.

  • Bangladesh is a Muslim country, however prostitution is legal. Brothels abound, as well as various types of sex work, both formal and floating. There is a strong stigma against any woman who has worked in the sexual trade; even women who have left the work are typically cut off from their families, even the same brothers, fathers, and uncles who themselves patronize brothels. 

  • “If you want to know why we work tirelessly to make sure Basha can expand throughout Bangladesh, this [video below] will show you why. It is graphic, it is disturbing, but it is an amazingly candid view of what is happening here. It ends stating the fact that once embroiled in prostitution, there is little to no chance of leaving. This is what Basha is changing, one blanket, one bracelet, at a time.”




About Basha. 


Basha's high quality, one of a kind kantha products are handmade by at-risk women and survivors of human sex trafficking in Bangladesh.
The women artisans complete a training and rehabilitation program prior to beginning work. Basha provides weekly trainings, including literacy and life skills programs. The artisans also receive medical support, councelling, and day care assistance for their children.


  • Five production centres, working with various training programs to prepare women for employment:
    • Dhaka (partnered with Children's Uplift Programme)
    • Mymensingh (partnered with MCC's Pobitra program)
    • Bhaluka (a girls hostel and production centre available for any artisans wanting a fresh start in a new community)
    • Jessore (partnered with the Salvation Army drop-in centre & training program)
    • Tangail (Basha's own training program; brothel site)
    • ~120 Basha artisans and 40 admin & support staff
    • ~100 children in daycare, provided free as a job benefit (paid by support from Friends of Basha)
    • The price of a Basha blanket pays for:
      • A fair wage to the woman who made it, based on local standards and cost of living (
      • On-site day care where children have a safe and stimulating environment. Plus, support for their education (tutoring if they are in school) and two healthy snacks a day (rice and lentils, noodles, eggs, milk, peanut butter).
      • Medical support, including on-site nurse visits and payment for 50-100% for their medical costs. (medications are often overused, hence the 50%; but, for example, with an employee’s recent heart valve replacement, 100% was covered between Basha and Friends of Basha).
      • Benefits, like an annual bonus & paid leave.
      • A safe, sensitive work environment. Many women Basha employs would not be employable somewhere else: women with anger issues, trauma, mental health issues, etc.
      • Ongoing education: 4-6 hours per week so they can continue to develop professionally and personally. 
      • Profit sharing: still a work-in-progress.
      • Marketing and product development, allowing Basha to grow & create more jobs for women at risk and survivors of trafficking. 
      • Access to the global market: The ability for dignify to import, market, & sell the goods in North America, Europe, Australia and more. 




    "In the Bengali language basha means ‘house’ and asha means ‘hope’. Basha is the house of hope we’re building in Bangladesh."

    Basha. Where your purchase changes lives & builds futures.











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