In Pakistan, bangle factories have been developed from small-scale cottage industry. Countless people are involved in bangle-making, especially women and children, but their income is very low.

A cottage industry of bangles is situated in Korangi no ½ Karachi, famous with the name of 'Churi Wali Gali'. The people of this area make bangles with steel and iron; while doing art and craft work over it. They are popularly known as 'Lac way' and their caste is 'Sheeshagari'.

There was a time when bangles were usually prepared with lac but the time has changed. Similarly, the techniques of making bangles have altered. These days the creators are doing the same work on plain steel bangles.

Plain steel bangles: The silver karae

The shiny glittery bangles are passed from several hands before they finally reach the market. But nobody knows about the hard work and suffering that the makers of the bangles go through. There are a few people who have shared their life experience in the bangle-making process.

Thandi lac karae: Multi shades bangles

“I have been a part of the bangle industry since my childhood,” said Ashi, a home-based bangle creator. "It is our ancestral profession. Basically, I am from Hyderabad, where we usually made glass bangles, but after I got married in Karachi, we used to perform embroidery and stone work on karae."

Bangle maker: Ashi a bangle maker

"Products for manufacturing bangles can be purchased from the 'Du number market' in Korangi easily. They have got steel karae, but for its designing material, which includes stones, colourful mirrors and discos, we need to go to the Bolton market. Although the money of all materials and the transportation price goes from our pockets. It is sad to say that we still have not earned as much as we work," she added.

Designing work: Ashi performs designing work on the thandi lac bangles

“The biggest problem I have faced during work is a load shedding,” says Sania, a home-based bangle maker. "As it is delicate work and we need a light. Moreover, we do work in a dark room as well because we cannot waste the chemical and, due to that, I must use point spectacles and other eye complications."

Bangle designer: Sania starts craft work on bangles

"The income is not up to our expectation as we deserve more. We sell the product in the market, the shopkeeper makes a profit from it. Unfortunately, we cannot earn more than 300 rupees per day on dozens of bangles as we are three people working on them. So, the per person salary would be 11 rupees. Even after the contractors purchase the bangles directly from us, the loss is ours as we have to buy different goods for producing a variety of Kara," she added.

Stone work: Sania and mohsin curves stones on bangles

Adnan, a bangle contractor, says that now the competition is tough as everyone has their own bangle shops, so the customers are divided. "In the past, we could saved 100 rupees, but now we just get 30 rupees," he added.

Bangle contractor: Adnan a contractor

Women are highly involved with the bangle crafting process. Some have even spent their entire life in manufacturing bangles, but still these workers typically receive very low pays, even though they have played an important role. The government should facilitate them.