In the 2009 New Years Honours List, Mrs Samantha Morshed, Founder of Hathay Bunano p.s. (HBPS), has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), for her services to the rural poor and disadvantaged women of Bangladesh.
HBPS was started in 2005 with the aim of creating employment for the rural poor women of Bangladesh that is fairly paid, good quality, flexible and local. To create employment that fits in with the women’s lives and prevents the need for economic migration and family separation.
HBPS works on the principle that mothers and babies should be together and that all mothers should be afforded the dignity to be able to adequately provide for their children. That every adult should have the right to a good job and a decent home and that it is our responsibility as a society to enable this.
Samantha Morshed started HBPS by teaching a small group of women how to knit by hand and then finding an export market for those products. HBPS now creates work for almost 3,500 artisans in 32 rural production centres all over Bangladesh and is continuing to expand rapidly through market demand. The products are exported over much of the world to USA, UK, Australia, Scandinavia, Middle East and Europe.
Samantha Morshed is a British woman married to Golam Morshed, Chairman of HBPS, and Bangladesh is now her adopted home. ‘Bangladesh is a beautiful country full of great potential. It is a country rich in manpower who are waiting for the opportunity for good quality work. Coming here five years ago, I felt that I had skills and abilities that could be put to good use to make the lives of some Bangladeshis a little better. Five years on, we still have a huge amount of work to do but we have proved that it is possible and that is the greatest hurdle.’ Samantha Morshed said.
HBPS produces a whole range of hand knitted childrenswear and childrens products and these are also sold in Dhaka at Insignia on the Lobby Level of the Westin Hotel.