OPP-OCT discovered that this growing settlement of Orangi was full of the enterprising spirit. The most impressive demonstration of the spirit of enterprises is the creation of employment everywhere in the lanes; inside the homes there are around twenty thousand family units, shops workshops, peddlers and vendors. In response to the dual challenge of inflation and recession, the residents have invented working family, modifying homes into workshops, promoting the women from more dependents to economic partners and wage earners, abandoning the dominant patriarchal pattern with surprising speed.
OPP’s research revealed two significant factors; first, there was unlimited demand for products and services of these family units. Second, the family units were extremely competitive (on account of very low over heads and very cheap and docile labor). The working family units of Orangi were completely integrated with the main Karachi markets. In fact many units are supplying goods to famous firms, who just put their labels and make big profits. What is required is to support their initiatives.
On the basis of the research findings, Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) decided to arrange access to credit to these micro enterprises. For this Orangi Pilot Project – Orangi Charitable Trust (OPP – OCT) was established in 1987 as an independent and autonomous institution in Orangi, a low income settlement of over one million people. The main objective is to support people’s effort in their economic development by providing credit in urban and rural areas.
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